Tikanga Maori at Te Kura o Tawa

Ka tangi te titi / Ka tangi te kaka / Ka tangi hoki ko au 

We acknowledge the kaitiaki of this land, Ngati Toa Rangatira, and give thanks for their guidance and support.

The kaiwhakaako (teachers) at Tawa School have been working on fostering different aspects of tikanga Māori within the school and with the kaiako (students). We acknowledge and celebrate the fact that our students come from a wide range of families, iwis, ethnicities and cultures. We try to honour our Māōri students by creating a space where all iwi and hapu are welcome.

As teachers, we strive to create classroom cultures where mana is maintained through building relationships based on trust, respect and responsibility. The kaiwhakaako of Tawa School make it a priority to know their Māori students and make positive connections to them. This means getting to know a bit about their families, their iwi, and what they’re interested in.

We are now learning how to hold a powhiri for new students and staff and a poroporoaki for leavers. We are also learning to integrate te reo Māōri into our classrooms in conversation and by using whakatauki, waiata and karakia.

We aspire to have all our kaiwhakaako and kaiako learn and recite their pepeha. Hearing and learning pepeha connects us all to our roots and our whakapapa. We grow through learning about our families – knowing their experiences influences the choices we make in our lives.

Te Kura o Tawa hopes to offer a place where tangata whenua know they are valued and important, that their voices are heard, and that their needs met.

We have weekly kapa haka for all students every Tuesday. Tē Rōpū Ngahau is the Tawa School performance group which celebrates the culture and diversity of our tamariki. It is an opportunity for students with a particular strength or interest in kapa haka to strengthen their reo, immerse themselves in tikanga and develop their leadership with the support of their teachers and our wider school community.

This design was created especially for Tawa School, by Rina and Tai Kerekere. They had two children at Tawa School, and work from home as freelance designers. Following is the kōrero Rina and Tai have given for their gift to our school.

"We’ve called the design ‘Whaia te iti Kahurangi’, after the proverb below: 

Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe me maunga teitei

Pursue that which is precious, and do not be deterred by anything less than a lofty mountain. 

This is a proverb which encourages one to strive, to set goals, to presevere. 

The design has 4 main components: 

    1) The kowhaiwhai, which depicts pathways and journeys. The kowhaiwhai is a development of the koru, like the fern frond. 

    2) Within the kowhaiwhai is a design called the ‘koriri’ it is a koru that grows within another koru, again like the fern frond. This represents manaakitanga and whanaungatanga, support, guidance and nurturing. 

    3) Niho taniwha, or triangles. There are 4 sets of 3 niho taniwha. Niho taniwha means strength of the taniwha (guardian). This symbolises leadership and endurance. There are 3 niho taniwha in each set to represent, a) the tamariki, children b) the kaiako, teachers, and c) hapori, the community, and how important each group is for the success of our school, the learning of our children, and supporting our kaiako (teachers). 

    4) The centre of the design is a line of whetu or stars. We’ve included these to a) have a connection to the Tawa School logo, and b) to symbolise, ‘reaching for the stars’, encouraging our tamariki to set goals and strive for the best they can be."