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Waikaka School

Region: Otago/Southland

Art form: Ngā Toi Māori

Project name: Pomahaka Kahui Ako - Polyfest 2022

Creative name: Heemi Hekerangi

Project information: We are aiming to build the cultural confidence and capability of our Kāhui Ako community: students, teachers, and whānau. Our ākonga have voiced that they want more opportunities to participate in Māori culture, learning waiata, kapa haka, and using te reo Māori regularly and authentically. We have a member of our community who is both willing and very able to work in each of our Kāhui Ako schools to build knowledge and capacity for kapa haka. With this opportunity, we envisage us being able to develop a solid repertoire of waiata and kapa haka to continue to build on for years to come. 

In 2022, our project will see a group of upwards of 90 students, from our 4 primary schools and Blue Mountain College, work towards performing as a Kāhui Ako collective at Mīharo Murihiku Polyfest. Students will have the opportunity to work alongside each other, and our creative, to create a local haka telling stories of our Pomahaka area and schools. This will become a taonga for all our Kāhui Ako schools to pass down for many years to come. This group will also provide us the opportunity to involve our local Hokonui Runanga, by sharing our genuine progress and learning about our ancestors, we hope to develop a reciprocal relationship in which we can share our successes and we can seek guidance, when necessary, about the songs of our people and land that would be most appropriate to learn and share with our students. 

This experience is one in which all teachers involved can develop our local curriculum and learn our narratives from the past that have shaped our district. It also creates connections for our students who move from primary to secondary school within our Kāhui Ako. By participating in this group, students will feel part of a community wider than just their school, celebrate themselves as Māori or as citizens of New Zealand, and develop relationships with those they will spend their secondary school years with, both students and teachers.

Project starting: February 2022

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