Education program to be part one of Te Puke’s Matariki celebrations

Te Puke’s Kāhui Ako leaders met last week to go through the educational day workshop programme.

The first day of Te Puke’s Matariki celebrations is all about filling the community’s basket with knowledge.

Te Kete Matariki 2022 is in two parts. Te Kīwai Maui, the educational day, is on Thursday, June 23, and the community day, Te Kīwai Katau, is the following day.

The celebration draws its name from the story of Whakaotirangi, who had the role of securing the kumara plants brought to Aotearoa in a kete on the Te Arawa waka.

The two days of celebrations represent the two handles of the kete.

Te Kīwai Maui, led by Te Puke’s Kāhui Ako (community of learning), will offer knowledge and activities for the district’s preschoolers and primary, intermediate and high school students.

“This is the Kāhui Ako leader filling the community’s kete with knowledge,” says Kāhui Ako across school, Tatai Takuira-Mita, who is also deputy principal at Fairhaven School.

“It’s a good balance too, with the hands-on activities and the sharing of important information.”

The educational day will feature a series of workshops at Jubilee Park.
Tatai says holding the celebrations over two days gives the educational day a better profile.

“Last year we had the education workshops going as part of the community event and it was too much happening at once.”

Workshop days have been held at the base of Mauao for a number of years around Matariki.

“[Fairhaven School] goes over, but we thought to ourselves, through the Kāhui Ako, we’ve got enough expertise and skill to recreate that for our community. The feedback we have had from the schools and the early learning centers has just been overwhelmingly: ‘Thank you for providing this in our community’.”

Groups have registered for the workshops from all 12 of the Kāhui Ako’s schools, as well as many of the early childhood centers and kōhanga reo.

Workshops will be geared to younger children in the morning and older students in the afternoon, and each group is registered for two of the workshops.

High school leaders will be navigators on the day and within-school Kāhui Ako teachers will lead some of the workshops. Others will be led by environmental and community groups as well as the Department of Conservation, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Poutiri Trust.

Kāhui Ako leaders preparing for the educational day workshops.
Kāhui Ako leaders preparing for the educational day workshops.

“The within-school teachers are representatives from each school who meet every second week. This is something we are going to be doing on the day to support the learners across the community to learn more about Matariki – so it’s all about that kaupapa and, in doing so, making sure we’ve got participation from our community groups as well, so it’s not just a Kāhui Ako thing.”

The community has got behind the day, with the Poutiri Trust and the Bay of Plenty Sikh Society the major sponsors.

Activity workshops include kite making, weaving, poi making, kapa haka, Matariki mobiles, and there will be a local curriculum mini-tour looking at the waharoa at the park, the Hera Memorial Archway, the Te Hurihanganui mural in the Heritage Walkway and the old gaol

“I think that will be quite interesting for the kids”

The environmental workshops will look at a range of topics from worm farming and native plants and birds to coast care and maara kai.

On the Friday, DoC will be giving away native plants.

“Their connection between the education day and the community day is teaching the kids about the plants and the next day giving the plants to families to take home and plant so that learning carries on.”

Away from the park, groups of students will also be contributing to a new mural on the Te Puke Memorial Swimming Pool fence, sponsored by Resene.

At Friday’s community day, the Kāhui Ako tent is where the results of the various workshops will be on display.

“The idea will be the children will be able to bring their parents to the tent and talk about what they learned the day before, see the kites, pick up the poi.”

The workshops will give children the opportunity to interact with teachers from various schools.

“That’s what he Kāhui Ako is all about – sharing that knowledge.”

Tatai says there is a buzz in the community about the celebrations with the community getting on board and supporting the day.

She says the hope is there will be as much iwi involvement as possible, given it is a working day.


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