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Dawson School

Region: Auckland

Art form: Ngā Toi Māori

Project name: Whakairo (Māori carving skills) and Pou creation

Creative name: Maaka Potini (Lee)

Project information: Our project is one part of a wider school strategy of prioritising mana whenua engagement and developing a partnership with our local iwi, Ngāti Tamaoho. Earlier this year our students and staff were invited to collaborate with Ngāti Tamaoho to develop their strategic education plan, what is now called Te Ara Mātauranga o Ngāti Tamaoho. As part of that collaboration, students requested experiences with traditional Māori arts. Our aim is to develop the whakairo skills and knowledge of our Year 4 and 5 students. 

Starting with a small individual project/practice and as their confidence builds, to work together on a larger collaborative installation of pou. This age group is the focus because as they continue to attend our school, they can use their developing skills on future projects. Our project incorporates the History, Te Reo Māori me ona Tikanga, Toi Māori, and Tamaoho Haerenga strands of the education plan. Students and staff will learn about specific history and traditions of Ngāti Tamaoho, as well as the specific iconography of their carving and the methods they use. They will also learn about and visit significant locations for Ngāti Tamaoho, specifically the carving centre. The Te Ara Mātauranga o Ngāti Tamaoho education plan will form the foundation of our localised curriculum, meaning the learning and messages taught in this project will be reinforced in a range of contexts across the school.

Project starting: February 2022

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