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Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Monday, 8 July 2013

Celebrating the month of Matariki

Over the past month we have been celebrating the Māori new year, Matariki. Matariki has become an auspicious and important period of reflection and sharing on our Kindergarten's calendar.

This year Matariki began on the 10th of June. At Mairtown we always begin our month of celebrations with a shared breakfast. The Matariki breakfast is Donna's speciality, she arrives early in the morning to prepare a sumptuous feast for the children and families to partake from when they arrive at Kindergarten.

As always Donna put on a delicious spread including scrambled eggs, baked beans, muesli, porridge, toast and spreads. Haere ki te kai! Come and eat!

Sharing kai is an important quality of Tikanga Māori and our philosophy of manaakintanga/care at Kindergarten.

Matariki ahunga nui - Matariki provider of plentiful food

On June the 26th we further celebrated the month of matariki with our first ever 'Harvest Day'. The focus of Harvest Day was about sharing our abundance. Families/whānau were asked to bring in something from their homes that that could share with others.

We also provided a provocation for people to send a special message in with their contribution. Our vision was to nurture both the Tinana (body) and Wairua (spirit).

On our Harvest Day morning the children and families arrived with their gifts of abundance and skills. These gifts were laid out on a specially prepared table which turned into a visual feast, bursting with homemade baked goods, pickles, herbs, fresh fruits and veges. We were truly humbled by the offerings that our families had prepared for each other.

The harvest table was an exchange table. In return for gifting something you chose another item to take away. Throughout the morning the children visited the table to admire all the beautiful offerings and discuss what they might take home. Many stories were offered and shared. Oscar proudly told us about collecting his 6 fresh eggs whilst Lucas's citrus were their 'first pickings'.  James kindly shared the only chilli's from his plant and Cohen couldn't wait to eat one of the cookies he had made with his Mum!

The gifts were presented in baskets, bags, bundles and boxes, and along with the blessing of kai came messages for the heart.
"Always do your best...What you plant now you will harvest later"
"Something small, something sweet, just for you, a tasty treat"
"Kia ora mo nga hoa me nga kai i wwaenganui i a tatou - Thank you for the friends and the food we share"


The grand finale of our Matariki celebrations is our annual hangi and lantern parade. This is a highly anticipated and attended event.

As teachers, we love the shared energy that our families offer in the preparations leading up to the evening. This is a time of participation, collaboration and festivity.

There are lanterns to be made…

food to prepare...

and cook

and an evening of celebrating with friends old and new. Our matariki hangi and lantern parade is enjoyed by current attending families and those who have left. A highlight for us all is catching up with old friends.

Matariki is unique to our country and culture. During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth Papatūānuku.

Matariki signals growth. It’s a time of change. It’s a time to prepare, and a time of action.
During Matariki we acknowledge what we have and what we have to give.
Matariki celebrates the diversity of life.
It’s a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people.

This year’s hangi and evening have been captured beautifully on the following video created by Christine. Thank you to everyone who participated and shared in the bounty of the past months events.

Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora te manuhiri
With your food basket and my food basket, the guests will be fed.



Melissa said...

Kia ora, The video is awesome! What is the name of the waiata and who sings it? thank you

Mairtown Kindergarten said...

Morena Melissa,

Thank you for your comment. The song is called Matariki and is sung by Teina Moetara and Karina Blyth from the album Miharo-He Kohikohinga Waiata Maori.