Play­cen­tre hangi draws big crowd

Kapi-Mana News - - COMMUNITY - By KRIS DANDO

Ti­tahi Bay Play­cen­tre hosted their an­nual hangi on May 21, with more than 150 at­ten­dees en­joy­ing a well-cooked meal, a kapa haka per­for­mance, and play­time in the dark.

The play­cen­tre – in the grounds of Ti­tahi Bay School – was a hive of ac­tiv­ity from 8.30am that day, with vol­un­teers pre­par­ing food, said play­cen­tre mem­ber Rachel Grif­fiths.

The most-an­tic­i­pated event was the fire be­ing lit, be­fore the food was packed into bas­kets lined with cab­bage leaves, stacked into the hole and then cov­ered with sacks and dirt.

‘‘The chil­dren were in­trigued by the idea of their din­ner be­ing cooked in the dirt,’’ Ms Grif­fiths said.

While chil­dren oc­cu­pied them­selves dur­ing the day on the bouncy cas­tle and the school’s fort, the adults made poi, did gar­den­ing, art­work and bak­ing.

Af­ter the hangi was dug up, the food was taken to the school hall, where ev­ery­one sat down for a karakia be­fore tuck­ing in.

A kapa haka group per­formed af­ter din­ner and then older chil­dren en­joyed play­ing out­side in the dark. Ice­creams were dished out while the tidy­ing up be­gan in earnest.

‘‘ It was a real com­mu­nity event,’’ Ms Grif­fiths said.

‘‘Ex-play­cen­tre fam­i­lies were in­vited, also fam­i­lies from Pare­mata Play­cen­tre so they could learn how to hold their own hangi. [We had] the prin­ci­pal and teach­ers from Ti­tahi Bay School there to strengthen our links with our lo­cal com­mu­nity.’’

Happy days: Chil­dren from Ti­tahi Bay School and the lo­cal play­cen­tre play to­gether dur­ing the an­nual hangi, a day where mem­bers of the lo­cal com­mu­nity come to­gether.

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