Week 1 of the school workshops included Whangarei Intermediate School on Friday, 1st July.
I had planned on visiting a number of schools in Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) as part of my Hongi's Hikoi kaupapa, and received a message from one of my long term friends, Kara Paraone Shortland, a teacher at Whangarei Intermediate School, asking could I visit their kura. Of course the answer was always going to be YES!
I arrived to an amazing welcome, a powhiri by the students, which made me feel so humble, and I felt so indebted to the students for their manaakitanga. The presentation was amazing, the students loved it, and I gifted a set of my books to the school library.
'Yesterday was a fascinating and rare opportunity to have Brent Kerehona Pukepuke-Ahitapu come to present his academic research on Hongi Hika and give some factual details instead of the heresay we all "know". Our school had the privilege of being an audience to his findings BEFORE he presents to the Waitangi Museum this coming week.' - Kara Paraone Shortland, 2nd July 2022.
One particular kotiro was so excited that she helped set up, facilitate the presentation, took down and packed all the props - so I gifted her a set of books (she is the only student to have a set of these, as they are not yet on sale), and was rewarded with a hug before she dashed off to catch her bus home. What a wonderful day.