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Mount Roskill's first traditional Māori playground

15 October 2019

By Courtney Johnson

Mount Roskill community celebrates diversity at the first traditional Māori playground

Mount Roskill community is co-creating a mural for New Zealand’s first traditional Māori playground, Māra Hūpara that celebrates Te Ao Māori and bringing the community together through the universal language of play.

The mural will be unveiled at a community event by Ngā Herenga Waka and Roskill Together at Māra Hāpara, in Walmsley Park on Saturday, 19 October 2019 from 10am to 2pm.

The mural is designed by a high school student, Terina Hauraki, who has utilised Māori koru patterns to represent the bringing together of the diverse cultures, communities and families in Mount Roskill.

Different puzzle pieces have been painted by different community groups, holiday programmes and community events such as WIZKIDS and SaintzUp Performing Arts Trust at the Wesley Community Centre, next to the playground.

The mural will be put together at the playground at an event that encourages children, families and community to connect with the natural design and special features of the playground and wider park.

Mount Roskill is one of the most culturally diverse neighbourhoods in Auckland. Roskill Together Community Development Manager, David Mitchell says “the co-creation aspect of the mural is important in connecting the people of the community and creating a space for everyone from all backgrounds to learn about the significance of Māra Hāpara and about Te Ao Māori”.

The event will also involve games and activities including interactive te reo bingo in the park and a bike activation at the BMX track, where people can enter to win a range of prizes.

Māra Hūpara is a completely natural playground that opened in Underwood Reserve within Walmsley Park on Saturday, 6 July, 2019. It is part of the Te Auaunga, an Auckland Council Healthy Waters project under the guidance of by Harko Brown, an expert and author in traditional Māori games.

Traditional Māori play elements in Te Mara Hupara include:

A torere tree for climbing

A triple-posted tama-tane-wahine installation

Giant upturned ancient kauri log roots - te ko-uru which are linked by ko-papa;

Several dozen hikeikei on which to hop, jump and walk over;

A land-based kōkiri; and

A series of wera-te-paatu to practice agility, speed and balance.


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