Artist. Designer.

Wholesome recreational activities – Pārekareka: Te Whai Wawewawe a Maui


“to be pleasant, pleased, enjoyable, fun” [1]

Acrylic on canvas 1600 x 600mm

So, doing all this work on Saturday, needs to be balanced with a bit of family fun. You know the saying, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Firstly, I considered using the pattern of a kite, but reading Elsdon Best’s description identified six types of kites – most were ones that chiefs and priests would make for warfare and certain rites[2] and so there was much more to kites and only a part was for pure enjoyment. So I went with string games. The name of the traditional string games is called Te Whai Wawewawe a Maui or Te Whai or Maui for short.[3]

These Te Whai games build shapes that would tell stories. The games were played by everyone, young and old and often would include “jingles.”[4] This reminded me of our singing non-abilities and the humming game we would sing and play on car trips. Plenty of laughter with these simple games.

Games should not have political or power behind them when played as a family and is why I did not go with kite flying. That said, the game Monopoly has the ability to change personalities to being a lot more competitive. We remember there is repentance and forgiveness after the game – or if you are really amazing, during the game and handing over Park Lane and Mayfair to the party you offended. As before, I am a work in progress. Not there yet.

Hyundai did a Power-Off weekend and we roped the kids into doing this (some of them felt forced). We didn’t have any screen time for the entire weekend. I went to second-hand shops, got puzzles, a make it yourself marble run and some other board games and of course, snacks. That weekend was mixed with fun and the turns of moods that come from spending too much time with each other. I later found out that some of the kids had rouge devices and were sneaking screen time. Regardless, it was a fun weekend.

Fun doesn’t have to be fun all the time. I have a theory that if you buy those flash coffees at the shop all the time, then pretty soon those flash-as coffees will start tasting plain and won’t be good enough and you will be on the lookout for something even better. You gotta have more of the homemade Milo to appreciate the McCafé hot chocolate. You can’t have brought hot chocolate the whole time because even that starts tasting like a yuck one you make at home. To appreciate fun, you can’t have fun all the time. Sorry ‘bout that kids. But I love you.

[1] (accessed 24 April 2020)

[2] (accessed 25 April 2020)

[3] (accessed 25 April 2020)

[4] See footnote above.


I created these, like tukutuku, as a reminder of what the ideal situation should be like. Our intentions is one of working towards these ideals and it works best when all are onboard trying to reach these. Our individuality remains important in being unified in this. Being an individual and unified is an important paradox. It requires all of the principles to reach it and to have happy and successful marriages and families:

PūmauFaithTe Piki ā Rongo
InoiPrayerE tō Mātou Matua Nui te Rangi
RīpenetātangaRepentanceRoimata Toroa
MuruForgivenessHuka Korio
KauanuanuRespectHohou i te Rongo
ArohaLoveNgā Hīhī o te Aroha
Ngākau ArohaCompassionPūpūharakeke
PārekarekaWholesome recreational activitiesTe Whai Wawewawe a Maui

Te Whare Tukutuku explanations: