Tōtaravale Playcentre whānau warmly welcomed their past and present whānau, local community and the wider Playcentre whānau to their dawn Poroporoaki on Saturday 2nd March 2024. 

After over 50 years of enriching both its whānau and local community, it was time to say goodbye for now, and prepare the building and grounds to rest due to their severe flood damage in January 2023.

The Poroporoaki included transferring the mauri (life force) of Tōtaravale Playcentre into a piece of art constructed from part of the building.

This enabled the centre whānau to retain the positive energy of the building through the taonga that will become part of their neighbouring Centre, Windy Ridge Playcentre, where many Tōtaravale whānau are continuing their Playcentre journey.

The taonga was made from some of their sleeping room door, which was installed in 2015 and named Moemoea Reka.  The koru on the door symbolises how life both changes and stays the same. 

At the Poroporoaki the taonga was blessed as Arohavale by Kaumatua Kereama Nathan of Te Herena Waka o Orewa Marae.  Arohavale will rest at Windy Ridge Playcentre for now and perhaps in the future transfer to a new Playcentre built to replace what was sadly lost.

It was a very special occasion, with over 50 years of Playcentre whānau represented at the event.  Heather Ruru (Co-President of Playcentre Aotearoa), past whānau from North Shore Playcentre Association and current Upper North Island staff all attended the event.

Megan Lapwood (Team Lead at time of floods) said “It was really special.  I saw so many alumni enjoying it, and their big kids still enjoying the playhouse and double bike, which were always solid favourites.  It wasn’t so much a sad feeling of goodbye, more a feeling of gratitude and thank you to Playcentre for its part in our lives.”

Thank you to all the Playcentre whānau who supported Tōtaravale over this difficult time from around the motu; all your aroha, thoughts and support were truly appreciated.

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He Tangata! He Tangata! He Tangata!  What is the most important thing in the world? It’s people! It’s people! It’s people!

Mā te wā Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Tōtaravale