by Marg Crosby, Pūkenga Manāki mō ngā Koroua me ngā Kuia (Navigator - Elderly)
On Tuesday 11th December 2018, 55 Koroua and Kuia from Wairau & Waikawa boarded a bus at Seymour Square and traveled to Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura for the Koroua/Kuia Kirihimete (Christmas) Lunch.
First, we called in to Ward School, previously organised with the principal, Carey Huria and we provided a big morning tea to include the 43 children & staff at Ward School. We demonstrated some Noho Pakari exercises & the children joined in, plus they entertained us with some kapa haka items. One of our kuia, Val Hale was an old pupil of the school which added a lot of interest as she is now 83 years old.
Karen Starkey met us at Clarence Bridge & gave us a great commentary of the area to Takahanga. At Takahanga we assembled at the impressive waharoa waiting for the karanga of the haukainga to begin the pōwhiri. Bev Maata-Hart, Erana Maxwell & Raria Poko were our kaikaranga and Bill Thomas represented us as the kaikōrero.
This was followed by a delicious hākari. Following our kai & thanking the ringawera profusely, we performed some Noho Pakari exercises & the Kaikoura rōpū joined in too. There was full volume with the waiata & lots of laughter.
After leaving Takahanga we went to South Bay & Karen continued her commentary of the history, stories & all the updated information after the earthquake. Karen got off at Clarence & we sang waiata all the way home arriving back at Seymour Square at 6pm.
Brenda travelled through to Picton in the van & picked up & dropped off a number of the rōpū. It was good having the van with us on the trip for any emergency. Ala was also a TPO staff member on the trip. All in all-a wonderful day was had by all.
The bonding involved from this type of outing was very obvious to see and reflected in the comments of the kaumātua. They were all very grateful for the experience and are looking forward to another year together.
Subsequently, the feedback from Takahanga was very positive and they would now like to bring a van through to either Wairau or Waikawa to learn how to teach their kaumātua Noho Pakari. Occasionally, a number of kaumātua will travel to Blenheim to join in.
Te Piki Oranga staff who were engaged in this memorable and enjoyable event were Ala Ward, Brenda Chilvers and Margy Crosby.