During the last two weeks, our junior ākonga have visited Punatahu, which sits on the shores of Lake Pūkaki. Students and teachers alike came away having learned something new about this significant site and the story of Te Manahuna.


For the last two weeks, the Junior School has been visiting yet another local historical site, Punatahu. Punatahu is located at the southern end of Lake Pūkaki. This rohe was used by mana whenua as a place to gather kai, known as Mahika Kai sites. These significant sites hold many pūrakau of te ao māori and inform us of the incredible story that Te Manahuna holds.

Punatahu is a known Mahika Kai site where Arowhenua, Moeraki, Kai Tahu came to gather kai before taking that kai back to long established pā on the coasts of Te Waipounamu. Iwi would construct Mōkihi (small temporary waka), place their bounty in them and make their way down stream to the coast.

All of our ākonga learnt about known food that was caught in this area, how this was transported and some of the people who lived in this region.

Toward the end of trips, we would all gather inside the information centre and sing our waiata “A ripo ana te wai” to Aoraki.

A huge mihi to all who participated, contributed and supported all of these trips. 

For me, having grown up in this area, it is very special to be able to learn alongside our students at school and discover together the rich history of Te Manahuna.

Karatī Metcalfe