THE importance of taking a moment to stop and breathe will be at the forefront of Invercargill visitors’ minds thanks to an interactive te ao Maori mural launched in the CBD.
The interactive display on the city redevelopment panels was initiated by Sport Southland’s Healthy Families Team, along with the help of community members, Invercargill youngsters and their teachers.
It features a series of images of Southland children demonstrating te ao Maori breathing exercises called Hikitia te Ha, a concept originally developed by education lecture, Rawiri Hindle.
QR codes on the mural also provided a link to a demonstration video which could be viewed on people’s smart devices.
The video featured children from Waverley Park School, Te Kohanga Reo o Te Aho Matua, Waverley, Glengarry, and Rockdale Park Kindergartens, and was led by former Awarua Whanau Services mauri ora kaiarahi, Nadine Young.
Those involved with the project were invited to the official launch last Friday which began at Invercargill Central Ltd and made its way to the site of the mural.
Healthy Families lead systems innovator Stella O’Connor said the launch was a celebration of the collaborative te ao Maori initiative, which was aimed at helping people calm their mind and, in turn, improve their mental well-being.
As well as helping people practise mindfulness through breathing exercises, it also paid respect to the Maori atua (gods).
“Now that the video has been launched, we’ve gifted this to the community and we’re going to promote it to other schools, early childhood centres and community organisations.”