On Monday the 18th of April I, along with other Cobham staff, attended a PD day at Tuahiwi Marae. The workshop was aimed at building cultural understanding about the marae, the Rūnanga history and their protocols. Cobham School is located within the Tuahiwi Education Rūnanga (tribal council) area.

The introductory workshops covered:

  • Basic Pōwhiri (welcoming) protocol
  • Ngāi Tahu and Ngāi Tūāhuriri history
  • Marae Visits – What will be expected when you bring tamariki to the marae
  • Understanding basic tikanga Māori specific to Ngāi Tūāhuriri

This workshop has given me an authentic insight and understanding of the identity, culture and language of the Māori people in the area. This is critical for me to have for the educational success of all learners and in particular our Māori learners. This has also inspired me further to develop authentic cultural inclusiveness in my classroom and in my school.

This was also a unique opportunity for me as an educator to connect with the Tuahiwi Rūnanga for the first time and to establish a foundation for developing a strong relationship with them which will in turn help the success of māori learners at Cobham.

Personal goals this relates to:
School Wide Goal 2016 – Cobham teachers and leaders will use the Tātaiako competencies of wānanga, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, tangata whenuatanga and ako to ensure their teaching/leadership behaviours and practice are about knowing, respecting and working successfully with Māori learners, whānau and iwi.
Criteria this relates to:
Practicing Teacher Criteria
2 – Demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of all akonga.,
3 – Demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand.,
10 – Work effectively within the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand,
Cultural Competencies 
1 – Wānanga – Participating with learners and communities in robust dialogue for the benefit of Māori learners’ achievement.,
2 – Whanaungatanga – Actively engaging in respectful working relationships with Māori learners, parents and whānau, hapū, iwi and the Māori Community.,
3 – Manaakitanga – Showing integrity, sincerity and respect towards Māori beliefs, languages and culture.,
4 – Tangata Whenuatanga – Affirming Māori learners as Māori. Providing contexts for learning where the language, identity and culture of Māori learners and their whānau are affirmed.,
5 – Ako – Taking responsibility for their own learning and that of Māori learners.


Peter Fowler said:

Hi Ronnie. Pleased to hear that the marae visit was a great experience for you. I felt the same way. Really good to be in a cultural space which is unique to New Zealand and unfamiliar to many Pakeha. A good follow up would be to come up with a set of actions which could help you to develop the authentic cultural inclusiveness you mentioned above. It would be useful for example, for you to know which students in the science cycle come from Māori backgrounds.The behavioural indicators in Tātaiako can also give you some guidelines for future actions. I will be interested to hear how you get on. Cheers Pete

– 06/05/2016

Tamara Bell said:

Ka mau te wehi! Great to hear you got so much from the experience. I agree with Pete and something that helps can be framing the learning and next steps against these three questions: What? (what happened…you have covered this nicely above) So what? (what did you learn, what critical thinking has occurred for you) What next? (what actions will I now execute as a result of this learning)

– 06/05/2016

Annie Bowker said:

I too loved my experience and to return to the marae in a different role. Not as a young school girl but as an educator. What I took from this day was the history of the area and how so much of how they lived was about sustainability. In your teaching position I would encourage you to include science learning experiences that meet Criteria 4. I have some ideas if you would like to plan a time to meet. The science learning hub as you know is an excellent resource.

– 10/05/2016


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