Wharekura Kaiako speaks at World Indigenous Peoples Conference

Hohepa Hei, kaiako from Te Wharekura o Maniapoto has been selected to make a presentation at the Worlds Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education which is being held in Toronto, Canada this week.

Hohepa (Te Whakatōhea, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-ā-Hauiti, Te Aitanga-ā-Mahaki) will present his abstract submission on “Education and Guardianship in the 21st Century, kootuia Te Aka Matauranga, Kaitiakitanga Hei Tikitiki Moo Tonu Mahunga”.  His paper focuses on building and creating Innovative Indigenous Teaching Spaces and Learning Methodologies through the sustainability of the environment and teaching our whānau how to provide kai for themselves, with a future focus of establishing entrepreneurial opportunities and job prospects for our iwi.

Hei believes education within Maniapoto is better enhanced after the implementation of recent projects that have allowed tamariki to work more collaboratively with the iwi in all areas of the education curriculum. Within Environmental Sciences, Te Wharekura o Maniapoto worked alongside the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board who were able to invite specialists from organisations such as Landcare Research, NIWA, Environment Waikato, Maraeroa C Incorporation and others to assist in teaching the tamariki.  This includes our own talented weavers and carvers who are able to provide education services and teachings that have only be seen with rural communities and schools.

The World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) is a major international event that attracts Indigenous experts, practitioners, scholars and students of Australia, Africa, Hawaii, Norway, Nicaragua, Mexico, Taiwan, Indonesia, Aotearoa and many more countries, who collectively come to share, diffuse and promote best practices, successes and strategies in education policies for indigenous peoples across the globe.

Te Wharekura o Maniapoto is also sending a small delegation to WIPCE with a focus on understanding, learning and acquiring key aspects of Indigenous teachings which can positively influence governance and leadership improvements at Te Wharekura o Maniapoto.

Aotearoa previously hosted WIPCE in November of 2005, and this year, the 11th tri-annual 5-day conference will be held in Toronto, Canada began on Monday 24th July and ending this Friday.

Ngā Whakataetae mo ngā Manu Kōrero 2017

The freezing temperatures in Tokoroa was certainly a talking point recently when more than 21 secondary schools gathered to compete in the Tainui Waka Ngā Manu Kōrero Regional Competition 2017 last Friday.

Ngāti Haua welcomed Te Ariki Tamaroa Whatumoana Paki, and the largest number of entries of speakers for the competition and their supporters into the South Waikato Sport and Events Centre Complex.
For Paparauwhare Campbell and Makarena Te Moanapapaku-Stephens from Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, taking the stage for their first time was a thrilling challenge. “It was definitely nerve-wracking but also exciting to be up their amongst their peers from other schools”, they said. Paparauwhare started the Te Reo Pākehā stage for the Senior section with her topic ‘Without foresight or vision, our people will be lost’. Following close behind her was Makarena for the Junior section.

Making a return to the stage was Tangirau Papa, also from Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, who last year won the Rāwhiti Ihaka Trophy (Junior Section Te Reo Māori). Tangirau was feeling the usual nerves but was also more excited about this year. “It takes our speech to a whole new level, especially competing in the Senior Section. But I’m happy and really looking forward to what our day brings”, says Tangirau.
Congratulations to both Makarena for gaining second place in the Te Reo Pākeha Junior Section, and to Tangirau for gaining second place in the Te Reo Māori Senior section, who also placed first as Top Senior Female Te Reo Māori.
It was inspirational to see other Maniapoto kura taking part in the competition and congratulate the following rangatahi:
• Laykin Crown (Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Taumarunui)
• Te Kūiti Stewart, Matariki Hughes & Te Mata-a-Riki Raro (Te Wharekura o Ngā Purapura o Te Aroha)
We look forward to next years competition where we hope to see yet another talented group of Maniapoto rangatahi taking the stage.

An end for a new beginning.

More than 70 people gathered recently to say farewell to a historic classroom that is set to make way for a brand new complex.

In November 2015, Te Wharekura o Maniapoto were given the green light to redevelop the school grounds which will see existing buildings replaced with a brand new two-storey building that will provide students with a fresh, bright learning environment.

As the school bell rung for the final time recently, former students and staff reminisced about the good old days with their current counterparts and the iwi at a special karakia whakamutunga led by Ministers Te Pare Joseph and Solomon Nelson.

Longest serving staff member, and wearer of many pōtae over the years – Les Koroheke, was speechless after being given the honour of ‘turning the sod’, symbolising the start of construction for the new re-build.  He spoke about the greatest asset to our tamariki, is te reo māori and the importance of continuing to speak it.

Whānau then dined for the last time in the oldest building at the school.  Due to new earthquake guidelines, the building was not able to be saved as part of the new $6 million multi-purpose space, containing specialist learning spaces and a covered, all-weather outdoor playing area that will be built.  There will also be an improved site layout, with an upgraded car park and drop-off area, paved areas and improved drainage and playing fields.

The Learning Spaces at the Wharekura will be flexible so they can be easily reconfigured, with good internal connections and access to outside learning areas.  Acoustics, lighting, technology, heating and air quality will all be of a high standard to help students focus on the learning.  As well as meeting the needs of current students, the new facilities will also allow for future roll growth.

Tumuaki of Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, Hirere Moana says “the students will remain on site as the re-build occurs with the completion expected to be day one of Term 3, 2018”.

Maniapoto make their mark in China

Flying the Maniapoto Flag at The Great Wall of China was something five Rereahu-Maniapoto descendants, never expected to do.

Since its inception in 1999, the Great Wall Marathon has become revered as one of the world’s most challenging marathons along one of mankind’s greatest monuments.  This sellout event attracts runners from over 60 nations.  For Tammy Kara, Erina Wehi-Barton, Ulysis Kara, Lynette Stafford and Mary Tapu, to be selected from 2500 applicants from around the world, and only 88 of those from Aotearoa, the team certainly took a step into history!

The team completed the 21km section of the marathon in 47c temperatures, running The Great Wall with its breath-taking surroundings and views.  Part of the course leads them through the lower valley and into villages, where they experienced the indigenous hospitality of the cheering locals and the festive atmosphere that was created for the runners.

For Erina Wehi-Barton, it was a culmination of a year’s dedicated training and preparation for the whole team but helped her realise the important things in life.  “This marathon, and connecting with the haukainga, certainly makes you appreciate that it’s not what you need, but what you have.”


To stand atop of The Great Wall and fly the Maniapoto flag was truly a special moment in which hopes to serve as inspiration for Maniapoto rangatahi.  “Don’t limit yourselves, make the most of your life, get out and explore the furthermost reaches of the world.  If my aunties and cousins can do it, then so can I, and surely you can too!” says Erina.

For Erina, she has her sights set on competing in the Hawaii Marathon at the end of the year but for now is preparing for Tri-Māori, a kaupapa that is for all age groups and fitness abilities.  “Let’s do this Maniapoto!”, says Erina.

The Maniapoto Maori Trust Board were proud to support this roopu in this awesome kaupapa. If you are interested in seeing what grants are currently open, check out our website www.maniapoto.iwi.nz

Tamariki celebrate Matariki and Te Reo

Since starting in 2001, early childhood centres, kohanga reo, primary and secondary schools, high schools, colleges, tertiary agencies and community groups gather to celebrate Te Reo Māori through activities and presentations.

For the Tumuaki of Te Wharekura o Maniapoto and one of the organisers of Whikoi mo te reo, whaea Hirere Moana, it is one of the most important kaupapa of the year.  “Kia whakarauora tō tātou reo me ngā kōrero o Matariki.  Kia mōhio te hāpori whānui kei te ora tō tātou nei reo ngā taonga tuku iho a Ruruhi ma ā Koroheke ma.  Kia whakaohōho ā tātou Uri kia mau ki ngā taonga tuku iho o Maniapoto he ahai “Kia tu Kahika ki te Pae”

The theme for this year, as is for each and every year was – Te Reo Māori.  “Encouraging our tamariki to stand, to speak and to hear te reo Māori”, says Moana.  The celebrations were held at Te Kūiti Pā and included presentations from schools and kohanga reo, followed by mass kapahaka which the tamariki (children) thoroughly enjoyed.  “Te whakakotahi ā tātou iwi me ngā hāpori o Maniapoto”, says Moana.

What is Matariki?

There are nine stars in the Matariki constellation. Each hold special significance over different areas of te taiao (environment). The stars are; Matariki, Pohutukawa, Waiti, Waita, Waipuna-a-rangi, Tupuanuku, Tupuarangi, Ururangi and Hiwa-i-te-rangi. Each star was viewed to gain insight into the coming year.

Matariki – signifies reflection, hope and our connection to the environment and gathering of people.

Pohutukawa – associated to those who have passed

Waiti – fresh water bodies and food sources that are sustained by those waters.

Waita – associated with the ocean and all food sources within it.

Waipuna-a-rangi – the star that is associated to the rain

Tupuanku – everything that grows within the soil that is to be harvested or gathered for food.

Tupuarangi – associated with everything that grows in the trees: fruits, berries, birds.

Ururangi – the star associated with the winds.

Hiwaiterangi – granting wishes, and realising our aspirations for the year ahead.