During Maori Language week, the Porirua Mums ‘n’ Tots and ESOL Literacy classes visited Porirua’s Pataka Museum.
The classes firstly checked out the exhibition about Migration to New Zealand over the last 1000 years, enjoying the stories and paintings about previous ‘New Kiwis’. This was followed by a visit to the exhibition about our local Iwi – Ngati Toa. Students had the opportunity to listen to Maori songs and watch a movie about Ngati Toa fleeing from the far North because of fighting with their neighbours. The reason that Porirua was chosen as a place to settle was because there was plenty of Kai Moana (Food of the Sea) in the two harbours that make up Porirua. It was very interesting to learn that the haka (dance of challenge) performed by the All Blacks is the haka of Ngati Toa…so it is our local haka.
We also learnt that some Maori buildings were made up in the trees to give a good view of Porirua harbour if an enemy was to approach and were surprised by the size of the old cooking pots. We touched the anchor stone from Kupe’s boat that was found in the Porirua harbour. Interestingly, the tour guide was a direct decedent of Te Rauparaha, an important leader of the tribe in times past.
We also took the opportunity to visit the library, where the wonderful Shamila showed us how to access newspapers in our mother languages, on the computers there, and also how to use other computers to look at government websites such as WINZ, Housing NZ and Citizenship NZ. Shamila also talked to us about the library collection and encouraged us to feel comfortable to visit the library.
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