Marae fosters connections

Olivia Little (8) plays with poro poi (poi balls) at the Murihiku Marae Family Fun Day on Saturday. Photo: Petrina Wright

SEVERAL hundred people enjoyed a host of activities at the Murihiku Marae Family Fun Day and launch of the ILT-funded Play Pods on Saturday.

There was face painting, disc golf, a range of traditional Maori games, indoor games, and more for families to enjoy.

Sophie Parata (13) tests her skills with ipu hopu (catch cups). Photo: Petrina Wright

The Play Pods, at Murihiku Marae and Stadium Southland, are the result of collaboration between Sport Southland, Healthy Families Invercargill team, Murihiku Marae, Lets Play Southland network and Invercargill Licensing Trust.

The fun day was the first event organised by Hita Neho in his role as Murihiku Marae ora navigator (activities co-ordinator).

His role was designed to encouraged whanau and the community to be more active as well as help the community connect with the marae.

Mr Neho said he was thrilled with the launch of the Play Pods and the fun day as a whole. “It’s about getting our kids, our tamariki playing again.”

Jayda Thompson (2) plays in a tunnel. Photo: Petrina Wright

It was hoped events such as the fun day would show whanau and the wider community there were opportunities to engage at the marae, and a lack of knowledge or understanding of the marae’s role as a community hub would become less of a barrier to people visiting, he said.

“The more and more of these things we have, the smaller and smaller those barriers are going to get.”

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