Children 'dig in' for Matariki

About 60 children pulled on their gumboots and got digging to celebrate Matariki with a PORSE community planting.

PORSE In Home Educators, parents, staff and children met at Karamu Stream Reserve in Havelock North to plant 200 trees, supplied by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

Programme Tutor Barbara Thomson said the initiative aimed to celebrate Matariki (Maori New Year) while giving back to the community.Planting dig in

“It’s a hands on way for them to learn about Maori culture, language and new life, which all ties in with the start of Matariki,” she said.

“We had a fantastic turnout with educators and kids coming from Napier, Havelock North and Hastings to put  their spade in the ground.”

Napier-based PORSE Educator Debbie Buckley brought Joel, three, and Molly,  four, to muck in and get some planting done.

“This is something totally different to our normal routine, the kids love getting outside and playing in the mud,” Debbie said. 

“It’s also a legacy project, I did this with my children and it’s so nice to go back and see how the plants have grown.”

A selection of eight tree and plant varieties including kowhai, rewarewa and miro were chosen to beautify and reinforce the embankment near Crosses Road.

HBRC Open Space Development Officer Antony Rewcastle was on hand to help co-ordinate the eager planters.

“I think this is the youngest group of children we have had, but they are so enthusiastic, it’s never to early to start learning about planting and why it’s important.

“We are running a series of community plantings this month and encourage people of all ages to get involved.”

The next HBRC event is on Saturday, June 11 downstream of the Karamu Rd SH2 Bridge from 10am to 1pm.