Energy self-sufficient marae reopens with support of Government investment
Murihiku Marae was officially reopened today, setting a gold standard in sustainable building practices as well as social outcomes for the people of Waihōpai Invercargill, Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan says.
“The marae has been a central hub for this community since the 1980’s. With the support of $9.65 million in Government funding, the redevelopment has provided a bigger centre that will better services the needs of the community,” Kiri Allan said.
“Murihiku Marae will be energy ‘triple net zero’—the buildings are self-contained, producing almost zero energy waste, zero emissions and zero waste. With solar panels installed, Murihiku will generate its own energy and contribute back to the national grid.
"This is a redevelopment that has been nearly a decade in the making, led by Waihōpai Rūnaka and places the community’s needs at its heart.
“With the support of Government funding Murihiku was able to be transformed from multiple prefab buildings adjacent to the wharenui to a large community space, including meeting rooms, activity spaces, offices and a new wharekai. The facilities will cater for rangatahi through to kaumatua.”
Construction of the redevelopment at Murihiku began in October 2021 and was officially completed this week. During peak construction, 58 people were employed on the project, and 16 local companies were contracted for the rebuild.
“The cultural narrative of the land is reflected in the design of the buildings, drawing inspiration from the tohorā (whale) and waka that feature in stories of how Waihōpai and Te Ara-a-Kewa (Foveaux Strait) came to be.
“This new complex will provide our Murihiku whānau a standing place fit for the future. For the city, it will be a place of welcome for visitors and a place of hui. It will create strength in bicultural partnerships, both with local and central Government.
“Your vision doesn’t end here today. I applaud your plans for the future, including the development of onsite papakāinga for your most precious taonga, your kaumatua,” Kiri Allan said.