Topics: Education, Kapa Haka

Love for te reo & tikanga Māori fostered to over 1400 Gisborne students

By Renee Kahukura-Iosefa
  • North Island: East Coast

Teaching kapa haka, Māori language tutorials and cultural traditions in schools throughout Gisborne is the work of Pura Tangira from Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki.  He has over 1400 students from toddlers through to primary and intermediate schools.

Instilling a love and respect of our Māori language and culture into the hearts and minds of his students is Pura's gift that he uses to embrace all his students through education.

Pura Tangira explains what his mahi entails.

"The objective of our work is teaching students throughout Gisborne of all ethnicities, teaching them history of our region.  Teaching kapa haka and our Māori cultural traditions of Aotearoa. 

We teach students who are willing to learn our Māori culture, what makes us unique as people from East Coast. 

This is my work everyday from 9am-3pm, I teach at Kindergartens, Primary and Intermediate schools.  We're very fortunate to be doing this type of work.

We are so fortunate to share our love, our passion for kapa haka to students throughout our region who have signed up on our programmes.  

A huge benefit is hearing other nationalities speaking Māori.  A benefit is that they are also learning the Māori history of this region and all these schools can come together and perform as one.  

Every week, it's heart-warming to see the enthusiasm and interest of the kids to take part. 

They stand strong for our district, for their school, their families and their love for our home of the East Coast. 

I grew up under the guidance and direction of my elders Wiremu Kerekere and Te Haumihiata Parata, they instilled these teachings the passion and love to teach kapa haka.  

I just want to thank all the teachers who support and encourage their students to take part in our programme they get to experience and embrace our Māori language and culture. 

It's helping them to learn and understand creating new educational pathways that are of benefit to them."