Orakei Marae, Auckland

One of the highlights for year 5 Ponsonby Primary students is an overnight stay at the Orakei Marae across town.

It isn't often that the opportunity comes up to stay in any marae let alone one with such a hard fought history, so I gladly agreed to help out with my daughters class (and with any luck squeeze a few sketches in).

There weren't that many opportunities to be honest, between the traditional powhiri, hearding children, enjoying their singing, skits on Maori myths, helping with meals, activities, clean-up and of course chaotic communal sleeping with over 85 students and parent helpers!

Here are a few quick sketches. The Whare Tupuna...

Detail of the gable end (left), Tekoteko/figurehead at top of gable (right)...

Almost lights out, actually the kids were pretty well behaved, and lay in the dark quietly listening to a hilarious story read by headmistress Anne Malcolm...

I think all of the children really enjoyed themselves and learned a huge amount (I'm always astounded by how much they take on and do really well anyway). I honestly feel privileged to have had the opportunity to experience the marae up close too.


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