Skip Content
White and red poi in right hand

Tauira at a womens prison are reconnecting with their taha Māori and further study through a Te Wānanga o Aotearoa performing arts programme.

The first cohort of the Kawai Raupapa Level 3 Certificate in Māori Performing Arts recently graduated at Christchurch Womens Prison.

For the tauira taking the 18-week programme it was an opportunity for them to learn about Māori myths and legends, whakapapa, mana whenua, turangawaewae, whakataukī and waiata.

And for the majority of them it was also a chance to reconnect to their taha Māori while learning valuable skills that will set them up for further tertiary study.

Kaiako Anania Tawhi said many of the tauira knew little about their taha Māori before starting the programme.

 “That was the good thing for me to see - the awakening of the mind,” he said.

Anania said the course sparked the tauira into learning and all of the women would return to class every Monday to Thursday for four hours a day without fail.

“One of the tauira wasn’t Māori but her desire and determination to learn the reo helped her to get on the right path. Some of them wanted to jump on board to get their Māori Performing Arts certificate but others did the programme to get straight to work when they get out.”

Lynda Harbord, who is Team Lead - Educational Services Corrections, said Corrections staff were pleased with the tauira outcomes and noticed how tauira taking the programme were focused in their study.

Anania said it was also easy to see an increase in pride among the tauira.

“You could see it in the way that they walk and speak, even though the majority of that is in English,” he said.

“The best thing is that they now really know know their identity. For me I can sleep well at night in the knowledge that our Māori language is alive and well in these tauira and within this prison.”

At the graduation, the tauira displayed their portfolios of work and were asked to perform in front of their whānau, Corrections officers and others from within the community.

A second cohort began at the start of Semester B at the prison and the programme looks likely to run into the future.

 

 

 Back to news & events

Published On:

Article By:



Other Articles

  • 19 March, 2020

    Important updates on COVID-19 response

    The health and safety of our tauira and their whānau are paramount for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. We're taking all necessary precautions in our wānanga to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • 13 March, 2020

    Ancient Māori methods for new fitness coaching programme

    The way of the warrior involved tests of fitness, agility and mental sharpness. And now these traditional methods Māori used to maintain their health and wellbeing are being offered as a pathway into the fitness coaching industry.

  • 13 March, 2020

    Mātauranga Māori and western science a winning combination

    Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and science have combined to help restore kaimoana stocks in Ōhiwa Harbour.

  • 13 March ,2020

    Stepping stone to stage success

    Aspiring actors, directors, musicians and creatives need look no further than their own backyard for their inspiration, a Kawerau kaiako says.