MUSIC, entertainment, food, renewal-themed stalls and Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) teams were all represented at the Matariki Market held in Riverton’s Aparima College hall this month.
As well as celebrating Matariki, Maori New Year, co-organiser, Aparima pupil and Lion Foundation YES Simply Green team member Kauia Asher said the market also gave YES teams the opportunity to promote their products or services.
Marketing reusable produce bags made from jute, an organic vegetation material, the concept was to encourage the use of tikanga (traditional customs and values of) Maori for everyone in general.
The team had chosen jute “to reduce the use of plastic”, and because the group was “a Maori-driven group, it was important to us to protect our environment”, Kauia said.
They had bought 500 jute bags in bulk and would fill each one with a karakia kai, a Maori incarnation or prayer, to thank “our gods” for the food they provided for us to gather.
Aparima College teacher Lynne Grove said as part of the YES process, as well as developing and marketing its products or services, each team would pitch ideas to various groups, including at Te Runaga o Oraka Aparima, before competing against Southland and Central Lakes teams to establish which teams would compete in the final in Wellington in October.
“The market was an opportunity for the teams to use for the promotions and sales stage,” Mrs Grove said.
While most were teams, Year 13 pupil Dom Riddell (17) said he preferred to be a solo trader in YES.
“It’s easier,” he said.
Trading under Whenua Photography, he combined his love of the outdoors with his passion for the environment and photography to create a series of printed works which featured landscapes of Fiordland, Southland and the Mt Cook region. An exception was a photo of a kea, which Dom said he had to “wait about 40 minutes” to capture the right shot.
Dom said he enjoyed the outdoors, saying it was good for his “mental well-being”.
When I was younger I “just saw the mountains… and decided I quite like them’.”
Aged 15, he camped for three days on a glacier, and among his “solo climbing” the highest he had reached so far was 2600m.
This was the first time he had taken on the YES challenge, he said.