Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC staff lend a hand to Potaka Marae around the East Cape.

Date:  15 April 2010

“Awesome” was the general consensus from Te Whanau a Tapaeururangi, with big smiles all round as on the final day they welcomed back their nannies to unveil the newly landscaped Potaka Marae located on the border between Ngati Porou and Te Whanau a Apanui in the northern East Coast.

What began as a “blank canvas”, in three days transformed into defined areas with modern appeal, practical, welcoming and child friendly. “It was awesome the way the hapu have come together, especially how the young ones have returned to the Marae pushing the ‘barrows, even our Koroua have jumped in with a spade” says Potaka Marae representative Kerry Kururangi. The gardens have the added appeal of brightly coloured painted rocks throughout, made by the students of Potaka School. “The gardens belong to the kids” Mrs Kururangi says “they will look after their gardens and keep them looking nice, reminding people not to run through them”.

Marae DIY series features on Maori Television and travels all around New Zealand to “makeover” Marae. The work to be done is funded mainly by the hosting Marae with labour from Marae DIY trades people, from sponsors and their own Marae community. The show also whisks away three Marae Kuia to have their own make-over, returning after four days to unveil the hard work the marae whanau have achieved in a short period of time. Potaka Marae is the 47th Marae to be given a makeover by the Marae DIY series. 

Te Whanau a Tapaeururangi are grateful to Marae DIY and the various sponsors for the overwhelming support they have given, but still have more to do, which is to rebuild the Wharekai “Te Ruatarehu” and complete the Wharenui which they aim to name and open at Anzac weekend.

Department of Conservation (DOC) is a major sponsor for the Marae DIY series, locally having staff attend from Gisborne, Te Araroa, Ruatorea, Opotiki, Motu and Whakatane bases. “DOC are a part of the community and values ongoing relationships with our local marae” says Gisborne/Whakatane Area Manager Andy Bassett. “DOC has expertise and skills in many areas and is willing to lend a hand where we can in our communities, together building on our capacity for looking after our natural and historic heritage”.

Marae DIY goes to air on Maori Television later on this year with Potaka Marae featuring in September/October.


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