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Celebrate Puanga In Whakaauhrangi, Stratford

From 26 June to 10 July 2021, people can get involved with free activities to reflect, learn, share and celebrate Puanga.

Community Services Director Kate Whareaitu says, “Puanga is a special time of year, it’s when we can reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the next.”

“Our Puanga rākau (tree) will be part of the exhibitions at the Percy Thomson Gallery for people to participate in the reflections and aspirations activity, and we’ll end the celebrations with our Puanga market day,” she says.

“This is the third year that we’ve acknowledged Puanga with our community,” says Ms Whareaitu. “The aim is for it to be a regular event on our community calendar, something everyone can get involved with, and share their own stories of Puanga or learn something new.”

“We also ran our Puanga flag competition during May and were extremely impressed by the entries received,” said Ms Whareaitu.

“For the flag competition we asked local tamariki to show us what Puanga means to them. All the entries are on display at the Library and Visitor Information Centre in Prospero Place and the winning flags will be turned into street flags and flown down Broadway during the celebration period,” said Ms Whareaitu.

Stratford District Council thanks Whaakahurangi Marae and Toi Foundation for their support with this community event.

What’s on for Puanga in Whakaahurangi, Stratford?

· 26 June to 10 July: Puanga rākau reflections and aspirations activity in Percy Thomson Gallery, Prospero Place. Write down your burdens or the names of loved ones you’ve lost in the past year, and hang your aspirations and goals for the year ahead on our rākau.

· 26 June to 10 July: The Percy Thomson Gallery will be turned into a magical starlight wonderland, with local schools invited to decorate the walls with paintings of stars and the night sky.

· 26 June to 8 August: Matariki Deep Space: A View of the Stars and Beyond, a collection of 25 ‘space’ photographs by astronomer and Massey University professor Stephen Chadwick at Percy Thomson Gallery

· Wednesday 30 June: Puanga Tot Time at Stratford Library

· Saturday 3 July: Puanga Market Day (stalls, wānanga, facepainting for the kids and entertainment). A full timetable of activities for the market day will be posted on Council’s Facebook page prior to the event, and at stratford.govt.nz

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