|One thousand school students walk the unique landscape
Since the beginning of the 2017 school year, more than one thousand young people have visited the Otuataua Stonefields and the Kaitiaki Village. This visitor influx tells us that the story of Ihumātao has awoken an awareness of our nation’s history and the place of Ihumātao in that history.
Around three hundred children visited from Mangere Bridge School as part of a student inquiry into progress vs preservation in which students were encouraged to ask "How can we preserve the past to protect the future?" The school hit the headlines when it kicked off the inquiry by cordoning off its sports field for a “housing development”.
Students also visted from:
Sylvia Park School
Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae
Te Wharekura o Manurewa
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Māngere.
Like so many other visitors to the land, the school groups heard the stories of its mana whenua and of the imminent threat to the land from the Fletcher development.
All these visits have been so encouraging to people at Kaitiaki Village. Pania and Bobbi-Jo who hosted many of the groups, summed it up best:
“It was amazing to have them here. They wanted to share the story with their friends and families. Many of them were so emotional.”
“The children wanted to know what they could do to help, how they could spread the campaign.”