A dozen Māori experts will meet today in Wellington to help realise the potential for two Māori education initiatives: Te Ahu o te reo Māori and Te Kawa Matakura.

Hosted by Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis, the group will help the Government develop the parameters for the initiatives, that were flagged in this year’s Budget.

“There’s huge potential for this if we get it right,” says Davis, “Te Ahu o te reo Māori will support teachers to deliver te reo in the classroom and is the start of our plan to better integrate te reo across the education system.”

Te Ahu o te reo Māori is a package of initiatives to support teachers to use te reo Māori in the classroom. Teachers will have access to tailored courses, peer networks and resources to increase their capability, proficiency and confidence to deliver te reo Māori in the classroom. It will target teachers who are already teaching te reo, and those who have the potential but not the confidence. Davis believes the demand is there for the initiative.

“The teaching workforce has a number of teachers who have good capability in te reo and are looking for ways to improve their confidence to use it every day in their classrooms,” he says.

Te Kawa Matakura will target two groups of rangatahi; those in their final years at wharekura and secondary school (16-18yrs), as well as 16-25 year olds who no longer attend formal education but display a high level of Māori language proficiency and strong leadership skills. The initiative will provide a platform for children to learn and grow in an environment steeped in tribal bodies of knowledge alongside Māori expertise, wisdom and guidance.

The key learning areas will include mōteatea, hītori Māori, karanga, whaikōrero and karakia.

“Te Kawa Matakura is a response to calls to pilot a traditional wānanga Māori. The vision is to produce rangatahi conversant in mātauranga Māori in mind, body and wairua,” says Davis.

“This has long been the dream of our elders and Te Kawa Matakura is a first step to its realisation.”

The think tank is a one-off. Davis says the level of expertise available for the workshop was impressive. Among the experts attending are Sir Timoti Kāretu, Moe Milne and Dr Will Edwards.

“We mustn’t be afraid to ask for help particularly when there’s an unparalleled wealth of knowledge available at our doorstep.”


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