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 Māori Heritage team provides support and advice for funding applications. Grants are 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 following funds offer financial support for marae projects and for other Māori built heritage projects - Oranga Marae, The Lottery Grants Board and The National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund.



Oranga Marae

Oranga Marae is a programme of support, advice and investment for marae. It gives whānau and hapū advice and support to help develop their marae and achieve their goals. This support may include building projects and activities to revitalise cultural knowledge.

A goal of the programme is to strengthen the ability of marae to pass on their ancestral knowledge of whaikōrero, karanga and local mātauranga, tikanga and kawa to descendants.
Oranga Marae can provide funding for

  • marae development planning
  • technical or feasibility study support
  • cultural revitalisation activities
  • capital works

Oranga Marae is provided by Te Puni Kōkiri and the Department of Internal Affairs. It replaces the Lottery Marae Heritage and Facilities Fund which is permanently closed.  

To find out more about eligibility criteria and the application process, please visit the website of Te Puni Kōkiri.

The Lottery Grants Board

The Lottery Grants Board has a separate fund for Environment and Heritage which can provide financial assistance for the preservation and protection of taonga whare and wāhi tapu, and for historical publications. For further information visit the website of The Lottery Grants Board.

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.


Contact Us - Māori Heritage Advisors

If you require assistance or advice with your project please contact us