Hero photograph
Photo by Karen Adams


L Skinner —

Waiata (singing), whanaungatanga (getting to know each other) and hono (connection) were the standouts from a trip to Whangaparāoa College last Thursday for our group of whānau Māori seniors.

An awesome group of College seniors, He Waka Eke Noa, showed us amazing manaakitanga as they welcomed and hosted us for the day.

We were invited to the College, along with Stanmore Bay School & Gulf Harbour School, to find out more about what the College has to offer next year. It was such a great day that no-one wanted to leave when it was time to hīkoi (walk) back to school!

From Tamati  L5:

Butterflies were fluttering as I was sitting on the taumata waiting for my turn to represent my school with mihi. A mihi is a greeting and a formal speech to introduce yourself and your rōpū. In the marae it's a form of acknowledging ancestors, people and things at the hui. I was so nervous but felt good about myself at the end when Matua Josh acknowledged my effort. Kia kaha te reo Māori!

From Sonny  M&M:

It was a fun day and my favourite thing was learning the College waiata. My rōpū was the best in the waiata competition, we sang the loudest and sweetest. We learnt about the marae, who the Māori teachers are and got to hang out with the He Waka Eke Noa senior student group. They looked after us all day and will be awesome role models for us next year.

I can’t wait to get up to the College next year to find out more about sport and about learning te reo Māori. I can meet up with the He Waka Eke Noa seniors again, and I’m going to join kapa haka at the College so I can hang out with other kids who are into Māori things.

From Tiana L5:

We learnt a special waiata that had been written for the college. Groups were mixed with children from Stanmore Bay School, Gulf Harbour School and our school. We sang loud and proud. It was a lovely waiata and it got stuck in my head for the rest of the week. I can't wait to learn more next year and I might even join kapa haka.