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New horizons ... St Peters College kapa haka members are really excited about taking part in a hikoi/journey that will take them to perform at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and visit historic sites in Dunedin and the North Island. PHOTO:SUPPLIED

A big dream has turned into reality for St Peter’s College kapa haka group members and their whanau.

A group of 32 pupils and seven adults have started a hikoi/journey that will take them to historic places, including Parihaka and Jerusalem.

Deputy principal Darren Jack said two years ago a meeting was held with the then small kapa haka group and whanau.

“We asked them just to dream big of what they would like to see happen for kapa haka at St Peter’s and they came up with this amazing idea,” Mr Jack said.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if we could take some of our young people and visit some of the amazing historic places not just around here but further afield?”

The places chosen to visit were relevant to the pupils.

“We chose to follow some of our families’ strong connection to our Anzac heritage, to learn about our sad history around Parihaka (where some of our families’ whakapapa go back to) and also explore our connection with the Whanganui area, where we have ex-students now living and contributing to the Whanganui community around Jerusalem.”

The group took part in the street parade for Anzac Day commemorations in Wellington yesterday and then performed at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

“The trip would not have been possible without the hard work of kapa haka teacher Vanessa Whangapirita Edwards.”

Today the group would travel to Parihaka and stay overnight at the marae, which had been set aside to teach people about what happened when Maori peacefully resisted the government and were removed from their homes in 1881.

The team would canoe down the Whanganui River to Jerusalem, where they would take part in some community service projects.

“One of the dreams would be to set up relationships with kids from Gore to kids in other parts of New Zealand,” Mr Jack said.

“It’s going to be amazing.”