Rotorua Weekender

Eastside schools celebrate

It’s been a mission but all systems are go to bring the hapori together

- Roimata Mihinui Kāhu ki Rotorua

Covid restrictio­ns and renovation­s at the Sir Howard Morrison Centre have made organising the Primary School Ahurei Kapahaka Festival a challenge.

The ones missing out would have been the tamariki so kaiako from the Kahui Ako Schools — Owhata, Lynmore, Rotokawa and Mokoia decided that was not good enough..

So, on December 6, at Lynmore School, the Kahui Ako Schools will have their own ahurei to celebrate and showcase kapahaka.

This is the ideal way to bring our community together and share in the brilliance that is our tamariki, the organisers have declared.

The organising committee opted not to wait on the Ahurei organisati­on but instead went ahead with the campaign in a planned and purposeful manner, also giving our whānau and community plenty of time to prepare for this event.

Matua Taimona Panapa (Mokoia) has formally named this event Te Hiwi o Toroa and the whakapapa behind this ingoa (name) links to our whenua (land) in which our various kura sit, and holds prominence to Mokoia Island, Lake Rotorua and the rich history of these areas in relation to our kura.

The Te Hiwi o Toroa committee — Callie Raureti, Christina Roberts, Hinei Taute, Kimberlee Fields and Stevee Raureti — are really excited to hold this celebratio­n as a Kāhui Ako and would like to invite the wider community who support our tamariki and community to come along.

It will be a relaxed ‘vibe’ and hopefully the weather will permit an outdoor ‘ picnic style’ celebratio­n.

However, if the weather gods decide not to co-operate there is a contingenc­y plan.

The committee would like to extend a huge mihi to Lynmore School for offering their kura as venue.

The people of Uenukukopa­ko tell the story of their handsome eponymous ancestor who had three wives.

Two were daughters of Tamakauwha­ta, a leader who lived on Pukeroa; his third wife Taoitekura was from Hauraki.

They lived on Mokoia and the wives squabbled about who was the senior wife.

No matter the solution, every attempt to try and soothe his wives would eventually fail.

It seemed the small family was constantly embroiled in a heated discussion that led to full arguments.

Then, one day as the chief and his wives were out collecting the freshwater crayfish from the lakebed, Uenukukopa­ko came up with the solution to end the arguments.

Whoever made the longest dive would be the senior wife.

Taoitekura favoured wearing the plume of the Toroa (albatross) and dropped it by Uenukukopa­ko as she dived.

In Lake Rotorua, between the southern shores and Mokoia Island, the lake shallows a bit and there is a long sandbank called Te Hiwi o Toroa or the Soul of the Albatross.

It was a favoured spot for catching freshwater crayfish and kakahi.

 ?? ?? Te Hiwi o Toroa is the name of the ahurei for the Kahui Ako schools — Owhata, Lynmore, Rotokawa and Mokoia. Mark December 6 in your calendar.
Te Hiwi o Toroa is the name of the ahurei for the Kahui Ako schools — Owhata, Lynmore, Rotokawa and Mokoia. Mark December 6 in your calendar.
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