Wellington Scoop

WCC can’t find construction consents for marae that burnt down


Tane Whaiora was the first whare to be built on the Tapu Te Ranga Marae site. Photo: RNZ / Meriana Johnsen

Report from RNZ
The Wellington City Council has been unable to find any consents for construction work at Tapu Te Ranga Marae, despite the buildings passing a Warrant of Fitness.

Twenty-seven cub scouts, their parents and a family – including a baby – escaped from the marae in Island Bay when it went up in flames on Sunday morning.

Council documents show that seven rooms within the main marae building were considered fire dangerous, but the council allowed the other rooms to remain open to the public.

There were dangerous building notices on three other buildings on the site, including the original meeting house and the first whare to be built on the site, Tane Whaiora – which the council has allowed the marae to keep despite fire damage.

Council spokesperson Richard MacLean said staff had been unable to find a single consent for the marae but were still going back through the records. “We are doing an archive search and an investigation just so that various people can understand what has gone on on the site over the years. At the moment we are fairly confident that most of the construction on the site was done without council consent.”

He said that it had been suggested some retrospective consents were issued, but, he couldn’t confirm that until they’d been through all the council’s files.


  1. Trevor H, 12. June 2019, 19:20

    There needs to be a full investigation and a public inquiry into how this situation was allowed to happen.

  2. Concerned Wellingtonian, 13. June 2019, 7:16

    Trevor, I agree. It smacks of the sort of subjective, untrammelled, uncontrolled officer policy-making, like the Council’s flogging of the waterfront to developers for a hundred dollars.

  3. Anabel, 13. June 2019, 7:18

    What difference does it make now. The building burnt down, it did not fail due to any construction issue.

  4. Guy M, 13. June 2019, 11:28

    Annabel, you are totally, 100% wrong. The building burnt down precisely because of issues around poor construction, bad design, lack of adequate or appropriate fire safety measures, and a general flouting of the Building Code – which applies to Marae as much as any other building. That’s why the Tapu Te Ranga Marae was declared a death trap by the Council many years ago. It really is a miracle that no one was killed.