Marae Conservation

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga actively assists whānau, hapū and iwi initiatives to preserve taonga through the Māori Buildings Conservation Programme.  Wharenui, wharekai, whare karakia, pātaka, waka and other forms of built heritage are unique taonga in their construction and artwork expression.

Caring for these taonga is a challenge requiring specialist knowledge in both traditional and modern preservation techniques. Contact Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga or ask advice from one of our regional pouarahi staff located in Heritage New Zealand's offices in Kerikeri, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch.

Working on a carving
Conservation work at Kikipiri Marae, Ohau. Image: NZHPTexpand/collapse

Funding support

The Lottery Grants Board has a Marae Heritage and Facilities Fund which provides grants for the capital costs of the conservation, and restoration of marae facilities, including wharenui, wharekai, whare karakia, urupā, pātaka, and whare taonga.  The Lottery Grants Board provides the grants and Waka Taonga, the Maori Heritage team provides the support and advice to applicants.

Grants are also available for the initial feasibility studies and conservation reports, as well as the the capital costs involved in the conservation and restoration of marae facilities.  Examples of such projects include pouwhenua memorials and flagpoles, marae shelters for tangata whenua or manuhiri, waka shelters, and the conservation of tukutuku, kōwhaiwhai, whāriki and whakairo, and restoration of photographs which are within the marae.

The Marae Heritage and Facilities Committee meets three times a year, in March, June and October. Applications are due four months before each meeting, although more rapid approval for funding conservation plans and feasibility studies is under consideration.

Heritage New Zealand's Māori Heritage Advisers are available to advise and assist iwi and hapū in making or supporting applications to the committee and arranging technical advice.

He mahi tēnei o te ropu ‘Waka Taonga’ hei tautoko ngā Komiti Marae me ngā Kaitiaki Marae.

The Lottery Grants Board also has a separate fund for Environment and Heritage which can provide financial assistance for the preservation and protection of whare taonga and wāhi tapu, and for historical publications.  Contact your local Maori Heritage Adviser through Heritage New Zealand's offices or the Lottery Grants Board office for more details.


National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund

The National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund, administered by Heritage New Zealand, provides financial incentives to encourage the conservation of nationally significant heritage places in private ownership.  Priority is given to heritage places of national significance which need conservation work and heritage places of national significance where conservation work is planned and could be improved through extra funding.  

Public sector agencies, territorial authorities, and persons and agencies eligible for funding from the Lottery Grants Board are not eligible to apply to the Fund.

Any property in private ownership that is either entered on the List as a Category 1 historic place under the Heritage New Zealand Act 2014, or could satisfy the requirements for entry as a Category 1 historic place, is eligible to apply to the fund.

Any wāhi tapu, wāhi tūpuna or wāhi tapu or wāhi tūpuna area in private ownership that is either registered under the Heritage New Zealand Act 2014, or could satisfy the requirements for wāhi tapu, wāhi tūpuna or wāhi tapu area entry on the List, is eligible to apply to the fund.

Please contact your nearest Heritage New Zealand office for advice.

Taumata tirohanga: whai orangangia ngā taonga tuku iho.

Nā te Kaunihera Māori o te Pouhere Taonga.