During the month of June, a series of hikoi (walks) were held in Orangihina Park and Henderson Park, for the enjoyment of school students and others in the community.
Active Whakapapa is a site-specific storytelling experience, that aims to connect participants to the place they call home, by sharing the history of Mana Whenua while traversing the whenua.
Through Te Reo, waiata and English, a recorded headset shares the history of the whenua underfoot, with pūrākau (stories of origin) generously shared by local Marae, Iwi and Hapū.
Each of the 18 events were at near-full capacity, with around 50 people taking part in each hikoi, clearly demonstrating their popularity with the people of West Auckland.
Schools were invited to participate during the week, with many inquiring about when the opportunity for this experience will be available again, wanting to ensure every student has the chance to take part.
“[Active Whakapapa] is a wonderful opportunity [for students]. It links the wellbeing focus, the new history curriculum, and the local environment and is something families can replicate. There is a strong need to find out more of the local history, so children have a connection to their part in it, and hopefully, this will engender respect for the environment,” says North School Principal, Irene Ogden
The events were a collaborative partnership between Time Unlimited, Healthy Families Waitākere, Te Pou Theatre, Papaya Stories, Community Waitākere and Te Kawerau a Maki, with funding from the Local Activation Fund from Auckland Unlimited.