Te Rarawa father of five captures whānau activities during lockdown

By Jessica Tyson

Father of five Ethan Smith (Te Rarawa) has found some of the most creative ways to keep his tamariki occupied during lockdown and has caught it all on camera.

Some of the activities include going for 18km bike rides, learning waiata, practising waka ama drills and more.

“During this unprecedented lockdown, which we haven’t had before, it’s a good time for families to get out there and make memories together because this might not happen again,” says Smith.

The tamariki from Te Rarawa include Taiko who is the eldest at age 12, Quinn who is 11, Manawakaha who is 10, sister Summer-Rose aged eight, and the youngest, Griffin aged six.

“As the kids grow up they might look back. They can either look back in two ways and look back and go oh, nothing really happened or they can look back and go, ‘Far we went out and did some awesome stuff during that time. We got out there, we saw some things, we learned some things', says Smith.

“It’s the kind of stuff that we should be teaching them this time that they can’t learn in schools.”

Smith has also taught this tamariki how to skateboard and do backflips on the trampoline.

One of their favourite videos captured is one of them going skateboarding with their dog, Hookie. In the video captured by their grandfather Alan Smith, Hookie is at the front, leading Ethan and two of the boys along a bridge.

“Hookie would go fast that’s why he’s going pretty fast and carrying us,” one of the tamariki says.

Smith says, “It was pretty flat and we already got up to speed he took over and just let us carry on so it was a bit of fun.”

They’ve also shared videos on Facebook of them taking part in the push-up challenge to raise awareness for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Smith says, “I can just imagine people are going through a tough time so seeing something like us doing press-ups, it might not be much it shows we’re putting in an effort and if people need to call out and get in contact with us then we’re here to help. This is one way of showing we can do it.”

Smith encourages other whānau to share fun experiences with their own tamariki during this time.

“Have experiences with your kids because that’s what builds strong whānau. That’s what builds strong whānau and that’s what we need in New Zealand because then you can help each other when people get down, you can pick them up and help them.”

As well as all the fun activities, the tamariki have also been occupied completing their school work from home.