Te Aikarakihi Multi Cultural Centre visit by Sian Boase

Te Aikarakihi Multi Cultural Centre visit

On Thursday the 16th of August the Kapa Haka students and Rangatahi Committee went on a trip to the Te Aitarakihi Multi Cultural Centre for an overnight stay. For many of us it was the first time having an overnight stay at a marae. 

As soon as we arrived we knew we were in for a sleepless night with at least four known snorers sleeping in the same room with everyone else. We were welcomed with a pōwhiri as we entered the marae which was done by Mikayla Binney and Jade Duncan on our behalf. We then had speeches and a karakia. 

Ross Paniora, who works for Te Puni Kokiri regional office in Christchurch, spoke on our behalf also. This was very much appreciated. We then enjoyed some biscuits to finish the celebration. After this we had free time until Mr Hawkins had finished preparing tea (Pizza Hut). Tea was then followed by learning our mihi and learning about Māori culture. After supper we all settled into beds for the night and tried to get to sleep. Although the rustle of sleeping bags and whispering between each other was keeping some of us awake.

At 6.35am on Friday, we were all woken up by Mr Hawkins to get up and get ready for our day. After breakfast and tidying up all our gear the bus arrived to take us to the Theatre Royal to watch all the schools perform at the Flava Festival. This is an annual schools cultural festival that includes students from Primary and Secondary schools within the Arowhenua rohe (bordered by the Southern Alps and between the Waitaki & Rakaia rivers). We were treated to some amazing performances including one by Geraldine Primary School and were inspired to want to participate in the festival next year.

A very big thank you to Mr Hawkins and Miss Meyer for organising the trip and giving our students the opportunity to experience Māori culture.