Marae gets a free coat

By Tema Hemi

Manurewa marae will receive free renovations as part of an initiative from a private tertiary education and training group. 

Aspire2Trade are aiming to provide students with hands-on experience and an appreciation for Māori culture. 

The official welcoming for the trades painting and decorating students from Aspire2trade was held at Manurewa Marae today.

Making a difference in the community is a priority for the students.

Course tutor, Tamati Wikaira says, "I think at the end of the day the goal is that the students get the real life experience and also we benefit the community.  So whoever has a community project out there, if you want us we're willing to come and do the work".

They have quite the mix in their group but ethnicity or age has never been a problem.  Wikaira says, "They come from all over New Zealand and we've got different races here.  The thing is, we've got the younger generation, our youngest student is seventeen and the oldest student we've had through the course is eighty".

Most of the students have never visited a marae so the opportunity to work on one has brought about mixed emotions amongst the crew.

Filipino student Marvin Ampoloquio says, "Yeah, it's good, it's a good experience.  We get to see different marae and meet new people, learn new things". 

Course student Jenny Maihia says, "It's tough.  It's pretty new to me and people here but then it's a learning experience instead of staying in class and learning and getting bored. You're actually going out and doing something productive".

The students have completed two stages of their exterior work at Papakura Marae and they hope to complete the rest by early next year.

Painting of the interior of the whare kai at Manurewa Marae will commence this Wednesday and will take until the end of this year to complete.