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Kaikura Playcentre brings archaeological site to life


Staff member
Dec 16, 2021
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An archaeological site has been brought to life at the Kaikura Playcentre.
When the former Kaikura Primary School dental clinic building was demolished and the site excavated five years ago, some old hangi pits were unearthed.

The playcentre was already in the process of moving into some old classrooms and decided to incorporate the sites heritage into its landscaping, session facilitator Jackie Wadsworth said.

She said tamariki were presented with a little greenstone adze when they headed off to school, so it was fitting an old greenstone adze was unearthed during the excavation.

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Now two little whare, for the tamariki to play in, and a firepit adorn the site, and a mural has been painted on the wall.

Wadsworth said the playcentre planned to use the firepit for family nights and sausage sizzles.

Two little whare make wonderful play houses, behind a fire pit.

She said the playcentre was planning an official opening for the new site soon.

It has been a long time coming. It has been a project over more than 10 years.

Over that time we have been fundraising and planning and there has been delays and hiccups and we have been consulting with different experts and iwi representatives.

There has been so many people in the town who have been involved, including former playcentre families. It is going to be a big community opening.

The playgrounds regulars are chuffed by the new additions, including the new mural.

Rawiri Manawatu from Te Rnanga o Kaikura offered advice during the project on the heritage of the area.

The project was also supported by the Kaikura Lions and the Kaikura District Council, while local businesses and volunteers had pitched in.

Wadsworth said the playcentre was open three days a week, with around 50 children attending the weekly sessions.

The site of Christchurch's new stadium Te Kaha has been examined by a team of archaeologists - who made some interesting finds.

Te Rnanga o Kaikura chairperson Hariata Kahu said a large number of archaeological sites had been found in the area.

Archaeological findings had confirmed a Ngti Kur presence in Kaikura going back more than 700 years, but recent discoveries suggested settlement as early as 1000 years ago, she said.

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