Kindy gets in­spi­ra­tion for a haka

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

The haka is all the rage at Pt Che­va­lier Kinder­garten, thanks to a pair of carv­ings.

The fig­ures are Tainui an­ces­tors, brothers Ruarangi and Ohomatakamokamo, carved by lo­cal mas­ter carver Tim Codyre.

“They are stun­ning, they bring spirit to the play­ground,” says head teacher Chris­tine Bai­ley.

They were made for the open­ing of the kinder­garten’s new play­ground last Fri­day.

Their arms have tog­gles on the back and can be raised to look like they are do­ing a haka, some­thing that has caught on among the chil­dren.

“The chil­dren love them, love play­ing with the tog­gles and get­ting them to haka.

“They’ve been do­ing a few haka around the play­ground,” says Ms Bai­ley.

She ap­proached Mr Codyre, whose two chil­dren at­tended the kindy, to ask if he would carve some­thing for the new play­ground.

“I thought it would be nice to do some­thing interactive,” he says.

“The kids like them, which is good. It gets them talk­ing about things Maori.”

Mr Codyre, a tra­di­tional carver for the past 20 years, de­cided to de­pict one of the leg­ends about Meola Reef be­ing formed.

He carved brothers Ruarangi and Ohomatakamokamo, who fought over Mt Al­bert, from golden to­tara.

“ Ohomat a k amok amo wanted Ruarangi’s pa site for him­self, so one evening he be­sieged it.”

Ruarangi es­caped to Meola Reef through caves and built a cause­way to the other side.

Ms Bai­ley says the com­mu­nity also loves the carv­ings, which were blessed by kau­matua John Komene at the play­ground’s open­ing.

Prime Min­is­ter He­len Clark also at­tended the event.

The play­ground is named af­ter bene­fac­tor He­len Bar­nett, a lo­cal wo­man who gifted money to the kinder­garten when she died.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Interactive an­ces­tor: Mas­ter carver Tim Codyre shows Matthew Thomas, 4, how to raise the arms of his carv­ing at Pt Che­va­lier Kinder­garten.

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