12 Apr 2013

Call for public funding of marae quake strengthening

8:18 am on 12 April 2013

An engineer is calling on the Crown or councils to pay for any earthquake strengthening of marae.

Policy for earthquake-prone buildings is being considered by the Government.

One suggestion is that all buildings would be assessed within five years and, if earthquake-prone, would be strengthened or demolished within 10 years of assessment.

Auckland University senior lecturer in civil and environmental engineering Kepa Morgan says meeting houses are not used solely by Maori.

He says historically marae have been self-sustaining, while community halls have been paid for out of the public purse.

Dr Kepa says Maori pay rates, yet there's no public money coming back for the maintenance and upkeep of marae, especially the ones used as civil defence bases.