The Patea Maori Club made a triumphant return to the charts on the back of last year's movie celebrating the unofficial anthem of our nation. But the iconic group are now seeking the public's help to raise money for urgent repairs to their rundown base in the Taranaki town.

Famous in New Zealand for hit single Poi E, Patea Maori Club are now dabbling in garage sales, Givealittle and variety concerts to raise funds to repaint, recarpet and replace parts of their hall, so it will continue to serve the group for years to come.

"[The hall] contributes to the survival of Poi E," said club trustee and tutor Janine Maruera.

But why is a group, who performed the number-one hit and starred in a documentary about its history, which reached the $1 million mark at the NZ box office just weeks after it was released last year, having to put their hand out for money?

Club secretary Sue Turahui confirmed that while money made from the movie will go towards the renovations, the club does not make as much dosh as one may think.

Royalties from the song are split three ways, between the co-composers Ngoi Pewhairangi and Dalvanius Prime's families and the Patea Maori Club, which the group use to pay the hall expenses.


Since its establishment in 1991, the hall on State Highway 3 in Patea, has been used as a place of learning, hospitality, preserving culture and heritage, and as an essential base for the wider community.

"It's where we teach kids and new members the songs. That space for us is really important," said Maruera.

"[These renovations] will mean we will be able to continue our performing.

"It's available to the community too. It's used for other meetings, not necessarily to do with the club, it's used for birthdays, fundraising events and all sorts of things.

"So it's another resource not just for the club but the community too, which we are all about because the community supported us when the song first came out."

The refurbishment will star on Three series Marae DIY, and although the hall isn't a traditional marae, Maruera said its importance in Patea is one and the same.

Participants in the show are required to seek funds, sponsorship and other resources to help make their DIY dreams a reality.

The club has raised $15,000 so far, about $10,000 short of their fundraising goal.

"The more we raise, the more that can be done to the building," said Maruera.

The public have also been given a chance to be part of the group's history by having their name put up on the wall of the renovated hall, in return for a $100 donation.

The renovations are set to take place from May 4 to 7.

Donations can be made here.