Midhirst School pupils celebrated Puanga this year with a range of art-based activities.

The tribes of Whanganui, Taranaki, parts of the Far North and parts of the South Island recognise Puanga, the Māori new year.

Midhirst School principal Graham Sands says the school community combined celebrating Puanga with a whānau day.

"We unveiled the gates created by Joe Parkes, introduced the new Board of Trustees, shared the children's learning in Puanga and presented the children's art to the whānau."


Aiden Roberts (8) from the Panitahi room, says he enjoyed making his artwork.

Aiden Roberts (8) with his pastel artwork.
Aiden Roberts (8) with his pastel artwork.

"I enjoyed using pastels in my artwork. We ripped up white paper, attached it to the black paper, put pastel on the black paper then removed the white paper."

Harrison Reed (9) from the Kaitake class enjoyed working together with his class to make a korowai (cloak).

Harrison Reed (9) wearing a Korowai.
Harrison Reed (9) wearing a Korowai.

"It was pretty cool working together with the class."

Pania Henderson (12) from the Paritutu room showed some kōauau (a small flute) made by some of the children.

"I got to help others create their things."

Pania says each time you blow into the kōauau it makes a different sound.

"They are made out of clay. We used different patterns, shaved them into shape and then painted them."


Mr Sands says the Puanga artwork created by the pupils is wonderful.

"The children loved showing the whānau and teaching them the purpose of Puanga/ Matariki. This art work is a way of showing our understanding of Puanga. Pupils worked collaboratively in mixed age groups."