2 Mar 2012

Blenheim marae project helping to reconnect iwi - manager

6:28 am on 2 March 2012

The manager of Omaka marae in Blenheim says a marae DIY project is helping to reconnect descendants with their marae and has generated huge community support beyond the complex.

The marae has been selected for the Maori Television series Marae DIY.

Kiley Nepia says the marae was built 25 years ago and now needs some attention to preserve it for future generations.

He says there will be 60 core people from the marae on site during the project but around 200 more volunteers are needed.

Mr Nepia says since he put out the call to get more assistance the response has been overwhelming.

He says he's had builders ring him who know nothing about the marae, as well as organisations and businesses wanting to sponsor the event.

Mr Nepia says it has formed new links with people in Marlborough including iwi members wanting to come back and reconnect with their marae roots.

The project will take place over four days from 29 March.