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Photo by Sally-Ann Goodman

Waiheke Marae experience

Anna James —

Students enjoy Māori tourism educational opportunity on stunning Waiheke Island.

Seven Students from Burnside High had the opportunity to travel to Piritahi Marae on Waiheke Island during the school holidays in term 1. This was a Service IQ Gateway Course, funded by Burnside High School.

The seven students were the only people to have traveled from the South Island along with other students from Auckland and Wellington schools.

On this camp the students were given the chance to earn 20 credits to go towards their NCEA. These activities consisted of learning the processes of a pōwhiri, appropriate karakia for different places, preparing food for guests, learning the history of places on Waiheke Island as well as working on Te Reo in the process.

Students had the opportunity to plan and execute a formal pōwhiri for some Australian guests who had traveled to Piritahi Marae. Through this opportunity, they were able to learn so much more about the Māori culture as well as connect with it throughout the camp. “We met so many amazing people and have made friends that we will have for life. Our culture and this opportunity really allowed us to connect with so many people and provided us with an immense amount of knowledge," said Michaela James, a Year 13 student.

According to the students, the camp was not only educational, but it was also fun. Things such as kapa haka, zip lining and  riff offs, made the experience so much better and enjoyable. Thanks to Mrs Mountstevens for offering the opportunity to go to Waiheke, to experience and learn about Māori tourism.