Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day Six


“Good morning team. We have some mail to look at this morning. I have just received this letter, which has some potentially exciting business in it for us, but we are going to have to think hard about whether we would be up to doing a job like this, whether we have the right skills and knowledge…..”

Friday 25th of March 2011,

Dear Team at Lake Adventure Challenge Confidence Camp,

I am writing to you, and a number of other camps in New Zealand, to do some research for my Maori school, Moana Kura Kaupapa. We are a bilingual school that teaches our students in English and Maori from year 0 to year 8. We are keen for our children, of all ages, to attend a camp as part of their outdoor education programme.

I am doing some research to see which camps will best meet our needs as a Maori school, which has strong Maori values and beliefs. We are looking for a camp that provides more than just outdoor education. We want our children to come to a camp that makes links with Maori values such as the important connection between people and the environment. We are hoping that the camp can provide the children not only with good outdoor learning experiences but also share a knowledge of the history of the land of the camp. We are also looking to find a team of people at the camp who understand Maori ways of learning and teaching so that our students feel comfortable and empowered. We also hope that the camp we attend has a team of people who understand Maori ideas about health and wellbeing.

We hope you can help us. If you think your team at Lake Adventure Challenge can meet our needs we would love to hear from you.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Paratene
Moana Kura Kaupapa


We decided that we would need to do some research – this was all new territory for the team! We divided into research teams to learn about different aspects of Te Ao Maori before coming together to apply all the new knowledge to our outdoor education camp. The three areas of research were:

1. Whenua, Whakapapa, and Whanau (Land, connection between people and land and family)
2. Ora and the Whare Tapa Wha (Health and wellbeing and the four sides to Maori views of health/wellbeing)
3. Ako, Tuakana-Teina, and Co-operative Learning Groups (Maori ways of teaching and learning).

We had a busy morning researching these different areas and answering a number of different research questions. We then used jigsaw discussion groups to come back and share our knowledge with each other, everyone being experts on the different areas they had been researching. It was amazing how quickly, through applying all this new knowledge to our outdoor education camp situation, we became familiar with these new Maori terms, values, and ideas.

Next we had a go at incorporating this new knowledge into visual images, bringing together the new knowledge of Te Ao Maori and our current camp programme, values, and philosophy.

Our Tree Diagram

This is one image the team came up with: presenting the information on a tree, with the roots representing a connection to whenua, (the land), the trunk being the tangata (the people), and four big branches being the 4 sides of ora (wellbeing): whanau (family, friends, relationships, and groups), hinengaro (minds and feelings), tinana (body), wairua (spirituality/connection to the land). Examples of camp activities from our programme were used to illustrate the different Maori ideas of health and wellbeing for example:

Taha Hinengaro:
Having leaders who are encouraging and help the children reach their goals,
Having leaders who are friendly and supportive and nurturing
Not letting children feel stressed by having leaders that you can trust and who talk to you kindly.
Having a Home Group – a small group who comes together with a leader to discuss any problems or fears – a support group.
Having reflecting time – eg. diary writing.

Taha Whanau:
Doing team rowing – waka ama
Sharing kai (food) – hangi, toasting marshmallows around the fire
Sharing tents/camping

Taha Wairua:
Making connections to the land through activities like hangi, birdwatching, bushwalking, lake activities, beach walking…

Taha Tinana:
Rock climbing
Tree Jumping….and all the other physical activities you can do at the camp.
Cooking healthy food

Our Image of Whare Tapa Wha: The Four Walls of Wellbeing

We then shared a number of Maori myths and legends, such as the creation myth of Ranginui and Papatuanuku, Kupe’s Voyage, and The Two Taniwha of Wellington Harbour. Then some of us had a go at writing our own myths and legends for our fictional camp grounds. Here are some of the beginnings of our legend writing…

"The lake at Lake Adventure Challenge was made when the world was young and no humans were alive. The lake was not there, It was in lands far away…..” Zoe

"Before the sea was made there was a lake that was 10 metres long. 2 taniwha lived there. One was lazy and sunbathed all day. The other one swam all day….." Alexander

"Once upon a time there were 3 taniwha. They lived in the lake at Lake Adventure Challenge Camp. One was very lazy, his name was Poterkeyna. One was kind, her name was Matermater, and one was a worrying thing, his name was Muritai. Muritai wanted to get out of that tiny lake…" Orla.

"How the rivers were created…

A long time ago before the sea and rivers were made, and before peple and dinosaurs, when gods were alive, there lived a god called Tangaroa. Tangaroa lived with his mother Papatuanuku and his brother Tane. One afternoon Tangaroa decied to visit land. Tangaroa packed some kai and his power necklace. His power necklace was very special to him because that used to be his father’s who died a month before his birth. That was the only thing his father left for him, but it was very special and gave him powers that he needed…."

"How the lake, at Lake Adventure Challenge, was created:

Once upon a time Tangaroa had a fight with his brother Tu to see who was strongest. To they stood in a clearing and began to fight. Tu struck but missed and made a huge dent in the land. Tangaroa, the god of the sea, was angered so fought back but Tu, the god of war, was more used to this type of thing and hit Tangaroa in the calf. He screamed in pain and from him wound water flowed and filled the dent with it. Then he slunk back to the sea."

"Once the two brother, Ruamoko and Tangaroa, wanted to fight because they had both had bad days. Ruamoko made a huge earthquake and there was a huge dent in Papatuanuku. Then Tangaroa was very angry so he made a huge flood and all the water went into the dent. That was how the lake was made." Evie.

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