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New start for kohanga

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• Howick and Pakuranga Times

Celebrations: Children join in the celebrations, Riverhills students perform kapa haka, Kaumatua Dick Wharemate during his mihi (speech). Times photos Wayne Martin.

Celebrations: Children join in the celebrations, Riverhills students perform kapa haka, Kaumatua Dick Wharemate during his mihi (speech). Times photos Wayne Martin.

THE journey continues for Waikaremoana Te Kohanga Reo, as they welcomed students and supporters into their new temporary home on Monday morning.

As the sun shone brightly, kohanga (Maori language pre-school) students entered their new classroom at Riverhills Primary School, Pakuranga.

The official powhiri (welcoming ceremony) was attended by the kohanga’s students and their families and other supporters.

Representatives from the Ministry of Education, teachers and students from Ki Tamaki Rawhiti Kohanga Reo – a kohanga in Otara – showed their tautoko (support) by visiting the pre-school’s new home, enjoying a few songs by the Riverhills Primary School’s kapa haka group and a morning tea.

“This is a good day,” said the kohanga’s administrator, Missy Blackmore.

She and her colleagues are thrilled to continue on the kohanga’s journey, with an even closer relationship with Riverhills Primary School.

“We’re very grateful and we thank Riverhills’ principal Christine for allowing the kohanga to use this classroom,” said kaumatua Dick Wharemate, who helps and supports all kohanga in Southeast Auckland.

Riverhills’ principal Christine Mason said: “This is the start of a new partnership.

“We’ve always had a close connection and association to the kohanga. This adds a new dimension to the school.”