During this year the Kaupapa Māori Pathway class has focused on our Māori history. This has led us to learn some amazing things about the state of our language, the effects of colonisation, connecting to our own whakapapa, the significant of Matariki to Māori and the founding documents that have shaped and impacted our lands, all while learning te reo Māori along the way. To finish off the year we planned a trip to Wellington so the students could connect on another level to things related to the Māori world. This trip took place 29 November – 4 December.

We visited Tapu te Ranga Marae, a marae built by Māori for Māori as a solution to the many issues our culture faced, where we learned about rongoā Māori (Māori medicine). We also visited Kokiri Marae, another incredible place that was built to support and uplift Māori by providing a range of services.

At the National Library, we visited the ‘He Tohu’ exhibition, and got to see the real original documents of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Te Whakaputanga o Te Rangatiratanga (declaration of independence), women’s suffrage petition and learnt more about these documents.

We visited Te Papa and were guided around by two staff members to experience connections to our culture, and the students also got to see the Gallipoli exhibition. We visited the star dome where the students learnt more about Matariki and star lore according to Māori.

At Parliament we had a behind the scenes tour, we got to see some of the history behind the building and the structure of the building. Whilst we were in The Beehive we got to hear Rawiri Waititi’s maiden speech, a member of The Māori Party.

Other places we visited included the Weta Workshop, Te Wharewaka (a place that houses traditional canoes), Te Kura, Mount Victoria (to learn some history of Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington). Also during our time in Wellington we created spaces for whakawhanaungatanga which only strengthened the connection and bond among the students.