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Photo by Jo Earl

Teacher Only Day @ Tuahiwi Marae

Jo Earl —

We had a fabulous day at Tuahiwi Marae - it was great to be able to go as a whole staff and join staff from other schools - we all came away with new learnings.

We were welcomed with an official pōwhiri and then participated in workshops led by some amazing facilitators. These facilitators were passionate about sharing their knowledge about Te Ao Māori and we felt privileged that they all came away from their various day jobs to share in the day with us. We were supported to create and present our mihimihi in small groups.

What is a mihimihi?

A mihimihi is an introductory speech which takes place at the beginning of a gathering after the pōwhiri.

These are generally in Te Reo Māori and can be given by males and females. Sharing our mihimihi helped us establish links with others in the group. 

We will now share this knowledge with our students and all of our students will be supported to create and present their own mihimihi over the next few weeks.

Ngāi Tahu and Ngāi Tūāhuriri

In our second workshop the facilitators shared the Ngāi Tahu migration story. Ngāi Tahu are the Māori people of the southern islands of Aotearoa and hold the tribal authority to over 80% of the South Island. Within the iwi there are five primary hapū and Ngāi Tūāhuriri are one of these. Tuahiwi is the home of Ngāi Tūāhuriri.


In the final workshop we learned about tikanga - a Māori concept with a wide range of meanings — culture, custom, ethic, etiquette, protocol. Generally taken to mean "the Māori way of doing things", it is derived from the Māori word tika meaning 'right' or 'correct'. It was great to be able to ask questions about they way things are done and find out why.

All in all we had a fabulous day - thanks to all of you for making other arrangements for your children on Tuesday - it was appreciated!