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Our proud history of building marae

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa was built on toi and our commitment to the arts continues with our broadcast sponsorship of Marae DIY.

Now in its third year, the sponsorship of the popular television programme is an excellent way for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to connect at a grass-roots level in a meaningful way and continues our long history of working for the benefit of communities throughout Aotearoa.

Kaiārahi - Toi (Whakairo) Kereti Rautangata says in the early days, whakairo and raranga played important roles in helping Te Wānanga o Aotearoa survive.

Whakairo kaimahi would carve wharenui for marae, which would bring in income for the organisation to survive.

“This is a tertiary institution which was literally carved out,” he says.

“We’d finish one house and straight away move onto the next house. Sometimes there were four houses under construction at one time. I remember seeing row upon row of pou pou.”

He estimates more than 100 wharenui were crafted by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, along with countless waka, mahau and other projects, all of which contributed to the bottom line of the organisation.

Kaiārahi - (Raranga) Gloria Taituha says working with marae and communities has always been a key part of the organisation.

“We recruited on the basis of how they would help their own communities,” she says.

The sought-after Maunga Kura Toi degree had the Raranga strand accredited by NZQA specifically because there was - and still is - a clear intent to contribute to whānau, marae, iwi and the wider communities of Raranga/whatu muka.

So while tauira learned about things such as korowai they were also required to complete a marae project.

She says the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa sponsorship of Marae DIY is “nothing new” as toi whānau have always worked with marae and communities throughout Aotearoa.

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