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