Te Puna o Wairaka

Tēnā koe! Nau mai, haere mai ki tēnei whārangi mo te tari reo Māori.

Te Puna o Wairaka is a Maori whanau unit at Mount Albert Grammar School. Maori student members of the unit come together each day in Form Classes featuring a mix of year levels to support each other in their language and culture, then disperse to their various subjects with their fellow MAGS students.

The Māori Language Department is a core part of Te Puna o Wairaka. Within this Department we teach Te Reo Māori, Te Reo Rangatira, Māori Performing Arts, as well as kapa haka in general, while maintaining a focus on educating our students about tikanga Māori within appropriate contexts.

We have a variety of students across all year levels with varying levels of fluency and knowledge of te reo, from beginners through to fluent speakers. All our courses can be studied from Year 9 through to Year 13, with all Levels of NCEA assessment, including Scholarship Te Reo Māori and Te Reo Rangatira. Each of these subjects are University Approved subjects, except for Māori Performing Arts, however there is an opportunity to offer some Dance Standards (which is a University Approved subject) through kapa haka.

Te Reo Māori is the indigenous language of this country, so it is important that our students learn te reo as it is an integral part of their identity as a citizen of this country. Learning about te reo and tikanga Māori will also help our students develop their bilingualism and as a result will give them a greater appreciation and awareness of other cultures, which is important in today’s society – an ever-changing, rich tapestry of multiculturalism! Furthermore, having a greater knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori will give our students an advantage ahead of many others in their future studies and chosen career paths.

Studying Te Reo, Tikanga and Māori Performing Arts can lead to a wide range of job opportunities and career pathways. The skills gained from studying these subjects will supplement any career pathway that our students choose, whether it be medicine, law, the arts, education, business, commerce, engineering, architecture, or any other pursuit as a means to give back to their families, wider communities and cultures in general.

In our Department, we strongly believe in the sentiments of the whakataukī (proverb) listed below, which talks of the many opportunities that all knowledge, including knowledge of te reo and tikanga, can provide our students.

‘Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nōnā te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te mātauranga, nōnā te ao!’
‘The bird that eats the miro berry, the forest is theirs. The bird that eats knowledge, the world is theirs!’

Ms Waimirirangi Paul
Head of Te Puna o Wairaka
wpaul@mags.school.nz