Mau rākau is once again being offered at the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Tauranga campus and will be taught by highly skilled kaiako, Tamahau Tangitu.
Through teaching this traditional Māori martial art, Tamahau hopes to see tauira (students) grow their weaponry skills while also building on their own self-identity.
“Mau rākau challenges you mentally but it’s also about building self-confidence and self-discipline. I love seeing the joy that it brings to tauira and the enlightenment that comes from mātauranga (knowledge) Māori,” he says.
30-year-old Tamahau (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Hauā) was born and bred in Tauranga Moana and has been teaching mau rākau throughout the community for over 10 years.
He began learning mau rākau at a young age and has been involved in a number of programmes teaching people of all ages.
“I’ve been brought up with mau rākau from the age of eight until now. I’ve had some great tutors over the years and been involved in programmes teaching primary and intermediate schools and helped out around different iwi.”
The level four Mau Rākau Certificate in Māori and Indigenous Art is being offered to both men and women ages 16 and up.
Tamahau says the programme is good for anyone who is open to learning no matter their background, skill or fitness level but is perfect for those interested in continually growing their mau rākau skills.
“I hope tauira would take the disciplines that they learn from this programme and use them as life principles and in the future carry on with their studies and grow their skills.”
Although mau rākau is highly physical, Tamahau will also focus on the significance of the history and how a traditional Māori martial art remains relevant even in today's society.
“I want to use mau rākau to encourage tauira in their own self-identity through their rohe (region) and for them to have a better understanding of their own rohe, like the stories and rich history.”
Find out more about our Mau Rākau Certificate in Māori and Indigenous Art programme and the study pathways that it can lead to.