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Sandy Adsett

Nearly forty years ago Sandy Adsett and a host of other volunteers banded together to work on the interior of the whārenui of Te Rauhina Marae in Wairoa.

This year, he was back, not to inspect his handiwork from years gone by, but to once again put himself to work as the marae underwent a makeover courtesy of popular television show Marae DIY.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is into its third year as broadcast sponsor of the show and at each of the marae which receive upgrades, toi whānau and others from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa pitch in to get the job done and help create unique art projects for each marae.

Sandy says returning to Te Rauhina allowed him to catch up with some of the same volunteers he worked with decades ago.

“Many are now in their 50s and 60s,” he says.

“And there was real value in being able to reconnect.”

He says they worked with the marae before the makeover got underway to ensure what was planned fitted with the kaupapa of the marae.

“We paid a visit beforehand, got the measurements we needed and worked through concepts. We had to ensure with the marae itself that we respected their kaupapa.”

He says other issues, such as ensuring the work is completed during the four-day project and making sure the marae is not left to cover any unforeseen costs, are equally important.

“We can’t leave it unfinished and our koha must cover what we are offering,” he says.

He says that was achieved at Te Rauhina and the outcome – which will be revealed on Three later this year – was a good one.

“It was a real positive outcome and a learning one for the whānau.”

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