4 Jul 2013

Academic wary of Govt bid to help with marae insurance

6:35 am on 4 July 2013

A Maori academic says if the Government helps with insuring marae, it could be undermining the mana involved with looking after marae and its taonga.

Te Puni Kokiri says it will work with insurance companies to bring down the high price of premiums for marae - some of which pay more than $12,000 a year for cover.

But University of Otago professor Paora Tapsell says this space has always been controlled by Maori.

He says the Government would have to support marae as a Treaty partner.

Professor Tapsell says many Maori people want to remain independent and not be cast off as beneficiaries.

He wants marae to work collectively, so that they have buying power and can strike good discounts with insurance companies.