A playground upgrade has refreshed a local kōhanga reo using a $20,000 grant from the Rotorua Trust.
Tarimano Kōhanga Reo chairwoman Kerri Anne Hancock said she was thrilled by the grant to support the kōhanga's refresh project.
The upgrade is part of phase two of the papatākaro project which includes the construction of tārere (swing set) and rua kirikiri (sandpit) along with sun shading, decking and storage.
The kōhanga had been thinking ahead about the needs of their tamariki and fundraised substantially before applying to Rotorua Trust for assistance.
"Our tamariki and mokopuna deserve the best and we want to give back to them and the wider Awahou community by upgrading the playground," Hancock said.
"Rotorua Trust has been supporting us with practical help since 2006, and we are very grateful they continue to support us as we work hard to deliver the best te reo Māori educational outcomes we can for our tamariki and mokopuna."
During the first phase of the project, the kōhanga received a grant from the trust to build a new fence surrounding the kōhanga grounds to keep tamariki safe as well as creating a better connection between the kōhanga reo and the Tarimano Marae leased complex.
Rotorua Trust chairman Stewart Edward said the trust was pleased to support the kōhanga reo, noting the significant amount of money the kōhanga raised before approaching the trust for assistance.
"We are working to help create a better Rotorua for all and this is a fantastic example where an organisation has done the hard mahi before asking for support to help make the project a reality."
The papatākaro project fits with the trust's priority area of funding projects which support education and the first 1000 days of a child's life, Edward said.
"The playground isn't just used by the kōhanga, it is also used by the wider community during marae events or even as extra classrooms for wānanga.
"I'm proud the trust has been able to play a small part in helping bring smiles to children while also supporting the educational opportunities this provides."
The Tarimano Kōhanga Reo was established in 1985 to protect, nurture and promote te reo, tikanga me ngā āhuatanga o Ngāti Rangiwewehi by targeting the participation of tamariki and whānau into the Kōhanga Reo movement.
It currently has a full role of 28 tamariki and mokopuna with others on a wait list.
Construction has begun and is estimated to be finished in October.