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Photo by Joe McMenamin

Māori Department

Matua M. Jennings —

This year has proven to be a great year for the Māori Department. As usual, the year started off with the Naenae College kapa haka group, Te Whānau Tahi, getting a chance to display some of their amazing talents during the pōhiri for the incoming Year 9 students. As well as this, the group performed at a number of events throughout the year, including representing Naenae College at the Te Awakairangi ki Wairarapa Regional Secondary Schools Kapa Haka Competition held in Upper Hutt at the end of term 2. The main aim of these events is to not only promote cultural pride within those students who are involved in the group, but also to install some cultural understanding in their audiences. Kapa haka at Naenae College has created an opportunity for our students to develop their cultural knowledge, self-esteem, integrity and leadership and the group is highly regarded in the school environment and has had a long-established positive profile, both locally and nationally.

Further to this, the Māori Department would like to take this time to congratulate the students involved in the Te Whānau Tahi kapa haka group for their efforts at this year’s competition - the group placed 2nd overall and, most notably the group placed 1st in the waiata tira section and both the male and the female leaders, Fruen Katene Samoa and Michaela Biddle, placed 1st for their role in leading the group. With that being said, we would also like to take the opportunity to thank the tireless efforts the tutors, Te Teira Davis, Tama-Ale Samoa, Ngāhina Temara-Matekohi, Ngaperahurihuri Ulutuki, Marama Pihama, Makareta Pihama and Veti Samoa, and the great many number of whānau supporters and staff who gave up so much of their time throughout the year to help out with the group. Without the support of these people, kapa haka at Naenae College would not be possible, ka rere a Mihi ki a koutou katoa.

This year, four students from Naenae College - Janelle Rata-Takimoana, Whaiora Reihana-Kennedy, Tori Robb & Michaela Biddle - entered into the regional Ngā Manu Kōrero Māori speech competition that was held at Sacred Heart Girls’ College on Friday 1st May. All the girls did exceptionally well in their endeavours, Janelle Rata-Takimoana placed 3rd in the junior Māori section, Whaiora Reihana-Kennedy placed 2nd, narrowly missing out on the top prize after a points recount, in the junior English section, Tori Robb placed 3rd overall in the senior English section and Michaela Biddle placed 1st in the senior Māori prepared speech section and 2nd overall in the senior Māori section. So much time and effort goes in to preparing for this event and the staff and students at Naenae College would like commend these students for giving it a go and setting such a great example for their peers. Ka nui te mihi aroha ki a koutou.

Te wiki o Te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week proved to be an eventful one with the whole school getting right in behind the opportunity to speak Māori, or show their support to speakers if Te Reo by learning some new phrases and speaking Māori throughout the week. Prizes were up for grabs for the best use of Te Reo and five lucky students walked away with delicious treats for their efforts. Māori Language Week has been celebrated for 40 years and its purpose is to encourage and support New Zealanders in the use of the Māori Language, so don’t be shy - keep it reo!

The Inspiring Māori Success Evening was a memorable occasion and it was fantastic to have seen so many whānau present to support this event. The students, of course, were the stars of the night and it was such a great way to celebrate the many successes of our Māori students at Naenae College who are excelling in their academic, sporting and cultural endeavours. It was also a great opportunity for the students to hear from inspirational figures in the Naenae community, Lisa Reedy-Jennings, Te Wharekotua Davis, Thomas Haapu and Kiri Shaw. These people have been an inspiration to the Māori students of Naenae College and are a great example of the success that our students are capable of achieving. We look forward to hearing about the many successes that our students will achieve in the future.

Now that the year has started to wind down and the seniors are counting down to their exams, we wish them all the best and hope that they all have a safe & enjoyable holiday. Heoi anō tātou mā, mā ngā hihi o Tama-nui-te-rā tātou katoa e whakamahana i ngā rā whakatā o Hine-raumati kia korikori tātou, me he Manawa hihiko o te tamaiti. Āpiti hono, tātai hono, me mihi nunui tēnei ki ngā whānau puta noa nā Te Tari Māori o te Kāreti o Naenae.

Kia tau te mauri,

Matua M. Jennings

H.O.D. Māori