Playcentre hangi draws big crowd
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.