Kindy’s anniversary treasure

Taonga: Kaumatua Darren Rewi talks to kindy pupils at an unveiling

A Queenstown kindy’s marked 30 years with the unveiling of a special taonga.

Last Friday about 100 people gathered at Kidsfirst Wakatipu Kindergarten for the big reveal of a carved pou, or pillar, in the centre’s garden.

Teacher Alana Smith says it comes just in time for the centre’s 30th birthday celebrations in September.

As well as kindy teachers, pupils and whanau, the Queenstown Primary School kapa haka group attended.

Ngai Tahu kaumatua Darren Rewi blessed the pillar at a dawn service, which was followed by the unveiling later that morning.

Carved by Richard Oti Murray, the carving is called Te Pito o te Aroha, or the Seed of Love.

He explained that was because a child comes into the kindergarten and is nurtured with education and love.

The pillar is composed of three parts – corten steel, Oamaru Stone and greenstone, which was gifted by Rewi.

Smith says there was a “great sense of unity” at the unveiling.

“This was a joyous occasion, the children were excited and the atmosphere was warm, friendly and welcoming.”