New Zealand Occupational Safety and Health’s (OSH) new regulations were in force during a recent marae visit.
A group of 19 students from the NZ Radio Training School (NZRTS) attended an overnight stay at Te Tahawai Marae on March 25.
Te Tahawai is a pan-tribal marae located in the grounds of Edgewater College, Pakuranga, Auckland.
During their stay, students and tutors took part in different Maori cultural activities, including preparing a hangi.
The hangi is a traditional Maori method of cooking foods over heated stones set in the ground.
Traditionally, and to date, only males are allowed to take part in the cooking and preparing of the hangi pit, with women in charge of preparing food. Due to changes in OSH regulations, all students taking part had to wear hi-viz vests and steel cap footwear.
Vox pop. Students share their thoughts on the new regulations:
Nathan Abernethy said: “It seems sort of pointless. We know who’s all around the pit and everyone uses common sense.”
Roman Keeton: “I’m a firm believer that they should follow the Maori culture without added safety measures that weren’t in place many years ago.”
Jordan Pearson: “Wearing steel caps is a good idea as there is a lot of heavy stone lifting involved, but wearing hi-viz seems pointless.”
Jarryd Gardner: “I feel it takes the originality away from the tradition, and wastes time when we can just get in there and get it done.”
Tama Poata: “Back in the day only the skilled members were allowed around the pit, but these days the hangi is not so much a commodity so there could be sense in these new safety measures being put in place, albeit being a bit drastic.”
Kevin Hunter, chairman of Te Tahawai, said the marae was brought together through a group of locals after discussions at the Pakuranga pub, The White Horse. After the marae was establishing in 1984, the building underwent extensive renovation, before it was finally completed in 1996.
NZRTS program director Larry Summerville said this is his third trip to Te Tahawai, with this year being the first to introduce new safety regulations.
Gallery: View a selection of photos from the NZRTS marae visit
Cain is an aspiring journalist with a passion for music and entertainment. After recently graduating in audio production, Cain moved to Auckland to further his qualifications and gain employment in the media industry.