Wairakei Primary School is fortunate to have guidance from members of Te Kapa o Te Rangiita ki Ōruanui on aspects of Māori culture. As our pōwhiri takes place at a school and not on a marae some modifications are necessary. Having this partnership keeps the integrity of the pōwhiri intact if any changes are made. Our senior boys are now supported by male teachers and the seating arrangement has been changed to allow for a better flow. A waiata that was written especially for us is now part of the ceremony.
Matua Grant instructs the new leaders about the protocols and the reasons behind them. This sharing of knowledge gives the students a deep understanding of the process. They learn that the pōwhiri removes the tapu (restrictions) of the manuhiri (visitors) to make them noa (equal) with the tangata whenua (hosts). A handshake, hug or hongi is exchanged as a symbolic show of unity. The formal proceedings are followed by the sharing of kai and a group photo is taken.