Raetihi Marae has been closed until further notice, with all bookings cancelled.

The decision to close was made after a meeting with kaumātua and after considering Health Ministry information and advice on Covid-19, chairman Whetu Moataane said.

"It wasn't an easy decision at all to make. We had to make it for the wellbeing and safety of our people."

All meetings and whānau gatherings at the marae have been cancelled.


"We have made contact with those people. They totally understand the short-term closure of the marae. They're going to relook at their event and their hui and make a decision on what they're going to do."

The Hunt & Food Festival planned at the marae for April 24-26 would have been a gathering of many. It has been postponed.

People will have to make their own arrangements for tangihanga, Moataane said, and they will not be held at the marae.

People who need help, especially local people, may be offered a package of marae resources, such as chairs and mattresses, instead. People who need financial help can be directed to available grants.

The name of the house at Raetihi Marae, Ko te Whakaarotahi ki te Whakapono, speaks of all faiths uniting as one. Moataane encourages people to help each other.

"We are going around to make sure kaumātua are all good. If they need anything, to let us know."

He encouraged people to stay well and advised people who are sick to call Healthline, 0800 611 116, or their GP.