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.

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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