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Paddling the Waka at Okains Bay

Ōnuku Marae Trip

Samantha Mason, Beetle MacRae —

This camp was made possible by the generous grant received from Four Winds Foundation.

We would also like to thank Okains Bay Museum in conjunction with Ngai Tahu for the unique waka experience, a once in the life time opportunity. Special thanks to waka captains Brian, Hohepa & Kerepeti for giving up their time to run the activities and share the tikanga knowledge of the waka Kōtukumairangi. Also to Adrian and Michelle Broadman, Ngaio Tuari and Louise Blakemore for facilitating the tikanga workshops at the Marae on Thursday. We are also very appreciative of Mr England coming over for the day on Wednesday and for Andrea Jacobs giving up her time to drive the second bus to Onuku - what a very versatile parent helper. Finally big ngā mihi to Mr Jackson, Mr Quinn, Mrs Lee, Ms Blakemore and Mr Dickens for being great surrogate camp parents and all the hard work making the camp come together. It was a great time had by all.
Ngā mihi, Anna Lee TIC Social Studies

Students perspectives from each of the camps.

Between the second and fourth of November, two groups of Year 10 students stayed at Ōnuku Marae to learn about the historical significance of the location and to learn more about the Māori culture. We did all sorts of activities there, including a waka ride at Okains Bay, flax weaving and Taiaha. While we were there, the weather was very sunny so we all swam at the beach. Overall, I enjoyed my stay at Ōnuku Marae and I recommend this trip for anyone that gets the opportunity to attend it.

Samantha Mason 10AL

My dad drove me to school and I went to the turf. We then went onto the bus at around 9:00. We drove to Ōnuku Marae, stopping for a toilet break at Little River. We were not allowed to enter the grounds of Ōnuku Marae by the people there, until a lady came out and started singing. We slowly made our way up the small hill to the Marae, with the girls at the front and boys at the back, so they knew we came in peace. Then we did greeting songs and they did Mihi's. We did Hongi’s with the main people, and then we went to have some kai. 

 After that we went swimming in the chilly water. Then we said bye to the first group and sang a song. Then we did activities, where there were two rotations. One of them was where we were learning how to fight with a stick and defend with it. It was fun but my shoulders were worn out. The second one was weaving, and we learned how to make cool flowers out of flax, as well as bracelets! 

Then we went swimming again and then had a scrumptious dinner and dessert. We then split into our classes, one doing dishes and the other doing mattress setup in the big Marae. Then we played spotlight, before going to bed. We were told some stories about the carved warriors and ladies on the sides of the Marae, and then went to sleep, with a couple disturbances.

We got up the next morning and ate breakfast. We then switched classes on dishes and mattress pack up. After that we packed our bags and sang a song for farewell. Then we got on the bus and went down the road to talk about the history of the harbour. Then we walked down to the shoreline and talked some more about history. Then we drove to Okains Bay and looked at things in the museum, but mainly played Croquet. Then we went across the road to the waka, and talked about how we were meant to paddle by waka captains. 

Then we went to the waka and it was hot. We got splashed in the waka and we were not in time. Everyone was super hot so some of us went swimming after the waka. We saw Mr Dickens pop a Manu. Then we sang a song as goodbye and left to go home. We arrived home and were happy.

Beetle MacRae