Te Ika Unahi Nui is a wānanga (learning) which is based at Puniho Pā, Tarawainuku marae in Okato Taranaki. The wānanga is a partnership between the marae, Coastal Taranaki School, and the local community. Facilitator, Jason Ruakere, students, and teacher, Chris Luke talk about the difference marae-based learning supported by digital technologies has made to students confidence and identity.
Te Ika Unahi Nui is a wānanga which is based at Puniho Pā, Tarawainuku marae in Okato Taranaki. The wānanga is a partnership between our marae, the local school, Coastal Taranaki School, and our local community. Te Ika Unahi Nui comes from a old kōrero from Taranaki iwi: E kore e pau a Taranaki, He ika unahi nui. So in times of battle, Taranaki iwi were impenetrable, and so they were described as having tough scales of a fish. And so in terms of our wānanga that is the vision for our boys is to strengthen their identity, their te reo, their culture, tikanga through learning waiata, learning about the stories of the whenua, visiting the mountain, making hīnaki fishing and so forth, so that they learn about who they are, where they come from, and they learn and become confident in being Māori.
The technology that we use is the iPad. The iPad I believe is a tool to help support learning, for some of our boys who are wakamā, who are shy to talk in front of their peers perhaps or to write stories. Some of the applications that we use on the iPad have helped to provide the boys with confidence.
I like going to the marae because I learn stories about my culture and the names of the whares, and my pepeha. When I first came here I wasn’t that very confident talking in front of people, and now that I come here my confidence has been going up.
I like doing the fun activities and learning more about Māori, because I did it when I was younger and I knew heaps then but I’ve forgotten, and now I know a lot more of it. And with the iPads we had to type all our words in Māori, and sometimes you do like 15 minutes of Māori and you’re not allowed to say any, say any English words.
To be able to stand up in front of their peers for a start takes confidence, and this initiative here has I believe helped these students stand in front of their own peers and say “hey I know that, I know who I am and I know my area, I know my stories”, and be able to communicate that.
(reciting a pātere)