Renovations to local marae are not just strengthening buildings but building communities.
Last October, the Government announced Ngā Marae o Te Hikuwai Marae Renovation, a programme which would give marae nationwide a $100 million boost from the Provincial Growth Fund, creating 3100 jobs.
Bay of Plenty marae were set to get the lion's share of the funding, with 77 marae in the region receiving $29,614,993, creating 648 jobs.
Welcome Bay's Tahuwhakatiki Marae received $500,000 in funding.
Marae trustee and Te Rangapu Mana Whenua o Tauranga Moana Partnership independent chairwoman Matire Duncan said renovations to the wharenui were already complete.
"It's 85 per cent done. There's only a couple of tanks we need to put in and some minor electrical work," Duncan said.
Works funded by the Provincial Development Fund for Tahuwhakatiki Marae included repainting, a new roof, cladding and the installation of a fire sprinkler system.
An important part of the wharenui project was the restoration of 140-year-old carvings.
"It was great to see them restored and fixed up," Duncan said.
"[Restoring the carvings] helps in terms of revitalisation. It was basically not in good condition and in places the wood was very brittle, due to wear and tear and ageing."
Duncan said she and the whānau who still lived around the marae were grateful for the funding.
"We couldn't have raised the money otherwise."
Duncan said the project also provided employment opportunities for contractors who had lost jobs and income as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
Tahuwhakatiki Marae is a community space used for tangi, weddings, meetings and other gatherings. The marae is also used by schools and businesses.
Rotoiti 15 Trust was allocated $2,984,246 for the upgrades of Tapuaeharuru Marae, Te Awhe Marae, Punawhakareia Marae, Nga Pumanawa Marae, Tapuaekura Marae and Te Waiiti Marae.
Rotoiti 15 Trust te tauwharenga (general manager) Kerri-Anne Hancock said each marae was allocated $480,000 to $500,000 of the $2.9 million funding boost.
The real value of the programme, Hancock said, could not be measured in buckets of paint.
From February 2021 Rotoiti 15 Trust employed 15 ahika (local) whānau to deliver on the marae works, many of whom were previously unemployed.
Hancock said those working on the renovations have whakapapa connections to the marae.
"This means that not only are we painting marae buildings or replacing weatherboards, we are working together to re-cloak our tūpuna. It is an honour to have the opportunity to do so."
Regional funding and jobs created by Ngā Marae o Te Hikuwai Marae Renovation programme
Bay of Plenty:
$29,614,993, 77 marae, 648 jobs.
$160,440, 2 marae, 30 jobs.
$198,318, 1 marae, 6 jobs.
$9,623,529, 51 marae, 262.5 jobs.
$7,139,349, 33 marae, 560.5 jobs.
$718,576, 2 marae, 25 jobs.
$9,287,603, 34 marae, 388 jobs.
$14,267,895, 59 marae, 393.6 jobs.
$7,407,008, 23 marae, 305.5 jobs.
Te Tau Ihu/Top of the South:
$761,861, 4 marae, 38 jobs.
$13,896,659, 53 marae, 363 jobs.
$3,191,284, 10 marae, 88.8 jobs.
$248,376, 2 marae, 20 jobs.
$96,515,895, 351 marae, 3128.9 jobs.