In the early 1970s, Bruce Stewart began his dream project: a marae in the Wellington suburb of Island Bay. The complex grew into an iconic 10-storey high wharenui, built with the help of many hands. Decades later, the unique marae complex got the Marae DIY treatment. A large team of helpers arrived to do over the driveway entrance, spruce up the general area and refit a bathroom. Stewart, who died in June 2017, was known for helping people in need, teaching them how to build and providing accommodation. Sadly the main meeting house was destroyed by fire in early June 2019, after this episode was filmed.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Growing up here you meet a lot of different people, some quite weird, some you don’t know are weird, and some who seem weird but aren’t weird.– Hirini Sannyasi, son of Bruce Stewart, who grew up at Tapu Te Ranga marae
Made with funding from Te Māngai Pāho