Paraparaumu school’s Te Whānau Kōtuku attended the blessing of Rongoā Māori information panels and planted Koromiko plants as part of a Matariki event at Kaitawa Reserve. The event was organised by Iwi Relationships Team on behalf of the partnership committee, Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti which consist of the three iwi that have mana whenua here on the Kāpiti Coast, Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Toa Rangatira.
Kaumatua Koro Rakauoteora (Don) Te Maipi led the blessing of the planting site & panels at the entrance to Kaitawa Reserve, supported by Te Waka staff of KCDC, Friends of Kaitawa Reserve restoration group, Council Parks representatives & Te Whānau Kōtuku.
Ten bilingual information panels of 10 native species have been installed in the reserve.
From an Enviroschools perspective, this is a great example of Sustainable Communities, one of our programme’s five Guiding Principles, with a number of groups in the community supporting each other for a project that provides value for many stakeholders.
Whaea Gina Sarich said it was a special time to have their tamariki involved in the planting of rongoā trees especially at Kaitawa Reserve, as it’s a place that they visit regularly as a school, ‘Te Whānau Kōtuku will be able to grow along with these rākau and show their own tamariki in the years to come.”
The Te Whānau Kōtuku students thought that the plants made their park look beautiful, and were very special because you can get medicine from them - they can help people who might not go to the doctors.
Kayla said that she would like to be able to make medicine out of the trees. Zach said, ‘it was fun, I liked the feel of the soil when I planted the tree’.