Hundreds of whanau affiliated to Apumoana Marae will this week roll up their sleeves and pitch in to transform the marae as part of a long-running DIY television show.

The marae will feature on TV3's Marae DIY after winning a bid to have a major renovation.
Filming for the show starts on Thursday morning and the finished product will be revealed on Sunday afternoon.

Marae co-ordinator Heidi Symon said it was hoped about 100 people would go to the marae each day to help out.

She said the whanau of the marae were thrilled to be selected because the marae would be celebrating its 100th birthday in May.


The marae, on Tarawera Rd at Lynmore, is different from other marae as it 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.

Apumoana Marae. Photograph by Stephen Parker.
Apumoana Marae. Photograph by Stephen Parker.

She said the $20,000 Rotorua Lakes Council funding was from the Community Neighbourhood Matching Fund and would pay for two new heat pumps for the whare, fruit trees and herbs, building disability access ramps to the marae and contributing towards kai (food) during the four days of work, among other things.

Ms Symon said she was hoping for good weather.

"Scion and the Department of Conservation have been really great and helping us with the gardening and landscaping. They even helped identify plants we didn't realise were noxious weeds."

She said another big contributor was Kepa Winiata from Interior Designs, who would put up a suspended ceiling in the wharekai.

Show producer Nix Jacques said the marae put in an application and was selected on the grounds they wanted to reconnect their whanau.

"Their leading statement was that they wanted to bring whanau home and reconnect to the marae. For us that is gold because that has always been the kaupapa of the show. It's not about a quick renovation, although that's important, it's more about the people."

The show started 13 years ago and is in its 12th season - making it the longest running locally produced DIY show.


The show switched from Maori Television to TV3 last year and is now produced by Screen Time New Zealand. Given the show originally started in Rotorua by Hula Haka Productions, there were lots of local marae that featured, Ms Jaques said.

Apumoana Marae will be the first to undergo a makeover in Rotorua since 2007.

While those descended from the marae pitch in and do the renovations, kuia will be whisked away and pampered, including having their hair and nails done, she said.

The show had been lucky to have the support of businesses that donated their time and services to the show. These included New Zealand Steel, Colour Steel, Resene, Greenstuf insulation and Laminex Group.

Meanwhile, Ms Symon said everyone was really excited to see the finished product.

"We are hoping it will breathe new life into the marae and it's just about connecting with the marae again."


She said another gathering hoped to be held around May 30 to officially celebrate the marae's 100th birthday - an occasion to look forward to in their new-look marae.

Marae makeover funding
$25,000 from Rotorua Energy Charity Trust
$10,000 from First Sovereign
$10,000 from Te Arawa Fisheries
$10,000 from NZCT
$20,000 from Rotorua Lakes Council