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Kupe Experience for RWC Visitors

Kupe Experience for RWC Visitors

Rotorua will not be the only place tourists can experience Māori hospitality and culture during the Rugby World Cup 2011. Students and parents from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna in Seatoun will showcase local landmarks around the Seatoun area as part of a ‘Kupe experience’ complete with a pōhiri, hāngi and weaving and poi making workshops.

Kupe is the discoverer of Aotearoa according to Māori traditions. His first landing in the Wellington area was on Seatoun beach, which he named Te Tūranga-nui-a-Kupe (The Landing Place of Kupe). When he settled near what is now Seatoun village, he named that area Maraenui. Kupe then went on to name other significant landmarks in the area i.e. Te Aroaro-a-Kupe (Steeple Rock), Te Tangihanga-a-Kupe (Barrett Reef), Matiu (Somes Island) and Makaro (Ward Island) after his niece and daughter. Many other landmarks both around Wellington and other parts of the country still carry names either given by Kupe or which commemorate his time in Aotearoa.

Not only will tourists visit some of the landmarks in the Seatoun area, they will also be told the story of Kupe and share other cultural insights and knowledge.

According to the Kura's principal, Rawiri Wright, “The stories of Kupe and his presence and escapades here form an important narrative for this area – one that we as a Kura embrace not only because of our geographical location, but because as Māori, his acts contribute also our wider identity. Our tamariki know these stories very well, as do our whānau and this venture is about sharing those stories and narratives with a wider, albeit international audience over the Rugby World Cup ”, says Mr Wright.

“We have for some time now held an annual event called ‘Te Rā o Kupe’, a festival with kai stalls, entertainment, music and kapa haka. During this one day event, our school opens up to our local community and showcases not just our tamariki, but also the local histories from a hapū and iwi perspective. The Kupe experience therefore is an extension of that festival and is an opportunity to raise funds for the Kura” says Mr Wright.

“All funds raised will go towards our operational budget and help support the learning of our tamariki” he adds.

“All whānau within our Kura are involved in this venture and we look forward to sharing our little piece of Wellington with those who want to know a little bit more about the local Māori stories here” says Mr Wright.

These will run on 10 September, 8 October and 9 October and each tour runs from 10am – 2pm. Ticket prices are $90 for adults, $70 for Seniors (60 years plus) and $40 for children (14 years and under). You can book online at


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