Skip Content
  • Kristy Northcroft visiting the Mine Bay Māori rock carvings during last week’s Lake Taupō cruise.

One of our Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) graduates Kristy Northcroft has been closely involved in the development of a Lake Taupō cultural knowledge and educational cruise that tells the story of her Ngāti Tūwharetoa iwi to students.

The “floating classroom” was offered for professional development purposes to 60 principals and other school leaders this month, and was joined by kaimahi from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

The original idea for the floating classroom came from Kate Jolly of Chris Jolly Outdoors which operates charter boats at Taupō. Kristy had taken up a seasonal boat host position there.

“Katie and I had an instant connection and a passion to get our tamariki and rangatahi on the lake. Together we have spent the last year putting a programme together combining both our skills and strengths to create a Wānanga Wai Whakarewa - Floating Classroom.”

The 1.5-hour floating classroom – which can cater for up to 70 people at a time - covers a wide range of matters including the Treaty of Waitangi and Tūwharetoa local ancestral history. Schools pay a fee for the cruises.

“Ultimately the learning can be targeted to the school’s needs and aspirations of their own learners. My challenge is to bring our two worlds together - te ao Māori and te ao Pākehā - with Tūwharetoatanga at the forefront,” says Kristy, who describes her role as that of kaitiaki and kaiako.

“In my experience of being on the lake, the rich had the privilege of amazing experiences and our tamariki missed out. My goal is to change that.

“My passion is to encourage our youth to be kaitiaki and through education and connection they will have a better understanding of the importance of protecting our taonga.”

Next year it’s also planned to start supporting leaders to implement Tūwharetoa cultural knowledge in classrooms authentically.

“The floating classroom will help to support the learning in a unique way,” says Kristy.

 Back to news & events

Published On: 19 October, 2020

Article By: Stephen Ward



Other Articles

  • 24 January 2023

    From Kenya to Aotearoa - Toi and its many connection's

    Jennifer Dickerson, a self-proclaimed "Third Culture Kid" due to her unique upbringing around the world, has discovered who she is through art.

  • 19 December 2022

    Masters opens door to book project

    Juggling work as Communications Advisor for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa while completing his masters, and writing a book has meant Tracey Cooper’s plate has been rather full recently. Fortunately with his exegesis completed, book published and work in wind-down mode for Christmas he’s able to take a breather and reflect on his journey through study.

  • 15 December 2022

    ‘Rererangi ki te Ao’ Opens doors at Kirikiriroa Airport

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Kairuruku and Pouwhenua Whakairo (master carver), Professor Kereti G. Rautangata, (nō Ngāti Mahanga, Ngāti Koroki Kahukura) and his team of carvers have left their mark on a significant piece of the Waikato landscape.

  • 14 December 2022

    Making a difference with mau rākau

    Tamiaho Searancke, who started learning the art of mau rākau at age three from his kuia and kaumatua, has guided another cohort of tauira through their journey of learning the ancient Māori martial art.