Waikato Institute of Technology strengthen connection with Kōhanga Reo

By Hone-Haunui Rapana
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Students of the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative at Waikato Institute of Technology are strengthening the connection with Te Kōhanga Reo o Tōku Māpihi Maurea.

Gifting play grounds, tables and chairs to acknowledge the 30 years the kōhanga has been running since it started under WINTEC.

Students of the Māori and Pasifika Carpentry course at Waikato Institute of Technology are strengthening the connection with Tōku Mapihi Te Kohanga Reo.

Gifting play grounds, tables and chairs to acknowledge the 30 years the Kōhanga has been running since it started under the umbrella of WINTEC.

Utilising the skills learnt in carpentry to build a home of learning for the next generation.

Student at Waikato University, Shannon Cairns says, “Happy to see this.  I think of my son and how he would think, that's what was going through my head before we arrived.”

Tazmin Heta says, “We thought this would be a project only, but it turned out to be a gift for kohanga reo.”

For the past eight weeks, this group of students of Waikato Institute of Technology's Māori and Pasifika Carpentry course have been building these projects for Kōhanga Reo around the region.

“Prior to us starting on these projects, our tutor told us, these will be gifted to kohanga. With that in mind, every day we thought about how these projects will be in a kohanga and how happy the kids will be,” says Shannon Cairns.

A relationship built by iconic people who paved the way for Tōku Mapihi Te Kohanga Reo, teacher Mahia Green shares with us about being approached for these projects.

Teacher at Tōku Mapihi, Mahia GreenWe were prepparing to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our kohanga. This kohanga is an outcome from the WINTEC under the wings of Katarina Mataira and Petiwaia Manawaiti while they taught Te Ataarangi.

These houses compliment the activities and lessons that the kids are learning this time of the year.

Another teacher, Mahia Green says, “We are teaching the kids about who they are, where they're from, about they're marae, so to see these buildings will enhance the lessons our kids are learning.”