Te Ao Māori programme impresses Year 9s and 10s

06 Dec 2017

November’s Te Ao Māori programme proved an exciting and educative experience for all Year 9s and 10s, with about 240 boys engaged in interactive workshops at the Te Rangi Marie Centre in central Christchurch.

Te Ao Māori was to have taken place at Rehua Marae, but was transferred at late notice to the Gloucester St marae instead.

The three-day immersion there was led by l ocal experts including tutors from Ko Tane, plus Whaea Tihi Puanaki and her son Matua Te Huaki (who worked with College on the creation of the school waiata) and culminated in a performance including a pōwhiri welcome and concert.

Steve Everingham, teacher of Māori at College said the three days of workshops saw the boys experiencing first hand Te Reo and Tikanga Māori – the Māori way of doing things – as well as working on their individual mihi, and engaging in singing, taiaha, flax work, purerehua; an art work in the shape of a butterfly pupa used to call groups to attention when spun on a string, puoro; a music workshop using traditional flutes and kapa haka.

“It was a perfect approach for them to improve their understanding of the language and the culture, and I have been really impressed by the number of boys who have come up to me and said how worthwhile they found the whole experience and how much they enjoyed it.

“The knowledge these boys now have means they can conduct themselves appropriately in any bi-cultural setting, and they have both a much broader understanding of protocols and also a much greater appreciation and respect.”

Young, passionate tutors helped ignite real interest in Te Ao Māori (the world Māori), and he expected that the interest generated in the College boys would flow through at school with many wanting to join next year’s kapa haka group.

“The fact that they now have their own mihi, and have taken part in workshops on a variety of areas means that for the Year 9s, in particular, their Maori language experience is so much greater than simply what they learnt in the College programme this year.

“This course has helped cement their knowledge and experience in an unparalleled way. It was excellent to see both Year 9 and 10 groups of boys confidently speak during the Pōwhiri as part of the Whaikorero process. We were rewarded with an outstanding performance from the Ko Tane staff from some of their repertoire from their cultural performance routine, as a finale. It exemplified the passion and love they have for the language and their desire to share it fully with the boys.”