11 Apr 2012

Marae DIY project strenghtens local links

7:02 pm on 11 April 2012

The manager of a Blenheim marae says a major restoration project has resulted in local businesses, including Marlborough wineries, engaging with the marae.

Omaka marae, which was built in 1987, has just had a makeover and was part of the Marae DIY programme on Maori Television.

Kiley Nepia says iwi members had been talking about ways of developing an income stream for the marae.

He says the DIY project provided an opportunity for local wineries to realise the advantages of forming an association with Omaka

Mr Nepia says the marae has been able to establish relationships with a number of wineries in the region.

He says representatives from some wineries who helped with the restoration project saw Omaka's tourism potential, and how they could use the marae to promote their products.

Kiley Nepia says the work on the wharenui or meeting house, the kitchen and the grounds has brought a new lease of life to Omaka marae and the benefits are starting to show.