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Te Atiawa Uri involved in Marae Renovations

In 2020 Te Atiawa Marae were successful in receiving Provincial Growth Funding to complete renovations. Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa, Marae, Te Puni Kōkiri and Clelands Construction collaborated to complete detailed applications in a short timeframe, leading to this successful outcome for all Te Atiawa marae.  

A major part of this funding is to create jobs and support local tradespeople and businesses. Clelands Construction is completing the majority of the renovations alongside local tradespeople. Within the Clelands team, there are a number of Te Atiawa uri who are thRilled to be working on their marae. This week we profile Clelands kaimahi and their experiences about working on this kaupapa. 

Whakatau for Kaimahi at Owae Marae
Name Hapū 
Toa MacDonald Pukerangiora, Ngati Rahiri, Puketapu 
and Ngāti Mutunga. 
Hoani Russell Manukorihi and Ngāti Tawhirikura. 
Jayden Pihama Otaraua. 
Rihari Tamati Puketapu. 

How long have you been working at Clelands? What is your role at Clelands? 

Toa MacDonald Since February 2016. Foreman. 
Hoani Russell Since November 2020. Site Manager. 
Jayden Pihama Since January 2021. Currently a Hammer Hand, working towards an Apprenticeship. 
Rihari Tamati Since August 2019. Apprentice Carpenter. 

What do you enjoy about your mahi? 

Toa MacDonald The thing I enjoy most about my mahi is that nothing is ever the same which can make things challenging but once overcome I get the feeling that I’ve accomplished something to the best of my ability. 
Hoani Russell The variety of work. No two days are the same in construction, I enjoy problem solving and bringing positivity to site. 
Jayden Pihama Building to me is a respectable and fulfilling line of work. I enjoy the challenge each project brings and overcoming them. 
Rihari Tamati Learning new skills, mahi tahi – teamwork and at Clelands makes it all that easier to learn. Also the people/staff here make it easy and enjoyable. 

Share some thoughts about working on the marae 

Toa MacDonald It’s an amazing opportunity for people to learn about my culture and the tikanga. It’s definitely a privilege to be working on the marae, being Maori I feel a connection with all the mahi I put into these jobs. 
Hoani Russell This work had allowed me to reconnect with my tūpuna, growing up in Wellington I didn’t spend much time on my Marae. To be able to give back to my people/iwi through my skill set as a builder and upgrade our whare for generations to come is something I’m most proud of. 
Jayden Pihama I take pride in being able to assist in the marae renovations. Having the opportunity to work on one of my own, makes it even more special. 
Rihari Tamati I feel very honoured to be working on the marae, learning more about my whakapapa, listening to the stories of the whenua and making connections in relationships with my environment and people.  Working on the marae has given me a spiritual purpose – every day feels like a good day when arriving on site. I can feel the wairua of my tupuna around this place. I was grateful enough to be given the opportunity by Clelands to be able to make my whanau, hapu and iwi proud, helping build at the marae was one of my lifetime goals – it’s a great feeling to be able to part of that legacy. It’s a real blessing knowing my parents, grandparents and even great grandparents grew up around this area and it’s something I can tell my grandchildren I was a part of in the future. 
Hoani Russell
Toa MacDonald
Rihari Tamati

What are your goals for the future? 

Toa MacDonald Continue my current role, keep learning new ways to better me as a foreman and to guide those that I work with to be the best that they can be. 
Hoani Russell Personally it will be learning more Te Reo Maori and bringing my tamariki up around their Marae and giving them the opportunity to learn and grow up in their kainga. Career wise it will be to lead more projects for Clelands construction. 
Jayden Pihama My goal is to become a LBP (licensed building practitioner). I would love to start my own little business doing either renovations or new builds somewhere down the line but there’s also thoughts of going back to study project management. 
Rihari Tamati Finish my apprenticeship, get my qualifications. Save money, travel and get married and have a family of my own. To be the best father I can be and to use my skills to further contribute to my whanau, hapu and Iwi. 

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