"In Māori society, the marae is a place where the culture can be celebrated, where the Māori language can be spoken, where intertribal obligations can be met, where customs can be explored and debated, where family occasions such as birthdays can be held, and where important ceremonies, such as welcoming visitors or farewelling the dead (tangihanga), can be performed. Like the related institutions of old Polynesia, the marae is a wāhi tapu, a 'sacred place' which carries great cultural meaning."
While a Marae is usually a gathering place for the Maori community, this past May the Maori in Mangare Bridge (Te Puea) opened its doors to homeless individuals and families. They have largely depended on volunteer efforts to staff the services there. Our Church has organized teams of people to assist. Today was Auckland Ward's turn to go make lunch and clean up after.
It felt good to put on our yellow "Mormon Helping Hands" vests and know that we were part of a world wide effort by LDS people to help those in need.
This is what MormonNewsroom had to say about the projects MHH volunteers take part in: