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 $100 million from the Provincial Growth Fund and create 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.
Work at many of the marae is well under way.
Rotoiti 15 Trust was allocated $2.98m to upgrade 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 $2.9m.
The marae renovations include improvements to ablution blocks, roofing, ceilings, kitchen facilities, landscaping, and upgrading electrical systems and paintwork.
"The focus is on safety and the hygiene of the buildings. Of course there is an element of beautification as well," Hancock told the Rotorua Daily Post.
The real value of the programme Hancock said, could not be measured in buckets of paint.
From February, Rotoiti 15 Trust employed 15 ahika (local) whānau to deliver the marae works, many of who were previously unemployed.
"We collaborated with MSD [the Ministry of Social Development] to fund a custom-designed pastoral care programme [run by Te Rua Mauri] drawing upon our mātauranga as Māori to support our work," Hancock said.
"We have collaborated with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao, Hinekauorohia and others to access CV and career development, counselling. [We did] anything we could to ensure our team had everything they needed to transition into mahi."
Hancock said those working on the renovations had 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 and it is an honour to have the opportunity to do so.
"[They] are not only renovating their marae, they are getting to know their marae better. This means that with every marae, they learn more about who they are and where they stand in the world."
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.