Two Northland marae have been selected for the first phase of a project which will see them hooked up to internet by the end of the year.
Orōmahoe Marae - located roughly 15km inland of Waitangi - and Te Houhanga Marae in Dargaville have been selected for the first phase of Marae Connectivity - a cross-agency project between Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP), the Provincial Development Unit (PDU), the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and Te Puni Kōkiri.
Kahu Taurua-Peri, secretary of Orōmahoe Marae, said she was very excited the marae would be getting internet.
"I run our marae through my cellphone. We have reception, it's quite good there. But if we want to use our laptops I've got to use my data from my home.
"We have lots of wananga every year with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi - lots of training establishments come to our marae and of course they bring all their laptops," she said.
Taurua-Peri said having internet would help with the running of marae, but they were also hoping it would attract youth.
"The invoices, the receipting - I can't do anything like that the new way, I have to send my receipts in the mail. So now if we've got the internet on, the administration would become so much easier.
"For me, children are tomorrow and the internet is their language. I like the kōrero around the fact this will bring our tamariki, our young ones, back to the marae because we're going to be talking their language and they're going to have to teach us."
Te Puni Kōkiri acting chief executive Di Grennel said over the next six months, more marae will join the project.
"By connecting up some of the most isolated communities we are helping ensure more Māori can fully participate in this modern digital era," she said.
Taurua-Peri said she wasn't sure when internet would be installed at Orōmahoe Marae.
For more information on eligibility and how to apply visit www.tpk.govt.nz/whakamahia/marae-digital-connectivity