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Jordyn Daniels: Rauangi kaiako, Tauranga-Moana

Accepting a role as a Rauangi kaiako at the Tauranga campus of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa was the realisation of a long-held goal for artist and former tauira, Jordyn Daniels.

“I realised, at our final exhibition, that I didn’t want to leave this space. When I walked into my first raranga class (as a tauira), I just felt such a sense of belonging, like I was home. Being surrounded by all these people who cared, kaimahi, tauira, I just didn’t want it to end.”

While it did involve some juggling in her personal life, Jordyn hasn’t looked back since starting in 2023. She admits she didn’t have much teaching experience, but she has enthusiasm and a desire to give back to the organisation that accepted and embraced her.

Jordyn is a Rauangi kaiako, guiding a cohort of tauira through learning different painting and visual techniques.

She began as a level 3 kaiako, and in 2024 will be taking her former level 3 tauira through the level 4 programme.

“Level 3 is a taster, understanding why we’re in the toi Māori space. Understanding whakapapa of toi Māori and some techniques to help express that. Level 4 takes that knowledge and expands on techniques learnt at level 3. It is very process-driven, with more time to work on pieces.”

Initially worried about how working as a kaiako would impact her own artistic practice, she has been pleasantly surprised to discover the opposite.

She’s found that with the support of fellow kaiako, and her manager, she is pushing herself on a personal level to learn and create more, while putting herself out there and letting herself fail.

Professional development opportunities provided by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa have allowed Jordyn to gain awareness and skills that improve her teaching practices.

In 2023 she attended the Toi Kiri Indigenous Arts festival in Tauranga and connected with other artists from around the world, learning the importance of protecting all cultures when creating mahi toi, not just our own.

Jordyn has embraced her role as a kaiako, knowing her contribution adds to the growth of toi Māori in Aotearoa.

“When I was a tauira, a big part of learning was about the journey of both Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and toi Māori. My reach as a kaiako is a lot bigger than when it is just me creating mahi toi. Each tauira making toi Māori is another stepping stone of that toi Māori journey, that we almost lost.”

Learn more about our Toi Māori (Art) programmes.  

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Published On: 16 February 2024

Article By: Gemma Bradly-Jacka

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