3 Jun 2011

Arson suspected at Manawatu marae

7:53 pm on 3 June 2011

A fire at a marae in the Manawatu township of Halcombe may have been an arson, police say.

Crews were called to Taumata O Te Ra marae on Hastings St just after 8am on Friday. No-one was in the building at the time.

The fire destroyed the marae's kitchen and dining area. The main meeting house survived.

Detective David Burmeister, of Feilding, says an initial investigation by Fire Safety officers indicates the blaze may have been started deliberately.

Mr Burmeister says it is an unusual time for an arson, as there would have been a lot of people about and traffic passing by.

Six fire engines and several other support vehicles were involved.