History lessons for Hoani Waititi students in Rarotonga

updated By Mānia Clarke
  • Auckland

250 pupils, teachers and parents from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae leave today for Rarotonga for a 10-day cultural exchange to retrace the migration of their ancestors.

These Hoani Waititi students can't wait to retrace the footsteps of their ancestors.

Junior High School Coordinator Peata Leef says, “We want the students to experience the culture of another country. What better place than the islands where our ancestors came from?

So we decided to go to Rarotonga.”

 “I'm excited because this is my first time travelling overseas. It'll be great because I'll be with my friends,” says student Paratene Martin.

“I'm excited because my friends are coming,” says student Tomairangi Hetaraka.

Leef says, “There are lots for our students to experience. First for us, the language and their traditions and customs as the indigenous people of that land, and to see the place where our ancestral canoes were, to feel the vibe of the place.”

About a year and a half ago, the school decided to go to Rarotonga. Since then, the school and families have been busy raising funds.

“We've done lots of fundraising events to get the funds. Lots and lots of hangi fundraisers among the community,” says Leef.

Because of the large numbers travelling, tomorrow, students, teachers and parents of the intermediate school will depart for Rarotonga, and on Monday the primary school will leave.

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