Whānau Hui Update

Ike Tapini – Whānau Hui Member, Board Deputy Chair

Wā Ora Montessori has always shown a lot of support for Te Āo Māori and our Whānau Hui Rōpu at the school. Working together with kaiako, ākonga and the Wā Ora community allows us to create several key events during the year.


I attended a Māori Boys Catholic College in the 1990s and Matariki was not a thing that we celebrated.  Our 250+ boys trained in Kapa Haka, attended church 6 days a week and were coached to play rugby, but we never celebrated Matariki.  I understand Matariki stopped at some point in the 1940s and was reignited in the 2000s – cemented for many when it was made a public holiday for NZ in 2022.

The hāngi we hold at the High School is one of our highlight events for the whole school year.  200+ pakeke and tamariki attend the evening but in the lead up to the meal, we are supported by:

  • All the Pre-school and Primary classes showcasing Matariki displays for us on the Saturday
  • Pre-school and primary peeling and prepare nearly all our vegetables
  • Tawari were outstanding with prepping stuffing, chopping pumpkins and setting up tables
  • PTA and two whanau funding the purchase of our new Kai Cooker
  • Unwavering support from Acting Principal, Katy Cottrell (especially in Ava’s absence and during the teacher strikes)
  • Whānau Hui parents take annual leave to ensure it all comes together

This year I really enjoyed the room set up, it allowed more whanau to sit together and was more reminiscent of eating at a Marae.  Tamariki were hanging out, pakeke were chatting and the kai was cooking.  We will get better and better with this new cooker as we use it more.  Expect more opportunities for hāngi to be prepared during the school year!

Next up – Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori: Whakapapa

This is the second largest event of the year for Whānau Hui and this year we have a theme.  Our tamariki will participate through learnings and items in their classes and we will have a whānau evening again, same as last year.  September 8, keep it free 😊.

The theme this year is Whakapapa – Genealogy: where you come from.

Whakapapa allows for very wide interpretations and can draw from stories in our past.  For me, the gold has always been in the stories that can be told – remembering that facts aren’t always the key item in a good story.   There are many great stories that come from whakapapa: war soldiers, Greek demi-gods, taniwha and local NZ heroes.  

So, I look forward to seeing what our tamariki learn and create.  And I hope to share some of my whakapapa at our whānau evening for Te Wiki o Te Reo.  It will be a bit of fun 😊


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

The Importance of Contribution from Local to Global Communities

By Rose Langridge – Humanities & English teacher

“The child, that ‘forgotten citizen’, must be appreciated in accordance with his true value” – Maria Montessori Education and Peace, p. 38

I am always brought to this idea when the level three social studies class embarks on their social campaign to change policies. This year has been no different. 

They decided to focus on the issue of food waste in the Hutt Valley and aimed for curbside collection. They believe that we need to be caretakers for future generations. We can not have a peaceful world if we do not preserve the place we call home. 

They decided on three courses of action

  1. Creating a petition (the link is https://chng.it/jhdyhks5fg) they felt they could reach a wider group of people quickly relying on social media.
    2. Doing flyer drops in their own neighbourhoods to connect with their own communities.
    3. Writing letters to members of the Hutt City Council and the Upper Hutt City Council. 
  2. They did this as they felt that this was the best way to access the people who were in the position to discuss the policies in place and make changes. 

They completed all their actions and got a response from many politicians. Josh Briggs came in to discuss their proposal with them. They were invited to speak at the next committee meeting. Three members of the group went along and took part they wrote an exceptionally well-versed argument. The councillors were incredibly impressed with their ideas. It was apparent that they had a solid grasp of the issue that was very much current and future-focused.

Having the opportunity to contribute to this process and seeing the impact that they can have was very powerful for them. They were able to have a voice in a democratic process. 

I kept thinking about them whilst I was completing the facilitator training for the Montessori Model United Nations last week. This course gives the student participants a taste of how decisions are made and how delegates from countries from all over the world meet and discuss issues impacting all countries. The MMUN began in 2006 with 200 students. Since then hundreds of schools and thousands of participants join every year. Judith Cunningham founded MMUN to help children find their voices and work to Implement Maria Montessori’s dream of world peace. 

From seeing akonga working with their local council to those who have travelled to New York and Rome as well as participating in MMUN events online it is very easy to see Maria’s dream coming into play. Education leads to peace. It is big work and essential to our future. 

As Maria said: “An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” – Maria Montessori Education and Peace, p. 30