Kōkiri Marae - Mission Statement
KA HAERE TONU NGĀ AKORANGA O RĀTOU MĀ, MŌ AKE TONU AKE
The premises occupied by Kokiri Marae at 7–9 Barnes Street, Seaview was built by the American Government during the second world war as a storage shed and then later sold to the New Zealand Government.
In 1977 Kara Puketapu was appointed as the Secretary of Māori Affairs and was instrumental in implementing the Tū Tangata Policy. The policy centered on community based Māori development, the promotion of Māori cultural and economic advancement through encouraging self reliance and self determination.
Central to the initial Tū Tangata implementation, the approach was to set up a network of Kōkiri centres, the first of which was set up here at Kōkiri Seaview in 1979. As the First Kōkiri Centre, the focus was on working to address issues of unemployment, gangs, high involvement in the justice system, low academic achievement as well as cultural knowledge and participation in the economy. Kōkiri began providing employment based training programs, Te Reo classes, carving, weaving and whakapapa classes.
The Māori Womens Welfare League, Māori Wardens, Māori Affairs Community Workers all played an important role in shaping and supporting the direction that Kokiri was to take.
The need to provide tangihanga services significantly changed the role and functions of the centre, as Kōkiri took on the traditional role of an urban marae, catering for whānau, hapū and all iwi. Kokiri advanced from a Kokiri Centre to become Kokiri Marae.
The role of the Keriana Olsen cannot be overstated. Keriana was the driving force behind the development of Kōkiri Marae. Her leadership, commitment, dedication, vision and belief in all whānau especially those that are struggling to make ends meet, trying to navigate their way through government bureaucracy and the justice system to those that needed a listening ear, a place to rest and a shoulder to cry on were all entitled to a helping hand.
It was Keriana Olsen and her dedication to the people that led to the government presenting her with a QSM. On her death, the Marae Trustees changed the name from Kōkiri Marae to Kōkiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust in recognition of her dedication to the kaupapa.
Kokiri Marae has continued to grow and evolve and now includes 3 Kōhanga Reo, Level One MSD Accreditation to provide services to Whānau, Education and Training Services and Hauora Services.