Our powhiri are led by senior members of our school kapa haka group. These leaders are trained by our kapa haka tutor and lead teacher of Maori and change at the beginning of every school year. They came to a practice before school started. The words are provided to them at the end of the previous year to learn over the holidays.
The powhiri begins with the tangata whenua (current staff and students) meeting in our school hall. Our manuhiri assembles in a classroom and are given an outline of the protocol by our lead teacher of Maori.
The manuhiri are welcomed into the room by a karanga, led by female students. The karanga is a chant that clears the way for safe passage. The manuhiri move towards the tangata whenua, women and children in front, men at the back. Men sit in the front seats, facing towards the tangata whenua.
The tangata whenua speak first. Our male senior students deliver this whaikorero and they include their pepeha. A pepeha shares their connections to the land and whanau. A waiata follows the whaikorero. Our tangata whenua sing He Honore as a school.
A male senior student replies on behalf of the manuhiri and this is followed by a waiata to support their speech. Our manuhiri sing Te Aroha.
At this point our manuhiri are called upon to participate in the hongi and harirū process (the pressing of noses and shaking of hands) with the tangata whenua.
Mrs Farquhar concludes our powhiri, welcoming our new whanau to our school, as well as welcoming our current students back for another exciting term of learning.
Our new whānau are invited to have kai (food) in our staffroom to complete the pōwhiri. Our manuhiri are now considered tangata whenua (local people). We also take a photo to commemorate the occasion.
After kai the new students will move off to their new classrooms to begin their learning journey at Wairakei Primary School.
Our leaders for 2021 are
The start of the term Powhiri is an integral part of our school culture. We take time to welcome our new students and families to our school. More and more families attend. Mums and dads and extended family. The feedback from our new families is always positive and affirming. I enjoy being about to set the scene for the whole school on the first day. Powhiri allows us to feel part of the wider community.
Keywords: Powhiri, Treaty Of Waitangi, community, Whanau