By Tony Rea
Kites flying high signaled the start of Matariki celebrations in New Windsor on 3rd July. Whaea (auntie) Jackie Wilson welcomed the crowd on the school field with a powerful karanga (welcome call) supported by waiata (song) with her daughter Jayla. Whaea Jackie emphasized the importance of Matariki as a time to acknowledge those who have passed on, celebrate coming together, and planning for the future.
A large crowd enjoyed a range of activities from the bouncy castle and slide to the tugs of war, parachute games and volleyball. Learning how to fly the colourful kites in the gentle breeze was a favourite – flying of kites to welcome Matariki is an ancient Polynesian tradition.
Local people sold a range of products at the market stalls ranging from organic hair products to cacti. The Parent Teacher Collective bake sale was very popular, as were the free barbeque sausages.
Many people commented that they had made new connections at the celebration and enjoyed the sense of coming together as a community. They also appreciated the effort of the volunteers from the New Windsor Community Hub who organized the event. The day ended with many families enjoying a free swim in the school pool.
The New Windsor Hub appreciates the support of the Whau Local Board for this event. The Hub welcomes input from residents and especially welcomes those who can volunteer their time and talents to support further development of community in our suburb. The Hub is based on the grounds of New Windsor Primary School.
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