Nau mai ki Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori

17 Sep 2021

Can you recite a mihimihi (traditional greeting), sharing your whakapapa (family line)?

Do you know the College whakapepeha (motto) – Tiakina tika, ngā tikanga tika (Good traditions, well maintained) or the College whakatakanga (mission) – Tama tū tama ora ki tū i te tū taioreore (Each boy at his best)?

College students have been finding out how to kōrero (speak), whakarongo (listen) and ako (learn) during Māori Language Week. The Māori flag is also flying alongside the New Zealand flag over the school library this week – symbolising two cultures coming together.

College Head of Biculturalism (Te Kaitiaki ō te Taha Māori) Brad Shearer believes “it is important as a school that we commit to biculturalism”.

“For the first time, we are flying the Tino Rangatiratanga – Māori flag, which is a testament to the school’s commitment to biculturalism,” Brad says. “It is important that as the nation moves positively towards biculturalism, that the boys and the school are part of this step.”

At a special te reo-led outdoor assembly, boys were urged to “make the effort to learn about our nation’s heritage, and know where we are from”.

Inā kei te mohio koe ko wai koe,I anga mai koe i hea, kei te mohio koe. Kei te anga atu ki hea. If you know who you are and where you are from, then you will know where you are going.

“As a Bicultural Committee, we have organised a variety of events and activities this week – despite the present Covid-19 restrictions. Unfortunately, we have had to postpone the haka competition, but in its place we have held a ki-o-rahi (a combination of netball, handball and tag rugby) competition and acknowledged the national Māori Language Moment.”

“Boys are discovering Māori words and phrases posted around the school while the Māori Language Moment has encouraged everyone to stop and make time for te reo. Staff are also involved, learning Māori every day, along with developing their own mihimihi.”

On Friday, students were encouraged to recite their own mihi to enjoy a free sausage. With a bit of encouragement, and a prominently displayed template to remind them, about a third of the school had a go, before enjoying a sausage from the barbecue.

Oli Aikawa, Ihaka Cate, Nikau Davies, Guy Greening, Jasper Johnson, Charlie Eglinton, Harry Sharr and Head of Biculturalism Brad Shearer cooked more than 200 sausages in what he said was the finale of “a really awesome week.”

“I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished this week, for the first time on this scale.”