A digital connectivity package for 11 local marae has meant the "Maori world and Pakeha world coming together as one", according to a Napier teacher.
Former Miss Universe New Zealand and teacher at Kohanga Reo o Te Kupenga o Te Matauranga at Henry Hill School in Napier, Harlem-Cruz Ihaia, believed the $21 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) digital package, highlighted in yesterday's wider PGF announcement, was a windfall.
The 21-year old was also a member of the Kohupatiki Marae in Clive, which currently operates without internet.
"From a youth perspective it's a great idea. You don't see young people often at the marae, so having wi-fi would be a great way to draw them in," she said.
It would also improve things administratively, allowing ease in taking minutes at meetings and providing music for performances, she said.
The funding would facilitate access to "reliable and modern broadband" for the 11 marae throughout Hawke's Bay, six of which were located in Wairoa.
Michelle McIlroy, from Wairoa's Hinemihi Marae and one of the funding recipients, said it was a "fantastic opportunity for the hui" and enabled them to "keep in touch" with those from the community who lived away but wanted to remain connected, or those who didn't have internet in their homes.
"My daughter lives in Perth so it means we can now live-stream," she said.
Hinemihi Marae, like the other selected marae, will have its internet funded for five years under the government package.
"Our marae is run on koha, so this is a huge help for us." She said the internet installation would be "happening any day now".
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Other Wairoa marae approved for funding were Tākitimu, Kihitu, Iwitea, Ruataniwha and Hurumua.
McIlroy said she'd encourage other Hawke's Bay marae to "fill out the forms" and make an application.