Over 50 tamariki from Te Wharekura o Maniapoto recently undertook what is believed to be the very first educational curriculum haerenga to Rangiaowhia and Orakau. The wharekura has implemented this visit as part of their learnings of particular significant historical landmarks, of which the theme for this term is Kahotea.
Accompanied by Kuia Rovina Maniapoto-Anderson (Ngāti Paretekawa), Rovina spoke of the importance of teaching the NZ Land Wars within the Education Curriculum and how she was proud to be apart of this particular haerenga. The tamariki also visited other significant sites; the Rewi Maniapoto Reserve, Orakau Battle Site, St John’s Church, and the Karangapaihau/Rangiaowhia Catholic Mission & Cemetery.
It was coincidental that the visit to the Rewi Maniapoto Reserve was almost to the day of the passing of the great warrior – 213 years ago. Whilst at Karangapaihau/Rangiaowhia Catholic Mission & Cemetery, the students were joined by 17 officers of the NZ Army, who were taking part in their own educational programme for new army graduates.
Captain Matthew Fraser (Ngāti Tūmatauenga) also identified the importance of knowing about the NZ Land Wars, “We undertake a trip around Aotearoa to enable our officers to familiarise themselves with some of the historical accounts of the NZ Land Wars”.
Te Wharekura o Maniapoto kaiako Fran Borg said that the ‘Kura-ā-iwi’ educational framework enables the tamariki to connect back to our history. “Our mahi as kaiako is to focus on wellbeing and achieve the pinnacle of excellence for our tāmariki and uri of Rereahu-Maniapoto by using the greatest gifts left to us by our ancestors – our reo, our tikanga, our kawa and our unique Maniapoto history and identity”.
Rovina believes that this is a positive step that Te Wharekura o Maniapoto are making towards actively including the history of the NZ Land Wars into the curriculum, and when asked if she could be apart of the haerenga, she didn’t hesitate. “This is absolutely wonderful, and I’m proud that our young ones are here to experience this day, we’re making history!”.