Māori, like nearly all Kiwis for that matter, have an intrinsic connection with our environments. Be it the bush, beach, mountains, rivers or seas, Aotearoa provides unlimited opportunities to ‘play with the environment’. People often feel an intangible connection when in a natural environment, like the feeling of bare feet on sand or in water. Dr Ihirangi Heke describes this connection for Māori, as whakapapa - a direct link to tīpuna (ancestors) and Atua (Gods).
Much like the resurgence of Te Reo Māori, there is a growing movement to revitalise ngā Taonga Tākaro (Māori games and pastimes). Many Māori are building on this movement by embedding mātauranga Māori in contemporary settings.
Kia kawea tātou e te tākaro
“Let us be taken by the spirit of play”
This article was developed in partnership between Wellington City Council, Tū Mātau Ora and Nuku Ora. All three organisations aim to promote the importance of play, engage tamariki in a diverse range of play experiences and opportunities, connect whānau to safe places and space to play and enable parents and caregivers to play more, every day!