2500 children welcome Pacific vessels at Pt England

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

An impressive gathering of about 2500 children were on Pt England beach this morning to welcome two Pacific vessels on the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

They hope to share knowledge of exploration that inspires students and their communities to respect themselves, care for one another, and their natural and cultural environments.

Polynesian voyaging vessels travelling the globe have landed on Pt England beach in Glen Innes, on a mission to share and educate the world about Mālama Honua.

Jerry Norman says, “They are environmental caretakers of the ocean, the forest, people and science educators, and they seek to encourage our youth to excel and achieve a high level of education in these areas.”

Kathryn Matayoshi says, “We are an Island State as New Zealand is an Island Nation, and we have much to learn about the traditions of our native people and that's part of what this voyage is about.”

David Lassner says, “We need to work together to sustain the planet, blending traditional knowledge, harnessing modern technology, focussing on education because this is our future.”

Never before has there been a mass welcome of this magnitude, to welcome the vessels Hōkūle'a and Hikianalia, with the coming together of a cluster of schools under the banner of Manaiakalani.

Jerry Norman says, “It was a Māori man who brought that name here and used it for our cluster of 12 schools.  2500 children are here today.”

Shawn Kana'iaupuni says, “The mana and the spirit I've seen here in these kids from young to old, sense of community, you know, Malama Honua, we're caring for our Earth together, and that's a beautiful thing to share.”

Kathryn Matayoshi says, “I am in awe of the students and the teachers, that they should bring together all of these beautiful children for this voyage and what they have learned already it's just wonderful.”

Hawaii's education leaders will take part in an education summit this evening, to share the knowledge and the key principles of Mālama Honua.