Seven years in the making, this stunning kindergarten mural was well worth the wait...
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It was a real collaborative team effort over these past years to turn Kidsfirst Hokitika’s mural vision into a reality, with many tamariki (both past and present), teachers and parents involved along the way.
Local West Coast surroundings of mountains, rivers, lakes and beaches are depicted in the mural, framed by a tekoteko (carved figure) atop the welcoming arms of the wharenui (meeting house).
On one side of the artwork the seven star cluster of Matariki is set brightly to the night sky, with fiery rā (the sun) on the other.
“We decided to hold the blessing for our wonderful mural during Matariki/Puanga celebration time,” says Teacher, Annette Copping.
The official ceremony saw the kindergarten welcome visitors from local schools, REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme) and other early learning centres.
Tamariki sang waiata that they learned especially for this occasion, showing manaakitanga to the community and respect for Māori beliefs, language and culture.
Little pieces of foliage gathered from the kindergarten grounds were placed on the mural by tamariki to enhance the painted ngahere (forest) where native birds flit and fly.
Following the blessing the kindergarten provided kai for the manuhiri (guests) - hearty pumpkin soup and delectable cheese rolls.
“We are very PROUD to have finally achieved this vision and fabulous interactive learning resource to enhance learning opportunities for children,” says Head Teacher, Ceridwyn Dimmick.
Kidsfirst Hokitika Teacher Hilke Bruns blessed the kindergarten's mural with the reading of two appropriate whakatauki (maori proverb).
- Ehara taku toa I te toa takitahi
Engari, he toa takitini
- Success is not the work of one, but the work of many.
- Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei
- For us and our children after us.
KIDSFIRST KINDERGARTENS ARE A NOT FOR PROFIT ASSOCIATION THAT HAS DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINED KINDERGARTENS IN CHRISTCHURCH, CANTERBURY AND ON THE WEST COAST FOR OVER 100 YEARS - AS THE PLACE LOCAL KIDS COME TO LEARN, PLAY AND HAVE FUN.