THE STORY OF THE MODERN MARAE
jobs could never have been done by contract; only co-operative effort could have created these halls, even with a subsidy.
If one builds in this way, it is not absolutely essential to have the full amount of money ready for a project when it is starting. If a project costs, say, £5,000, a committee may have £1,500 collected and be anxious to start work. The provision in the Act, that revenue is subsidisable, allows the Minister to pay out a £1,500 subsidy on this amount. The work can then start, and the community can later raise another £1,000.
This policy has no doubt stimulated Maori building activities, but it has its own dangers and difficulties. In the past there have been projects that have collapsed after a comparatively short time. There have been houses started when there was not much prospect of the money for finishing them ever being raised, and some enormous halls have been started in very small communities, unable to make full use of them or maintain them. If State subsidies were generally used on such projects, there would no doubt be complaints all over the country, and the Maori people would not benefit in any case.
Two principles have therefore been laid down for the granting of subsidies under the Act. They are:
A building permit must be obtained;
A substantial part of the money needed for a project must be raised before a subsidy is paid. There must be every indication that the committee or executive is able to collect the rest.
A project should be of a size suitable to the community it is intended for. A village of fifty souls does not need a dining-hall the size of the Auckland Town Hall. A good deal of work and money is required for the maintenance of a marae, and a marae should not be too big for a community to maintain.