Marae Digital Connectivity is a multi-agency initiative to help more marae connect to the internet.
Marae have been a cornerstone of Māori society for generations. They are a place where Māori customs and traditions are explored and can be challenged and debated. Significant rituals and formalities, such as welcoming visitors, meeting inter-tribal obligations, or farewelling those who have passed on, can be performed. The marae is a wāhi tapu, a 'sacred place' which carries great cultural meaning.
About Marae Digital Connectivity
In February 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the Government will invest $21 million to ensure even more New Zealanders in the regions can access modern and reliable digital services in their community. This builds on $80 million in funding already announced from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) – including the expansion of the Rural broadband Initiative phase 2 (RBI2) and Mobile Blackspot Fund (MBSF) programmes, as well as projects to boost connectivity in Southland and on the West Coast. RBI2 will increase broadband coverage to parts of rural New Zealand that have not previously had access and will connect marae to broadband now available in their area.
Marae Digital Connectivity will further assist whānau, hapū and iwi to achieve their goals and aspirations including social inclusion, cultural connections and participation in the wider community. Marae Digital Connectivity may also offer alternative ways to access health, social and education services.
Other benefits of Marae Digital Connectivity include:
- an enhanced ability for Māori to access key services and skills necessary for improved economic participation
- alternative ways for rangatahi and whānau to learn the skills for a modern workforce
- increased productivity of local and emerging business ventures
- the ability to leverage tourism visitations for economic growth
- connecting with whānau living out of the region and overseas
This opportunity is available for rural marae.
How Marae Digital Connectivity works and eligibility
As there is limited funding for the Marae Digital Connectivity project, completing the two-stage process does not guarantee that your marae will receive funding under the Marae Digital Connectivity project. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (“MBIE”), The Provincial Development Unit (“PDU”), Te Puni Kōkiri (“TPK”) and Crown Infrastructure Partners (“CIP”) will make the final decisions regarding funding.
The two-stage assessment process is explained below:
|Stage 1||Māori Reservation Status|
|Stage 2||Consent Form and Readiness Survey|
To be eligible your marae will need to be a Māori Reservation that has been set aside for the purposes of a marae under section 338 Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993. The Māori Land Court is responsible for this process and you can find more information about how land is set aside as a Māori Reservation here:
All that is required at this stage however, is to identify which marae you are applying on behalf of, and the name of the Trust that administers the Māori Reservation.
Two responsible Trustees of the Māori Reservation Trust will need to sign the Consent Form, indicating the marae would like to be part of the Marae Digital Connectivity project.
By signing the Consent Form, you are indicating that your marae is willing to:
- Participate in the Marae Digital Connectivity project;
- Permit Marae Digital Connectivity project Service Providers access to marae land and buildings, to install the necessary hardware equipment to complete the Marae Digital Connectivity project; and
- Take responsibility for the ongoing management of the installed equipment, manage how the broadband connection is used and be responsible for the ongoing broadband connection costs.
You are also asked to identify and provide contact details of a Liaison person. This person will be contacted by providers and suppliers when connections and hardware are ready to be installed.
Finally, you will be asked to complete a Readiness Survey.
What is included in the package?
For installation and on-going costs for a 5 year term, there are NO costs to the marae.
Here is a description of the broadband AND the hardware:
- Broadband service for 5 years;
- Installed essential hardware including:
- Up to 3 Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi access points,
- Up to 3 Cisco Meraki security cameras,
- 1 Cisco Meraki data switch,
- 1 broadband modem,
- 1 data cabinet,
- 1 AV trolley bundle containing stand, display, compute module, video streaming bar,
- Basic training on the hardware at the time of install (e.g. how to turn on/off),
- Data cabling,
- Project management and installation.
- Service desk for 5 years.
When is Marae Digital Connectivity available?
Applications are still open and subject to available funding.
If you would like more information you can either;
- read our FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions [PDF, 76KB],
- email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.