Powhiri public workshop

Hakatere Marae will be the base for learning about powhiri this week.
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A first-of-its-kind event will be coming to Ashburton on December 9.

Experience a Cultural Competency workshop and a traditional Maori welcome powhiri will be held in the town.

The organisations behind the event, Te Huka Tai Trust, Keep Learning Mid Canterbury and Hakatere Multicultural Council came together as they were aware that some people may be reluctant to go to the marae or powhiri.

There is a thought people may not know what to do or feel they might do the wrong thing.

So, the organisers wanted to create an event where people could ask questions, learn what happens at a powhiri, find out what to do and what is expected of a person.

The day is aimed at migrants, people who are new to New Zealand, as well as Kiwis or someone who may not have had the experience or are just curious, but all are welcome to attend.

The day will start with the workshop at Community House, and there will be a discussion about all the details, with any questions answered by the facilitator, Michelle Brett, who is chair of the Hakatere Marae.

From there all the people will head across to the Hakatere Marae for the powhiri. This will be followed by lunch and finally ending with a recap or quiz to help with learning.

Learning Mid Canterbury coordinator Kate White said she hoped for a good turnout and was confident it would be an educational experience for all involved.

“A few organisations have come together to make it happen as we feel it is important for a lot of people. It’s about breaking down barriers,’’ White said.

“I hope next year we can run something about Tangihanga, to likewise educate people who are again interested.’’

■ Experience a Cultural Competency workshop and a powhiri is at Community House on Cass St on December 9 from 10am, followed by a powhiri at the Hakatere Marae on the outskirts of Ashburton, concluding at 2pm.

The event costs $20 which includes lunch.

Registration closes on Wednesday. See events.humanitix.com/p-whiriexplained-and-experienced for tickets.