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Tuahiwi School

Region: Canterbury

Art form: Raranga/weaving-toi Māori 

Project name: Aroha ki te Tangata, te Tuahiwi ki te Whai Ao

Creative name: Lisa Harding

Project information: 

Outcomes for students and ākonga: The hauora of tauira involved in the project have been enhanced in many ways. Learning skills and unpacking the knowledge of their tīpuna and the whenua have developed a deeper connection to the whakapapa of the tauira involved, as all have Māori whakapapa. Being in te taiao and kaitiaki of the harakeke in our kura has allowed tauira to showcase their understanding of the plants and share their growing expertise in raranga with other tauira, kaiako, and whānau. This has had a positive effect on their self-confidence.

Outcomes for teachers and kaiako: Kaiako have become more confident in designing programmes that engage students’ creativity by utilising the knowledge of tauira through learning alongside them to create pixel art, smaller projects that were taught in the raranga sessions, and being more creative in their classroom programmes. This has inspired more tikanga Māori-based, transdisciplinary inquiries, which has encouraged haerenga to wāhi Māori and incorporate te taiao into learning programmes. This project has allowed kaiako to integrate what their tauira have learned within their teaching programmes as a kaiako or tauira themselves. It has supported kaiako in strengthening partnerships with whānau and our Tuahiwi community by encouraging the sharing of learning via digital platforms and learning stories and through whānau hui. A project celebration and final exhibition at our local marae also strengthened the ties between kaiako and Ngāi Tūāhuriri hapū. We invited the wider raranga community and colleagues of our kairaranga, which encouraged more communication between kaiako/kura and creative practitioners. 

Outcomes for creatives: This project has broadened what the creatives can offer in workshops and as well as weaving, and they now have a range of resources and digital tools to support tauira. The Creatives in Schools project has opened the gateway to teaching and working more with tauira in kura. This year has been a chance to adapt and grow their practices around teaching, especially with Covid. Whānau connection and bonds with tauira have grown due to the regular sessions. It has strengthened the creatives’ own whakapapa connection to Tuahiwi, and they feel that they are able to give back to the community. A greater connection with kaiako has developed and the community networking has grown. Without the referrals and knowledge of Tuahiwi kura we would not have had the opportunities we have been given. Raranga is being seen more of an art and less of a craft. Thank you Creative New Zealand for allowing our skills to be valued as time is money and we often give our skills and expertise away. 

Outcomes for parents and whānau: Frequent opportunities were provided for whānau to actively participate in planning tauira creative learning experiences. We had positive take-up of whānau hui and feedback during these sessions and have been responsive to our whānau needs by incorporating their ideas in hui. Visiting the museum to see how harakeke was used and before other materials were readily available allowed tamariki and whānau to see how important and adaptable a resource it is. Attending an exhibition of the mahi of our kairaranga and other Ngāi Tahu artists also increased whānau awareness of professional creative pathways that tamariki could follow. The project has encouraged whānau to pursue and explore raranga in their own time and learn alongside their tamariki. 

Project status: Complete

Project photo gallery:


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