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