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Bolke Water

Onslow College Drama Marae Stay - 26.07.06

Hello Bruce,

Apologies for taking so long in replying to you. I’m emailing to share some thoughts about our Marae stay at Tapu Te Ranga.

I’ve been on many camps with groups from schools. I’ve never been on one where everything was so harmonious! The group reached a state of focused calm almost immediately. There was a sense of belonging to the place. You can tell students respect, value and like a place when they clean up after themselves (their normal state is one of incredible untidiness). At Tapu Te Ranga there was an unwritten understanding that the dishes got done, rubbish got picked up, the kitchen was left clean, people didn’t leave all their stuff lying around* heavy teacher ‘police’ work was unnecessary. A refreshing change!

In many ways, the intangibles were more important than the tangible results of our work. Yes, we rehearsed, and the play came together.
Much better was that people got to know each other, trust each other, and rely on each other. Cooking a meal together, and then sharing it, is a great way to create bonds between people.

The powhiri on our arrival, and your korero on Monday afternoon, were important for us. They provided a context, and a sense of the history and future of the Marae and your whanau. They made Tapu Te Ranga more than just a place to stay; they made us feel that we’d become part of the story of the place too.

Several students have said that being at Tapu Te Ranga was the highlight of putting on ‘Cabaret.’ We hope to be able to stay again in the future.

Kind regards,


Loved sharing your 70th birthday celebrations with you! Have checked out this web site thorougly and must say it is wonderful. It captures the "feel" and "visual imagery" of the marae, and of yourself, your dreams!

I know you must hear this often, however I want you to hear it yet again;

"Your determination, acheivements, spirit and courage are an inspiration to all of us!"

By 'us' I not only mean the New Zealand people in general, I am referring also to your many many neices, nephews, children and grandchildren!

Much love, Rhonda xxxx(enjoying sunny Nelson weather after that cool wet stuff up there in Wellington!)