Senior Māori / Te Ao Haka Class take their learning into the hills of Waitati

By Vai Mahutariki | Posted: Wednesday March 30, 2022

On Tuesday 29th March, the Senior Māori and Te Ao Haka class with the support of Mr Mahutāriki known as Matua Vai to the boys, ventured out to Te Whare Wānanga o Arohanui in Waitati and then up into the hills to search for their own Rakau as part of the learning this year in Mau Rakau. Mr Foster also helped out with the trip.

Our boys were welcomed and greeted by Matua Alex Whitaker and Matua Ricky Ngamoki alongside student Tamati Whitaker. 

Matua Ricky and Matua Alex shared their amazing wisdom and knowledge of the history of Te Whare Wānanga o Arohanui and the local area. Many connections to Otago Boys' High School were made which gained further engagement from the students and staff. 

The boys were given some insight into Whakairo or traditional Māori carving and the process one goes through in learning, and also conceptualizing a piece of work. They were taught a new Karakia that could be used on entering and working in the space of the bush and forest and when conducting an activity like selecting and taking a Rakau from nature.

Each boy selected and cut his own Rakau for the purpose of their future learning this year, which enables the boys to take ownership and further connect to their studies in the Te Ao Haka and Te Reo Māori space. The boys will now remove the bark, sand down their Rakau and prepare them for use in Mau Rakau which they practice once a week in class and have the option of other practices during breaktimes and in the evenings in the community. 

Added to this trip, the senior boys will also participate in a Whakairo project alongside Matua Alex Whitaker in producing a piece of work that will hang in the newly formed Tū Māna room when the boys take their lessons. 

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