More than 120 te reo Māori tauira (students) and kaiako (teachers) gathered at Te Wharekura o Mauao in Bethlehem, Tauranga, last weekend (22-24 November) for a final noho marae stay of 2019.
Tauira were also joined for part of the weekend by whānau members who got a chance to see and hear how far the students had progressed with their courses at Te Wānanga of Aotearoa.
“As much as it was about helping complete tauira learning for the year it was also a chance to celebrate what tauira have achieved on their te reo Māori learning journey,” says Tutakangahau Williams, the Tauranga-based Kaiwhakahaere Ako (manager educational delivery).
The noho marae was for tauira at a range of courses and levels of skill at Te Wānanga of Aotearoa.
“Having combined noho marae such as this helps newer tauira learn from those at more advanced levels, whilst also giving more experienced tauira a chance to pass on what they’ve learned. It’s a bit of a win-win for everyone,” says Tu.
“We also find having whānau be part of these events for some of the time helps tauira develop skills such as welcoming people in pōwhiri and providing a hakari (feast) for the manuhiri (guests).
“These are essential parts of te ao Māori where te reo and tikanga are used and applied.”
Tu says Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has a strong commitment to providing high-quality courses to help support the spread and use of te reo Māori in the Bay of Plenty.
An experienced team of kaiako is made up of Ngairo Eruera (for the Pīnakitanga course), Peter Borell (Aupikitanga), Aniwa Nicholas (Aupikitanga), Linden Morris (Rōnakitanga), Rauangi Ohia (Rōnakitanga), Eugene Temara (Putaketanga) and Nathan Soloman (Putaketanga).
Tu stresses that all people – regardless of age and ethnicity – are welcome on the te reo courses. “Learning te reo provides people with a range of benefits. No reira, nau mai, haere mai ki Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.”
Anyone interested in Te Wānanga o Aotearoa te reo courses or any other programmes for 2020 can make enquiries on 0800 355 553 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday or visit www.twoa.ac.nz.
Our pictures show tauira involved in the pōwhiri.