Orongomai Marae Community Centre has done great things with the grants it has received from Hutt Mana Charitable Trust.
Linda Pāhī, Kaiwhakahaere Matua (Manager), says they are so thankful for the money they have received over the past few years.
In 2018 Ōrongomai Marae Community Centre ran a highly successful Learner Licence programme with the $13,000 received. And in 2019 $8,000 is going towards administration wages to help run the centre.
“Last year the money funded a learners licence programme at risk rangatahi in our community. It was really important to us to run a programme that made sure they didn’t fail their test and we pulled out all stops to make that happen.”
Linda says the programme was not just about tutoring for the Learner Licence test. “We helped apply for and obtain birth certificates required for the application, helped them with the paperwork, booked them in for the licence and we paid for the licence. We also provided on site visits– when they got to the section on roundabouts – we took them to a roundabout and worked through the questions in a visual practical way. This was perfect for our hands on, visual learners.”
Ōrongomai Marae ran four programmes over the year and had a 95% pass rate.
“Following on from that we identified we could help these young people on their way to their Restricted Licence by supplying two paid for AA lessons identifying the areas they needed to concentrate on so they could pass their test.”
Linda says the programme was so popular they had to cap numbers at 60.
“This year we applied for administration funding because we needed to appoint a person to manage the bookings for the marae, to do the marae committee admin and provide other admin support. We’ve been able to employ a young person, someone who was on a benefit, who is now off the benefit as a result of the funding.”
Linda says Ōrongomai Marae was founded by trustees in 1975 to provide a gathering place for urban Māori in Upper Hutt. “We’re not attached to one iwi or hāpū which means everyone is welcome.”
Over the years the not-for-profit Marae has expanded providing wrap-around services in the community including health, social, reintegration, programmes for rangitahi and for whanau with babies, and programmes for children coming out of Oranga Tamariki care.
Linda says the support from Hutt Mana Charitable Trust over the years has led to providing quality services in the community and means the Marae does not have to be stressed by a lack of resources.