Our pepeha our place

Tēna koutou katoa ngāwhānu o Playcentre Aotearoa

Ko Ohuiarangi te maunga

Ko Te Wai o Taiki te moana

Ko Tainui te waka

Ko Ngai Tai te iwi

Ko Bucklands Beach Ohuiarangi Playcentre matou

We all strive as parents for our tamariki/children to be confident and secure in identity; to know who they are and where they belong. Ensuring our tamariki are familiar with the whakapapa/lineage of the area and the pepeha/proverb for their playcentre (as well as their own!) is important. At Bucklands Beach Ohuiarangi Playcentre, we have been on our journey to learn and understand our Playcentre whakapapa for a while. This is our story of our journey to connect our tamariki to our maunga/mountain Ohuiarangi, and our moana/sea Te Wai o Taiki. 

Around fifteen years ago one of our longtime parents, Anna Worthington, decided to investigate and write for our tamariki the story of our place, from the birth of our maunga Ohuiarangi, how our iwi Ngai Tai came to this whenua/land, through to our place today. Her story “Our land, our place, our people” became a favourite story of our tamariki.

We researched and reached out to  our iwi Ngai Tai, and to our Tāmaki kuia Whaea Taini Drummond, to learn our Playcentre pepeha. We decided that we needed to ensure we connected our tamariki to our rohe/area and the people in it through physical connection: regular Playcentre trips within our community. We also employed three of our Life Members to run our Big Kids session (for three and four year olds) to retain in a living way memory and stories of our centre for our tamariki.

Fifteen years later, we still take our Big Kids to Ohuiarangi regularly. This is their favourite trip! Because we do it so often, they know every part of our maunga and love to run to the top. There we can reinforce our connection

to this place while gazing around at its beauty. We also visit our moana lots–although this isn’t too hard as our centre is located right opposite! We always make sure to care for Papatuanuku and pick up all the rubbish we see. We do other trips within our community; schools, supermarkets, libraries, fire stations etc. Most important are our trips to Te Whare Matariki in Owairoa/Howick to visit our wonderful kuia Whaea Taini. These trips cost very little in general but the benefits are immeasurable. They meet all the four walls of the tapa wha model. Most of all they make us feel grounded in our place. 

Like all centres, our centre whānau changes over time and so we face the constant challenge of keeping our knowledge and connection to our whakapapa and pepeha. This term our parents are educating themselves and identifying their own pepeha and writing these for our tamariki portfolios. So we continue on our journey, and we wish you the best in your centre’s journey to learn and connect with your whakapapa.

Noho ora mai.

Debbie Rowland

Ke to No Bucklands Beach Ohuiarangi