Parihaka marae opens its arms to toddlers

Family day out

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 22/07/2014
Parihaka
DEENA COSTER/Fairfax NZ
CELEBRATION: Parihaka's Maata Wharehoka welcome the visitors, while Rahotu's Kourtney Mullan, 2, looks on.

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Exposing children to the Maori culture at a young age is part of the kaupapa behind a special day out for families at Parihaka yesterday.

To mark the beginning of Maori Language Week, Puriri W'akamaru o Taranaki invited close to 120 children, parents and staff to the historical place for a day of waiata, activities and kai.

Puriri W'akamaru o Taranaki is a roopu within the Taranaki Playcentre Association.

Kaiwhakahaere Char Martin said the annual event was open to anyone from the 17 playcentres around Taranaki to attend and had been held on different marae in recent years, both in north and south Taranaki.

"We try and move it so everyone gets that opportunity to experience the kaupapa and tikanga of Maori," she said.

She said the experience allowed the visitors to become more knowledgeable about what happens on marae and provided them with a chance to ask questions about some of the protocol observed there.

For Rahotu mum Jess Mullan, yesterday's trip to Parihaka was her fourth. Accompanied by her two-year-old daughter Kourtney, Mullan said she had enjoyed the experience every time.

A Te Ataarangi workshop at Puke Ariki Library was also held yesterday and will be repeated tomorrow and Friday from 12-1pm. Also, anyone with a sweet tooth can earn he ika tiakarete (a chocolate fish) this week by ordering their beverage of choice in Maori at the Daily News Cafe.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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