Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2009

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2009

Copyright LIsa Sarsfield 2009

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2009

It’s hard to image such a beautiful and serene place being the place of a one of NZ’s hardest fought land wars but on April 29 1864 that is exactly what happened here. The battle was hugely significant for both Maori and Eurpoeans not just in terms of land ownership but in terms of race relations. Most people who travel the busy main road (Cameron Road, named after General Cameron who led the Imperial troops) will pass by unaware of the signifance of the day and the site but I know I for one will be stopping by to say a quiet thankyou to those that gave so much. Things have changed ofcourse and these days this land is for all people and it is the inheritance of all NZ’rs regardless of origin. If you wish to you can read more here.

April 29  is also the day for blogging about WORLD HUNGER. However I am going to take advantage of the timezone difference for that! Watch this space!

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

My 2 youngest wait for the parade to start. Rumour has it Santa’s on his way!

 Cute Kids Bag pipes and the Scottish Marching Band

I love the excitement of the bag pipes. They are traditional at our parades and signal the start of something good!

Belly Dancers!

Pacific Island Cultural Group

Horses and Gypsy Carriage

Look at those blus skies! Lucky weren’t we? My eldest was very pleased to see the horses.

Maori Cultural Group. Te Rereatukahia Marae.

Alvin and the Chipmunks  

Santa has a wind-up mini! It's true!

The chipmunks had a sign saying “Please don’t cut down our home!” I guess they are pro-synthetic trees!

Mrs Claus and Santa

Mrs Claus drives a tractor over these ways! The elves socks are very cool. I’d wear them! lol

Angels and Polar BearsSnoopy's Christmas 

The classic flyers museum put in a float too and played Snoopy’s Christmas. Very apt!

Santa and the Reindeer

The jolly fat man himself! There were so many people wearing Santa hats on the floats I almost missed the “real” Santa. 

Kati Kati is about 25 minutes from Tauranga when the traffic is good.  Tauranga (would you believe) isn’t having a parade. The KK parade was also under threat and an article was put in the paper saying that if it wasn’t supported then this would be the last one. Thankfully it was well supported! In these credit crunching times it was a really nice experience to see the community groups pull together the business’s to put on a parade and it was equally lovely to see so many excited kids out enjoying it! Sure makes ya feel all festive dosn’t it?

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Haki was happy to give me a ‘smile’ for the camera:) The expression is actually called a ‘Pukana’ which means “(verb) to stare wildly, dilate the eyes – done by both genders when performing haka and waiata to emphasise particular words. You can see another photo here which will also show you woman (wahine) with their traditional tattoo’s and a select of Patu’s. (Bat like weapons.)

Below are some candid shots that I took from the event which was held in Papamoa (a beach subrub not far from Tauranga City.) For those of you who are interested the word “Ra” means Day and “Whakangahau” means to entertain and amuse. The ‘Wh” is pronounced like a F.

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008


Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Yesterday was Orientation Day at Tauranga Intermediate for next years in take of year 7 students. I can hardly believe that my eldest will be at intermediate next year so it was all a little surreal. It really does seem like yesterday that I was sniffling back the tears on her first day of school!

The intermediate has a role of 1200 (up 900 on her current school!) and is where most of the kids from Tauranga go to for there year 7 and 8 schooling. The school (aside from the share size of it) seemed nice and my daughter’s optimistic about the year ahead.  The row of flags here represents some of the diverse cultures at the school. In addition to meeting the teachers and having a tour of the school we heard the schools Rock Band and Brass Band play, heard songs by solo singers (who chose songs from Tina Turner, The Beatles and Nirvana!) and we saw the schools Kapa Haka (Maori Culture Group) and Pacific Islands Group perfom. There were also dances (classical solo and hip hop group) and wearable arts and young designers fashion parade……wheeeew! Well done to the school for such an interesting and warm welcome!

This wheelchair modified trike drew a crowd of interested bike riders, wheelchair users and photographers:)

See more about the trike, the conquest tour and the awesome welcoming ceremony on the post below (Kapa Haka. Tauranga DP #21)

My eldest daughter (below) enjoyed talking to some of the other people there as much as she did seeing the bikes!

This trike wasn’t modified- I just like  it:)

The Greerton Village Primary School Kapahaka Group performing at the the welcome ceremony for the “Catwalk Conquest Tour” an organisation raising funds and awarness for people with spinal injuries. I will be posting more on that tomorrow including some cool pics of the wheelchair modified trike.

The cultural perfomance recieved a good response from the crowd as well as the organisers. It’s quite a moving experience and ofcourse, unique to New Zealand.

Its election time and this politician wasn’t about to miss great photo opportunity! He’s a National Party MP not a Green but I won’t hold it againts him:)