West Rolleston Kindergarten on its opening day.
The new Kidsfirst kindy in Canterbury had active involvement from a number of organisations as well as those within Kidsfirst throughout its development – all of which helped inform the design, construction and landscaping choices.
It resulted in a fantastic kindergarten for tamariki in the Rolleston area, complete with a custom-built playground, a carved whare, and Pacific Island fale, with many references to its surrounding area.
The entrance to the kindergarten is accompanied by the sculpture Hei Matua by Mark Larsen – a woven wire fish hook which represents the history of gathering food in the local Rolleston area.
Opus Architects, who designed the site, took into account a number of factors, using colours and materials that reflect the local area – native shrubs and bushes which have been a part of the natural landscape in Rolleston for centuries. A particularly special kapuka tree was planted by Kidsfirst’s Māori Cultural Advisor at the time, Denise Sheat, and represents the journey the kindergarten has been on, and will continue to grow with the kindergarten.
Located close to the West Rolleston school, Kidsfirst West Rolleston for years to come will be the starting point for the journey of tamariki into formal education, connecting them to their local community.
Chief Executive Officer, Sherryll Wilson, and Māori Cultural Advisor Diane Sheat plant a kapuka tree at the entrance way of the kindergarten, upon its opening.
The te reo Māori name Kōhuri kapuka was gifted by Te Taumutu Rūnanga to reflect the surrounding area and the philosophy for the kindergarten.