Talented kids weave for pocket money
They may not live in a flash part of town and money may be scarce but Ponui and Putikaa Marsden-wilson are two Tokoroa kids going places.
For the past year the brother and sister, who are 12 and 10 respectively, have been earning their pocket money by weaving flax flowers and selling them for $2 each outside shops throughout the South Waikato, Matamata, Rotorua, and Taupo areas.
Thanks to their mother, who learnt how to weave at Te Puia in Rotorua, they have learnt how to weave flax roses, tulips, lilies, and koru, how to dye them various colours, and that they must follow Maori customs and say karakia before harvesting the flax they use.
‘‘When we are doing our selling we put our all into it because whenever we try and do something we set goals and aim to achieve them,’’ Ponui said.
Those goals include saving up for school trips, special occasions like buying costumes for Halloween, picture day, and other bits and pieces.
‘‘My goal right now is to get $25 to go on my school trip to Hamilton Zoo,’’ Ponui said with excitement beaming from his eyes.
‘‘That’s mine too,’’ Putikaa added ‘‘For my trip to Rainbow’s End.’’
Ponui, who goes to Tokoroa Intermediate, said often kids his age complain about not having enough money to buy the things they want and so they turn to crime. He knows however that’s not the right attitude to have.
‘‘The way I see it is why stay at home wanting stuff and then go to the shops and steal it when you can go out and make some of these and sell them,’’ he said.
‘‘Just get out of the house and try and do something that you can do and try do it so you can get a little bit of pocket money. Do the lawns, chores, or make some lemonade. My cousins did that not so long ago and made quite a bit of money for 50 cents a glass.’’
Putikaa, who goes to Tokoroa Central School, said people have been very encouraging of their efforts and they have lost count of how many flax flowers they have sold.
They thanked their mother for helping them learn and their customers for their support.