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Matariki Celebrated

Hunter Ririnui —

This year's Matariki week was particularly exciting as Aotearoa New Zealand celebrated our first official Matariki public holiday on 24 June. Matariki is a time to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan ahead for the future, so to celebrate the Māori New Year, the cultural committee planned various lunchtime activities during Week 8 to bring students together. These included Māori games (Poi Rākau) led by Whaea Te and Whaea Kiri, learning a waiata with Whaea Nia, and watching the movie, Whale Rider in the Hall with popcorn and lollies.

The Arts Prefects also joined in on the festivities with their own competition where they’d draw a Pūrākau (Māori legend/story) somewhere around the school each morning, and the first five people to locate and correctly guess the Pūrākau via the Google Form earnt chocolate prizes. All entries also went in the draw to win chocolate prizes.

Matariki week also featured TGC’s first in-person full school assembly for 2022 on Thursday, where our guest speaker, Whaea Mauria Togo, introduced our new school ngeri (chant) which she helped write along side Hemorere Heke-Ririnui our Deputy Head Prefect of Cultural Diversity. By having a school ngeri, this allows us to present our school identity and values within a short chant that can be performed at various events - to say ‘this is who we are and what we stand for’.

Whaea Mauria Togo discussed the meaning of the ngeri, which focuses on the greatness within one’s self that has been passed down from Papatūānuku the Earth mother and the wahine Atua (goddesses), Hineahuone - the first wahine, Hineteiwaiwa and Hinenuitepō. The ngeri also pays acknowledgement to the people of the land, the ‘great learnings’ and all that is handed down to us. Then at the end, the ngeri discusses how difficulties are a part of the journey, and that we must continue to rise up to the challenge and strive to achieve!

The ngeri was then performed by TGC’s tikanga group, led by Hemorere. The group did extremely well, and ended up being the highlight of the assembly.

Later on, at lunchtime, the TGC prefects played the TBC prefects in an intense game of Ki-O-Rahi. All players gave it their all and there was a huge turnout of students giving their support. The TBC prefects claimed victory against the TGC prefects, however, hopefully there will be more opportunities in the future where the TGC prefects can balance out the score.

Overall, Matariki week at TGC proved to be an exciting week, filled with opportunities to immerse oneself in cultural activities.