At MAC we offer all students the opportunity to engage in te reo Māori and from 2023 we are introducing Māori performing arts and te ao haka.
Kapa haka is an important part of cultural life at our school giving students from all year levels the chance to build whanaungatanga (connections with each other) and engage with te reo Māori and tikanga while having fun. This powerful combination of waiata, haka, and pūrakau gives our students a chance to develop their personal skills within a group context and contribute to important school and community events through their performance of the kapa haka.
Members of our kapa haka group ‘Te Mākahi o Tititea’ facilitate workshops at the Te MataAu kapa haka festival, an annual day that brings together all the local primary school and early education centres to celebrate kapa haka.
We also hold an annual inter-house haka competition which fosters leadership skills across the school and supports our school values of tikanga and whanaungatanga.
Ngā Manu Kōrero speech competition
Each year, our students compete in Ngā Manu Kōrero speech competition with schools from across Otago and Southland. This experience nurtures their oratory skills and gives them a platform through which to express their views. It also exposes our students to rangatahi Māori (young Māori) from kura kaupapa (full immersion schools) and gives them an opportunity to build whakawhanaungatanga (relationships).
Rangatahi wānanga (learning workshops)
Our kura is well supported by Ngāi Tahu and students are able to engage in rangatahi wānanga (learning workshops) typically held in the school holidays which help students learn more about their whakapapa (genealogy), upskill in te reo Māori, and learn pūrākau (local histories) and mahi toi (arts).
We hold termly student-led whānau hui to engage with our wider whānau in decision-making across the school. These gatherings build whakawhanaungatanga and ensure that our school practice reflects our community’s values.
Te ao Māori cultural experiences
We draw from local expertise to expose students to broader aspects of te ao Māori such as workshops in a range of skills, including:
- mau rākau (Māori weaponry)
- tāmoko (understanding kōwhaiwhai, Māori designs)
- mahi whakairo (carving).
In our junior school program Year 9 students go to Puketeraki Marae in Karitane to experience a noho marae and participate in pōwhiri. We also offer a bi-annual cultural trip to give students the opportunity to connect with te ao Māori. In 2021 we went to Rotorua and in 2023 we are heading to Poneke (Wellington), Whanganui and Taranaki and will visit Parihaka.