Doll­houses built in marae style

The Southland Times - - NEWS - KYMBERLEE FERNANDES

Stu­dents of Ma­nurewa High are get­ting cre­ative with their busi­ness ideas for this year’s Young En­ter­prise Scheme com­pe­ti­tion in Auck­land.

Dakota Moreau, Kayle Poinga, Car­los Tuala, Keith Fata and Korinito Seuala wanted to ed­u­cate the next gen­er­a­tion about their tra­di­tions ‘‘not only Maori but also other cul­tures’’.

So the year 13 pupils came up with an idea of a marae-style doll­house. Their com­pany is called Ne­sian Cus­toms.

‘‘Kids like to play with doll­houses so we in­cor­po­rated our tra­di­tional side and turned them into maraes,’’ Kayle said.

‘‘We want to teach the younger gen­er­a­tions our tra­di­tions and cus­toms.

‘‘Our gen­er­a­tion is slowly los­ing its iden­tity and, hope­fully, we can solve that with this.’’

Car­los said he en­joyed sto­ry­telling and the myths and leg­ends that were part of his cul­ture.

He works on the en­gi­neer­ing and mea­sure­ments, and it takes about two weeks to com­plete a house.

Through this doll­house, they aim to pass on the tales of old and also in­form chil­dren what a marae is and what is the ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour when in­side one.

The marae doll­house comes with four Maori whanau dolls. But they are also avail­able sep­a­rately.

The boys tri­alled the doll­house it at a lo­cal day­care and said it was well re­ceived.

‘‘Our tar­get mar­ket is child day­cares, ko­hanga, or Maori kinder­gartens, and young par­ents,’’ Keith said.

They are yet to de­cide on a selling price but say it will re­tail at about $200.

The na­tional win­ner of the Lion Foun­da­tion Young En­ter­prise Scheme stands to win $25,000.

There are also re­gional awards, cash prizes and ter­tiary schol­ar­ships.

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