Students score a first
In a New Zealand first, one South Waikato primary school is constructing its own permanent ki o rahi field. Petrice Tarrant reports.
Jorja Bennetto’s imagination sparked the creation of New Zealand’s first ever permanent ki o rahi field at a primary school, here in South Waikato.
The traditional Maori sport was introduced to Putaruru Primary School two years ago by Raukawa Charitable Trust. Most lunchtimes or afternoons since, keen students spent close to 20 minutes setting up the field – but not anymore.
Student Jorja’s idea to build a permanent ki o rahi field transpired into a class project and teacher Fraser Quinn said it has been entirely driven by his 27 buzzing students.
‘‘ It is a truly authentic learning experience which has engaged our wider Maori community. It has also given our students a forever connection to the school in a Maori way.’’
The 8- 11 year olds made a presentation to the board of trustees to secure funding for the project, researched the sport’s history, sourced logs to create the seven poles on the field and approached carver Kyle Shadrock.
Quinn said the students contacted seven district marae including