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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

Craftsmen have brought some Kiwi ingenuity to the Kidsfirst Kindergartens Alexandra playground in the form of a whare.

The wooden structure, crafted by Alexandra Menz Shed members, was presented to the children and their teachers during a blessing ceremony on Thursday, last week.

Teacher Vicki Hishon, supported by her colleagues, approached Menz Shed members a year ago, asking if they could build the structure – a carved meeting house – for the playground.

Her wish was granted by the men, who spent two days a week working on the project, in all weather.

“It’s just beyond our expectations.

“They worked really, really hard. It’s a real tribute to them,” she said.

“It’s solid and it’s going to last a long time – that’s what we wanted.”

Alexandra Menz Shed member Sam Smiler agreed after acknowledging windy weather in the past fortnight had already put the whare to the test.

“It was a real storm, wasn’t it? It blew things down. But the next day I was down here inspecting it and I couldn’t find a screw out of place.”

Menz Shed members attended the ceremony at Kidsfirst Kindergartens Alexandra, where they were thanked by various representatives, including Louise McKenzie, who conducted a blessing.

While she was searching for a word in te reo to describe the men behind the project, Mr Smiler volunteered the option of koro, defining them as “old buggers”.

She agreed it was the word she was after, to their delight.

“As we get older, we get slower, but in the finish we get there,” Mr Smiler said, while explaining the project to the audience.

The whare was made financially possible by a home committee fundraiser and funds from the old Central Otago Kindergarten Association.

The ceremony was also attended by Dunstan High School’s te reo and kapa haka class, which performed songs for the occasion.