Kia Orana. During the second week of the school holidays and first week of term three, sixteen Te Reo Māori and whānau ako class students jetted off to Rarotonga, along with Mrs Peawini and Whaea Adrienne.
The purpose of this trip was to learn about the culture and language of the Cook Islands, which is very similar to New Zealand Māori.
During our visit, we stayed at Aotearoa marae, went to church on Sunday, and visited some museums where we learnt about sustainability in the Cook Islands and the wider Pacific. We also learnt more about the history and culture of the Islands. We were lucky enough to visit the historical site where it is said that voyagers set off for Aoteroa on seven waka and were welcomed to a local church service.
We had many experiences on our trip, for example we went on a lagoon cruise, walked to a waterfall, visited markets, watched cultural practices for Te Maeva Nui, walked through the Te Maire Nui botanical gardens, attended the Te Vara Nui cultural show, paddle boarded, kayaked, went snorkelling and spent some time relaxing and swimming at the beach.
We learnt words and phrases in Cook Island Māori that were very similar to our own Māori. For example “pe’ea koe” means ‘how are you?” and we were all very well versed in saying thankyou or “Meitaki Maata” by the end of the trip.
The experience was very worthwhile for all of the girls who went, with memories made that will last a lifetime.