Saturday, 18 October 2014

Powhiri for our new principal

On Monday we were gifted a tonga - a precious treasure from Lauriston School.  They gave us our new principal - Mrs P.  Take a look at the videos Carol took of the amazing ceremony.

This is the calling on the visitors or manuhiri and is done by a woman or wāhine.

There is always a speaker from each side and they are men or tāne.  They are supported in song after their kaikōrero.  Our speaker is talking about our place and the welcome we have as a school, the Taumutu Rūnunga and as Ngai Tahu.

Songs to support the speaker:
After every speaker there is a song of support.  
The Lauriston School sang to support Mrs P's speech.  The have a school song that they wrote which is very catchy and stuck in my head for ages!

Hongi then kai:
Notice that Mrs P was collected by two very important women or wāhine.  She was then placed in the middle of the group, where she was protected.  This is because she is recognised as a treasure.

After a powhiri there is always a hongi or the sharing of breath.  You shake hands or hug and press noses.  The hongi shows that we all now belong.  
We then eat kai together to lift the 'tapu'. This makes sure that we all belong.

This is the first time a Selwyn School has had a powhiri like this to hand over a new principal.  It was done by our Rūnunga of Taumutu - our local mārae right by Lake Ellesmere or Waihora.

He mihi tēnei ki Te Taumutu Rūnunga mo tōu awhi ki te kura.
A greeting to the Taumutu Rununga for your support of the school.

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