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Storyboards tell tale of Taniwha

Locals can now read as they walk along the Taruheru River with Tairawhiti's first Hīkoi Kōrero StoryWalk along the riverbank as part of Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival. The Hīkoi Kōrero is a series of storyboards that tell the story of Taniwha, a children's book written and illustrated by award-winning author Robyn Kahukiwa.

Organised by HB Williams Memorial Library, Hīkoi Kōrero StoryWalk starts from the town side of the Peel Street bridge with storyboards dotted along the riverbank. StoryWalk originated in the US as a fun way for everyone to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. The picture pages on posts will be up until this Sunday to help keep tamariki entertained over the school holidays.

Council cultural activities manager Pene Walsh says it takes the joy of reading and literacy and combines it with nature to bring it to the people.

“We hope this is the first of many stories that will pop up in parks for whanau to read and enjoy the pictures as they stroll.

“With our first story we wanted to tautoko (support) our place, our recreational reserves, rivers and Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival. Taniwha speaks to children of Tairāwhiti.”

The te reo on the storyboards was translated by the late Keri Kaa, described by Ms Walsh as an educator, innovator, dear friend of the arts and staunch about the excellence of te reo Māori.

“This activity is also part of what we are trying to develop here — a library without walls.

“We're taking the activities out to the people, doing more things online and that means we are reducing barriers for people to access library resources.” A free activity bag for the children can be picked up for the Hīkoi Kōrero from the library, in Bright Street.

TAKE A WALK: Pages from Robyn Kahukiwa's book Taniwha are posted on storyboards along the Taruheru River. The idea originated in the US to encourage reading and for people to enjoy the outdoors at the same time. HB Williams Memorial Library organised the 'story walk'. Picture supplied