Media Statements

25//2018

Historic day for Māori education in Te Tauihu

Historic day for Māori education in Te Tauihu

The three Kurahaupō iwi of Te Tauihu —Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Kuia and Rangitāne o Wairau—welcome the official opening of Te Pā Wānanga, Marlborough’s first bilingual kaupapa Māori school.

The kura (school), a two-classroom satellite unit of Renwick School based at Omaka Marae in Blenheim, was officially opened during a dawn ceremony on Friday, attended by about 250 people, including representatives from iwi throughout Te Waipounamu (the South Island).

“This is a significant and historic day,” said Chairman of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Trust Brendon Wilson.

“This is a vision that has long been held, and it’s a credit to the tenacity of Kiley(Nepia) and his family that we are standing here today.

“Finally, our tamariki can be educated within a Māori context. This is something we could have only dreamed about when my generation were children.”

Te Pā Wānanga is part of Omaka Marae’s strategic vision Pā Ora, Pā Wānanga; developing a centre of cultural excellence. Marae General Manager Kiley Nepia and his wife Donna have championed the establishment of a kura at the marae since 2013. The project moved forward in late 2015 after the marae secured funding from Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu to develop the Pā Wānanga concept further.

After continuing talks with the Ministry of Education, the marae invited Renwick School to partner with the satellite unit until Te Pā Wānanga could establish itself as a standalone school, and in June 2017 the ministry announced funding for the new two-classroom unit.

Chair of Ngāti Kuia, Waihaere Mason, said Te Pā Wānanga played an important role in terms of cultural identity and whakapapa. “This is about whakapapa. You can’t have a culture without a language and you can’t have a language without culture.

“This is a wonderful occasion and a great reminder—we’re all in this together.”

Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Chairperson Wendy Hynes said the partnership between Omaka Marae and Renwick School was to be celebrated. “Together they are able to offer the best of both educational worlds. Rangitāne congratulates those who have made this aspiration a reality, in particular Kiley Nepia, whose passion and perseverance for the revitalisation of Māori culture and language in Marlborough is second to none.”


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PHOTO 1: Te Pā Wānanga’s founding students take part in the dawn ceremony on Friday to officially open the new Māori medium school. Pictured behind the children, is Omaka Marae General Manager Kiley Nepia, centre, and Tohunga Chris Winitana, right.

Photo: David James/Omaka Marae

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PHOTO 2: Luca Baker, centre, and Te Ao Marama Nepia, right, lead the ceremony to open Te Pā Wānanga at Omaka Marae. 

Photo: David James/Omaka Marae

 

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PHOTO 3: Founding Te Pā Wānanga pupil Mareikura Nepia, with Tinamaree Kaipara-Winitana, left.
Photo: David James/Omaka Marae

 

 


 

Notes:

1. Please note ‘Te Tauihu’ (the top of the South) should be rendered as two words, not three (as in “Te Tau Ihu”).
2. All three Kurahaupō iwi carry a strong association to Omaka Marae.
3. Twenty students are currently enrolled at Te Pā Wānanga, with classes due to start in Term 4.

For more information, photos or video, please contact:
Nicola Coburn
Communications support
Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō
P: 03 578 3696
E: comms@ngatiapakiterato.iwi.nz

Photos:

PHOTO 1: Te Pā Wānanga’s founding students take part in the dawn ceremony on Friday to officially open the new Māori medium school. Pictured behind the children, is Omaka Marae General Manager Kiley Nepia, centre, and Tohunga Chris Winitana, right.
Photo: David James/Omaka Marae

PHOTO 2: Luca Baker, centre, and Te Ao Marama Nepia, right, lead the ceremony to open Te Pā Wānanga at Omaka Marae.
Photo: David James/Omaka Marae

PHOTO 3: Founding Te Pā Wānanga pupil Mareikura Nepia, with Tinamaree Kaipara-Winitana, left.
Photo: David James/Omaka Marae



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