Waiheke Kindergarten students Levi Pethybridge and Melanie Taylor.

Island tamariki under five took to the stage at Te Huruhi School on Friday with a Sing in Spring concert arranged by teacher Maikara Ropata.

Kaumatua Pita Mahaki gave an opening karakia, before the hall collectively sang the waiata E Te Atua, and MCs and Waiheke Primary students Anahera Peterea and Ruby Wilson invited the first performing group on stage.

The bilingual playgroup Te Puna o te Matauranga o Te Motu-arai-roa were first up on stage, followed by Waiheke Island Playcentre, Tots On The Rock, Piritahi Childcare, Waiheke Community Childcare Centre and finally Waiheke Kindergarten.

Every child must have brought their whanau whanui because the hall was packed full with about 400 proud parents, teachers and others. 

It was the first time performing for many of the children, and so they had older siblings or parents with them on stage for support. 

“It’s so important we do these things for the kids,” Maikara said afterwards. She had also invited Waiheke Primary’s kapa haka group to perform last to serve as an inspiration for the youngest.

All the children joined together on stage to sing the two final, collective waiata We’re all living on a motu and Tutira mai nga iwi before closing at 12.30pm.

“It was exactly how it was supposed to be,” Maikara said, happy with how the day turned out. • Emma Haas

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