Papa Gina (Taha Brown) is a quiet man by nature – always has been. Whakamā (shy) is the term he likes to use, and Papa Gina continued to be whakamā when he unwittingly became one of the stars of the show when the new te reo Māori curriculum resources were unveiled at Muriwai Marae near Gisborne in early November.
“When I went to school, I felt ashamed,” the 87-year-old Ngāi Tāmanuhiri kaumātua says. “I had this reddish hair, face full of freckles… so I was shy.
“But I have seen now how I have overcome that shyness and I’m now on television. This is payback for all those times when I was afflicted with shyness. Now I’ve come out.”
The television Papa Gina refers to is a video story depicting a group of young primary-age children discovering the great ancestral waka, Horouta, submerged in the sea.
The video and an e-book are the first of the new te reo Māori curriculum resources designed through the Te Aho Ngārahu fund, a collaboration between communities and the Ministry of Education.
He Putanga nō Uki is a Ngāi Tāmanuhiri story set in the early 1940s about the discovery of Horouta. The resource is targeted at te reo Māori learners 9–11 years old.
Papa Gina was one of the children who stumbled across Horouta.
“So, that’s enough from me, but this day [the launch of He Putanga nō Uki], a warm, prosperous day . . . now I can rest,” he says after starring in the video.
“When I was little and really shy, I kept out of sight so I wouldn’t be seen; now the world is watching me – that’s my prize. I’ve won the cup. I stand tall on my marae of Ngāi Tāmanuhiri.”
Ngāi Tāmanuhiri Chief Executive Robyn Rauna says the collaboration was an important opportunity for iwi to tell their stories in their own way.
“He Putanga nō Uki is one of those stories we were raised on. To be able to capture it as an educational resource is invaluable and it’ll enhance not only our Māori kids and mokopuna, but contribute to the local history of this region,” she says.
“We’re thrilled to be able to share this story with the country whilst also using Ngāi Tāmanuhiri dialect and look forward to telling more of our stories over time.”
The Ministry of Education’s Chief Adviser Māori/Raukura, Dr Wayne Ngata, says working directly with Māori communities to tell their stories as local curriculum resources has unearthed the wealth of information held in oral history across the country.
He Putanga nō Uki is the first of 80 new resources made to ensure that local New Zealand history and stories are a central part of all local curricula.
The remaining resources will be released in the coming months, with work well underway to produce more.
He Putanga nō Uki quick facts
He Putanga nō Uki focuses on a group of young primary-age children who were playing at the beach in Muriwai and ventured to an area that they had always been told not to go to. They discovered a waka there that was half-submerged in the sea. They tried pulling it out but it was too heavy. When they went home, their families eventually found out where they had gone to. The children confessed, saying that they had found a waka. It was Horouta.
He Putanga nō Uki is the first of 80 new te reo Māori resources that has been developed with whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori.
Budget 2017 allocated $1.91m annually to develop localised te reo Māori curriculum resources to support ākonga and kaiako.
The Ministry paired successful proposals to develop stories like He Putanga nō Uki with a curriculum and resource development expert to bring these stories to life.
The new resources will align with one or more of the national curriculum documents: Te Whāriki, Te Marautanga o Aotearoa or The New Zealand Curriculum.
Source: Education Gazette