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 Ria Hall

Marae DIY presenter and artist Ria Hall is delighted that the favourite marae makeover show will be broadcast to a wider audience on TV3 in June.

Ria and founding co-host Te Ori Paki have recently spent four days in the isolated community of Rangitukia on the East Coast filming the makeover of Ohinewaiapu Marae. 

It’s one of seven marae that is being renovated as part of series 12 of the programme that will broadcast on TV3 for the first time this year and later on Māori Television. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is the principal television broadcast sponsor of the programme.

“I’m just really blessed to be on this particular kaupapa because it sits so beautifully well with me and what I’m trying to achieve with my musical career,” says Ria. 

She says presenting the programme for a third season is the perfect role for her as it balances her ambition to take the Māori language and culture to a wider audience through her music and television.

“I think it’s timely for the rest of New Zealand to see how the other half lives, the other half being Māori, how we roll in our communities, our hapu and just seeing the beauty of the culture in action on the marae with something like a DIY,” Ria says.

“It brings the people back to the marae. It brings the wider community in to be involved with the kaupapa so not just local Māori but other organisations whether it be local builders and local contractors. That’s what makes it unique and special it’s not just about us as Māori, it's about the entire community and that community now includes the rest of Aotearoa on TV3.”

Ria who has ties to Ngāti Rangi and Ngāti Ranginui in Tauranga has felt at home in the Waiapu Valley, which is just over the hill from where her grandmother was raised in Hicks Bay.

“My grandmother was born and bred in Wharekahika, Hicks Bay, Te Whānau a Tuwhakairiroa so not too far from Rangitukia but it's the people they are wonderful here, they’re pukumahi and go hard – I’ve enjoyed being with Te Whānau-a-Takimoana.”

She has thoroughly enjoyed being amongst the rich Māori language community of Rangitukia.

“Coming from Tauranga Moana you can here the dialectal differences and those nuances that I find it very beautiful.”


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Article By: Te Anga Nathan



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