Te Puna Wānaka students teach Te Reo

Te Puna Wānaka students teach Te Reo


Te Manuiti Whata during the haka.

A 200-strong haka resounded from Te Puna Wānaka on Wednesday as CPIT’s Bachelor of Language students led Christ’s College pupils in a wānaka to mark the end of an exchange, where CPIT students, overseen by staff members, took on the role of educator and introduced pupils to Māori culture and language.

CPIT’s Te Puna Wānaka students have been providing the three-day workshop at Christ’s College for the past 11 years, with the aim of sharing their knowledge while gaining practical teaching experience. Te Manuiti Whata, a third year student, has been involved with the workshops for the duration of his Bachelor Degree and believes the experience he has gained will be invaluable in his future career.

“Being a part of the workshops has made me even more passionate about educating people in Te Reo and Māori culture. I’ve gained a special understanding of the younger generation and it has been a real eye opener for me,” he said.

This year, CPIT students led a wide range of Māori classes including Mahi Toi (Māori Art), Rāranga (Weaving), Haka (Dance), Mau-rakau (Weaponry) and Waiata (Song). They also introduced the Christ’s College pupils to the basics of Te Reo. “We utilise all the skills we learn here at Te Puna Wānaka through teaching these workshops. It is exciting to see people really taking in what we are teaching them.” Manu said. “We all take great pride in sharing our Taonga or gift of knowledge with others,” he said.

Seeing the pupils perform for their parents and teachers on the final day of the workshop was a proud moment for Manu and the other Te Puna Wānaka students. “The Christ’s College pupils increased their confidence in such a short space of time and their performance was amazing. Knowing that I helped with that reinforced my passion for Te Reo. When I graduate I want to work to attract more people into Māori language courses,” Manu said.

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