“Mai Maketu ki Tongariro”
On Thursday 17th October tamariki and staff from both CCQE Pukuatua and Pukaki were very fortunate to experience a visit to Paretehoata Marae, Ohinemutu.
This guided excursion was arranged by the Ministry of Education in conjunction with Te Taumata o Ngati Whakaue Iho Ake and was seen by staff here at CCQE to be the most perfect opportunity for our tamariki to engage with tangata whenua to learn about the local iwi and hapu of Ohinemutu, to gain an understanding of iwi tikanga and kawa and to hear about the many pūrākau of Te Arawa tangata.
With excitement in the air and an awesome Itinerary set for the day, it was brisk walk for tamariki and staff alike to get from Pukuatua Street to Paretehoata Marae on time and on the safest path possible.
We reached the waharoa/gateway of the Marae at 9:20am where we were met by our friends from CCQE Pukaki Street. With a quick hello to our friends it was time to get tamariki settled and ready for the karanga/call, which would welcome us safely onto the Marae.
Tamariki stood ready for the kai karanga and then she began to call, “haere mai ra …………” Tamariki walked as quite as mice onto the Marae atea, stood in front of the wharenui/meeting house to pay respects to those past and present iwi affiliates and then proceeded to take their hu/shoes and potae/hats off before entering the whare tupuna/ancestral house.
Whilst inside the wharenui we experienced the formalities of a traditional Maori welcome, where we experienced a very short but succinct whaikōrero /formal speech, hariru/handshake and hongi/pressing of noses with the tangata whenua/people of the land.
To ensure that the tapu was lifted from us all after these formalities we were treated to a yummy morning tea of pancakes and sausage rolls. YUM YUM.
With our guide Whaea Rangitiaria, we visited various places around Ohinemutu and listened to many pūrākau that are of great significance to the people of Ohinemutu and Te Arawa alike.
Tamariki were in awe of the grand house, Tamatekapua, the church of Saint Faiths, the glistening lake of Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatemomoe and the rising steam from the many nga puna/hot springs we saw along the way.
To complete this awesome day we were all treated to a delicious lunch and then a poroporoaki/farewell, where tamariki from both centres sang ‘one day a taniwha’ to the tangata whenua to show appreciation for their awesome manaakitanga.
The behaviour of tamariki throughout the duration of this haerenga/excursion was outstanding, so much so that tamariki were presented certificates in the following days. Ka Rawe Tamariki Ma.