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Sharples praises Taradale initiative to bring history alive

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Māori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples has expressed his great pride in learning of the joint venture between Ngāti Paarau of Waiohiki marae, Safer Napier and the Napier City Council in establishing Te Ara o Ngā Tīpuna (Pathways of our Ancestors).

"It has really concerned me that some of our tamariki Māori grow up in schools and local communities where their culture and heritage is rendered invisible," said Dr Sharples. "In Taradale the local people, Māori and Pākehā, have come together to show a new way is possible, and I am delighted at this initiative.

"Pou have been erected in five parks in the Taradale area to demonstrate the local Māori history of the area," he said.

"I am told this project fulfils many needs. It encourages people to use the parks and reserves; to feel safe; while at the same time providing a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about kaitiakitanga; to act as guardians of the pou.

"It is a brilliant project which helps the children right across local schools to understand more about the history of their area - gaining an awareness of the experience of both mana whenua and early European settlement.

"It was great to learn about the ceremony this weekend blessing the pou, involving the participating schools and the key stakeholders. These sorts of community projects are a fantastic way of inspiring a desire in our mokopuna to learn more about the unique stories of Aotearoa," said Dr Sharples.

"Everyone involved can be so proud of the difference they are making in the lives of our young people," he said.

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