My contribution to the life and work of the Tapu Te Ranga Marae has been hugely enriching for me. To simply be in your Marae is to feel excited about potentials for the way the world might be, and if not the world, then maybe New Zealand. Not only have you created and built an environment that retains a dynamic tension between Maori tradition and the modern, you have made a clear statement of value through the building materials you have chosen to use. The Marae has a soul, so to speak, and it resonates through every intricate detail that you have crafted.

I particularly like the way that the building flows, tumbling down the hillside in its own organic way. I always like to drive my volunteers in from above, pointing to the top Victorian house announcing, we have arrived. Most have their breath taken away from them when they see the Marae from just around the corner. Its hard to believe something so indigenous could come from something so foreign, so awkwardly British, one volunteer once said to me.

Ive worked with the volunteers in a number of nurseries but none can compare with the one at Tapu Te Ranga as a place to find inspiration in during our work. Its sheer beauty encourages your imagination, elevates your sense of being, heightens your sensitivity to the world around you. If anything, it demonstrates that there are better ways of living. And this simple act of inspiration is worth everything.

Robert Ashe
Formerly of Global Volunteers Network

For more information on volunteer programs at Tapu Te Ranga please contact us .