Adding To Our Cultural Kete

Kaiako Esther receiving her certificate from Dr Mike Paki

Whanganui Central Baptist Kindergarten.

CBK has long held an aspiration to delve deeper into its bicultural practice. Over the last year, CBK kaiako have had many different opportunities to add to learning, build knowledge and relationships, all deepening our bicultural learning. 

To begin, we had been building relationships with Māori in our immediate community, and the question was still how do we connect with local Iwi. Turns out, it wasn’t too hard! An email led to an Iwi consultant being appointed to listen and share with us. A small group of kaiako and a Trust member met with Dr Mike Paki and the latest journey was underway. Within weeks, Te Pipipi, a 10 session course, spread over twenty weeks was underway. Fifteen kaiako, people from the wider Whanganui community and members from Whanganui Central Baptist Church embarked on a new waka, learning te reo, tikanga, waiata, pepeha together, facilitated by Dr Mike Paki. 

Earlier this year, the teaching team boarded a pahi/bus and headed off on a hikoi to visit places of significance for Māori in the Whanganui community. What a memorable hikoi, places have new meaning and new names, we learnt of the importance and relevance of each place in the bigger picture of Whanganui. 

The local Ministry of Education funded a further 10 sessions of Te Pipipi, some kaiako took on this new challenge, some joined on line learning opportunities such as Toro Mai, Waka Huia. 

More recently, a national education ‘roll out’ - Te Ahu o te reo Māori offered further learning opportunities and three of our team have spent 18 weeks immersed in te reo, what a privilege. This latest roll out is expected to continue into 2020, do check the Ministry of Education website for details – while it is full on, after the first noho marae, one attendee said, ‘gosh, I’m thinking in te reo!’ (it had been a quiet noho for this kaiako as it was kōrero te reo only – lots of thinking and processing time). 

What changes have we noticed? Kaiako have gained more confidence in  kōrero te reo. New kupu, phrases, karakia, waiata are in use in the every day. It is becoming part of who we are! It is a lovely reminder when we    have students on practicum about how far we have come in a relatively   short space of time (they hear the reo and see tikanga practices – yah!)   Tamariki speak more reo, whānau are acknowledging and sharing in the  journey. Our native te reo speakers are leading the learning. Little Miss    4 happily supports all of our attempts and gently corrects us as needed.   What a year! Little steps! We are on the way! 

Ko wai to ingoa?     Ko Matthew tōku ingoa.