Council grants boost kaupapa Māori in schools

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

A lesson in Māori weaponry with its many aspects relating to physical, spiritual and mental well-being, is being introduced into Auckland schools with today's Mauri Tū class at Henderson South Primary.

Kaupapa Māori programmes in schools like this one is made possible by Auckland Council's regional sports and recreation grants. 

Programme organiser for He Oranga Poutama, Linden Morris says, “This is a new programme and it involves all children from all cultures, and they are learning traditional methods and protocols, and also te reo Māori.”

Chief executive for Sport Waitākere, Lynette Adams explained how the money would be spent, “We've got $120,000 over two years so that's $60,000 each year and we're able to run three Māori specific programmes.”

The Mauri Tū programme run by He Oranga Poutama under Sport Waitākere reaches out to more than 500 primary and secondary school students and the benefits are numerous.

“Primarily I brought the programme in because I knew a little bit about the mau rākau programme and I wanted it for the children here to support the school's vision of Caring, Sharing and Learning,” says Trevor Diamond, principal at Henderson South Primary.

“So we're looking to engage twenty schools across the Auckland region and this is the first one we're going to start with today,” says Adams.

“There are two interpretations of Māuri Tū, the first is the association with the proverb 'Tama Tū Tama Ora, Tama Noho Tama Mate' and the mauri refers to the God of War Tūmatauenga.,” says Morris.

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The Auckland Council's regional sports and recreation grants has been awarded to Sport Waitakere for its He Oranga Poutama ki Tāmaki Makaurau sports programme.

Part of the funding is a welcome boost for Kaupapa Māori programmes which have been introduced into various Auckland Schools, one of which is Mauri Tū. Mauri Tū is based around Māori weaponry, and it's many variables including 
physical, spiritual and mental well-being.

The Mauri Tū programmes are geared towards primary and secondary school students who number over 500, and it's core purpose is to increase their involvement in sports and physical activity.

He Oranga Poutama's Mauri Tū co-ordinator Linden Morris says, "although it's about learning another culture and traditional ways, the students also need to be enjoying themselves as well."

Sport Waitākere's Chief Executive Lynette Adams says, "We are very pleased Auckland Council sees the value in supporting kaupapa Māori programmes like these."