Tourists get taste of New Zealand life

South Waikato News - - Your Local News - LUKE KIRKEBY

There were a few ex­cited wows from Cargill Open Plan School stu­dents when a group of Malaysian tourists stopped in re­cently.

The group of eight tourists had been stay­ing with school re­cep­tion­ist Nancy Flavall as part of the on­line mo­torhome OK To Stay ini­tia­tive.

‘‘OK To Stay is for peo­ple ei­ther ar­riv­ing in the coun­try or plan­ning their hol­i­days with mo­torhomes who need a safe place to park overnight,’’ Flavall said.

‘‘They park up out­side your house and usu­ally we wel­come them in­side for an evening for a cof­fee and chat.’’

‘‘I’ve been in­volved for close to 11 years now. There is no cost in­volved, it’s just a service we pro­vide free of charge,’’ she said.

She said the Malaysian tourists were keen to learn about New Zealand’s Maori cul­ture dur­ing their three-week tour of the North Is­land.

And with the school’s stu­dents also learn­ing about cel­e­bra­tions in other coun­tries she de­cided it would be ideal to in­vite them into the school with a spe­cial wa­iata and haka.

‘‘We talked last night about Maori cul­ture, hence the rea­son we have wel­comed them into the school to­day and the mid­dle school are also learn­ing about the Chi­nese Lantern Fes­ti­val and have lovely hand­made lanterns on dis­play in the school foyer,’’ she said.

The group’s spokesman Mak

‘‘They park up out­side your house and usu­ally we wel­come them in­side.’’ Nancy Flavall

Kah Kein firstly thanked the stu­dents in his na­tive lan­guage Can­tonese and then in English be­fore shar­ing a bit about his home coun­try.

‘‘We are from Kuala Lumpur which is the cap­i­tal city of Malaysia, 12 hours away from New Zealand,’’ he told the awe in­spired stu­dents.

‘‘Malaysia, be­ing in South­east Asia, is a very dif­fer­ent coun­try com­pared to New Zealand and we are hot all year around. We don’t have the four sea­sons, we do get quite a lot of rain but the whole year we are in shorts and t-shirts.’’

The tourists also sung their na­tional an­them, ex­pe­ri­enced a hongi, and con­versed with the school’s Chi­nese speak­ing stu­dents.

Flavall said there was al­ways some­one in­ter­est­ing com­ing to stay thanks to the ini­tia­tive.

‘‘It is a great idea,’’ she said.


A group of Malaysian tourists visit Toko­roa’s Cargill Open Plan School.

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