Skip Content
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.  

 Back to news & events

Published On: 16 February 2024

Article By: Gemma Bradly-Jacka



Other Articles

  • 18 April 2024

    Raranga guides new mum back into te ao Māori

    Joy Gilgen had always thought that raranga was a practice reserved for older generations, but after having her first pēpē in 2022, she had the urge to do something holistic and reground herself in te ao Māori.

  • 28 March 2024

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa honour two founders with new scholarships in 2024

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa relaunched their scholarships in 2023, and in 2024 are proud to announce the introduction of three new scholarships, two of which honour a couple of the institute’s founding members.

  • 28 March 2024

    Former All Black strengthens passion for toi through wānanga programme

    Former All Black, Kees Meeuws has always had a passion for toi, so much so, that in his earlier years he studied at Elam School of Fine Arts, completing a foundation year and first year sculpture.

  • 28 March 2024

    Stepping out of the corporate world and into the classroom

    Like many parents during the pandemic, Tamara Grace-Tonga had to become her daughter’s core teacher. Quite unexpectedly, this sparked her wanting to change her legacy.