2 Jun 2013

Website puts marae on the map

3:12 pm on 2 June 2013

One of the creators of a website profiling hundreds of marae across the country hopes it will help Maori reconnect with their roots.

The maorimaps.com database contains information and photos of nearly 750 marae.

Otago University's Paora Tapsell says the aim of the site is to help Maori gain a greater understanding of their identity.

He hopes it will link Maori youth, who are often disconnected and living in cities, with their past.

Professor Tapsell says marae are in crisis, with about a third in a state of disarray and another third struggling to survive.

He says the website is a 21st century response to the problem.

Professor Tapsell says New Zealand is the only country left with a marae-based culture.

He says other Pacific nations had them, but that culture was destroyed when they were colonised.