A Rotorua marae has been given a new lease of life just weeks before its 100th birthday.

After days of hard work, the reveal of Apumoana Marae's makeover went off without a hitch thanks to whanau returning from far and wide to help out.

The marae won a bid to have a major renovation for TV3 show Marae DIY, and more than 100 people affiliated with the marae rolled up their sleeves to help out with the renovations each day this week.

Whanau were extra thrilled to be selected because the marae celebrates its 100th birthday next month. Marae co-ordinator Heidi Symon said there were at least 100 volunteers helping out each day.


"It's amazing. It's just a new beginning. Hopefully this has created new energy within the whanau," she said.

"Another amazing thing has been the army guys who came down from Linton Military Camp - they're all skilled plumbers and electricians and the likes of, it's been great having their help."

She said the new playground was probably her favourite thing about the reveal because the kids were going to love it.

"The best thing has been getting people coming back to the marae to help," she said.
Apumoana chairman Bob Te Aonui said he was "really overwhelmed".

"It's the beginning of something. Although the week has come to an end, the atmosphere is moving on to something new.

"The coming together of our families has been very humbling, that has been my favourite thing through this - having the families back together.

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"They have come from near and far, some from the south, even some from Australia."

Warrant officer Class 2 Carl Fairbairn from Linton Military Camp at Palmerston North said they had helped the show with renovations before.

"We have had a good understanding with the crew. We try to support them and their ways as we do these jobs," he said.

"It's a good opportunity for us to use our skills and to have a chance to experience deployment."

Corporal Ryan Walmsley, also from Linton, said he felt connected to this job because he was from Rotorua.

"I grew up in Rotorua and when this came up it was a good opportunity to give back to my community."

The marae, on Tarawera Rd at Lynmore, contains two wharenui (Apumoana o Te Ao Kohatu and Apumoana o Te Ao Hou) as well as a wharekai, Te Aowheoro, four kaumatua flats, a kokiri, office, committee room building and a workshop.