Council Senior Planner Jeff Baker says: “Last year’s promotion was very successful so we’ve largely kept to the same recipe. Through our partnership with Rangitāne Iwi, it is exciting we can offer a choice of passports in Te Reo or English, with an opportunity to learn about their culture along the Manawatū River.”
Ten significant sites along the Manawatū River are identified – seven in Palmerston North and three in or near Ashhurst. The 10 sites extend from Waitoetoe Park (Ahimate Pā) to Te Apiti (Manawatū Gorge).
“How Passport to Play works is, explorers use the map in the passport and visit each site to find a bright green post,” says Baker. “They ‘stamp’ their passport by making a rubbing of a special Rangitāne-designed tohu mounted on the top of the post. Once they get all 10 stamps they fill in an entry form, pop it into their local library, and go into a draw to win a big prize at the end of summer. At each site there are a number of suggested activities for children, with a focus on elements of Rangitāne culture.”
While the promotion is all about having fun exploring Rangitāne sites along the Manawatū River, there is a serious side to it as well.
“Getting outside has been shown to be good for everyone’s mental health and activity levels,” says Baker. “Unstructured, outdoor play is also important for both children’s development and the future of the environment. By getting our children outdoors, they have fun, take risks, and exercise without even noticing it. Additionally, the hope is that they develop a sense of adventure and a love of nature and exploring.”
The Passport to Play Palmy booklets can be picked up at Palmerston North’s central and community libraries from Thursday 14 December and the competition closes 7 February. Printable versions are available from the PNCC website from 14 December.