New Zealand Radio Training School students visited the Te Tahawai Marae Komiti for an overnight stay this week.
Te Tahawai Marae is a pan-tribal urban marae set in the grounds of Edgewater College, Pakuranga, Auckland.
Larry Summerville, Manager of the Auckland-based Radio Training School, says the trip offered “a view on the real Maori, not just the stereotypical one we see and hear on the news every day”.
On arrival, the students felt very included and welcome. Whitireia Journalism tutor Myrddin Gwynedd says “it was particularly all-encompassing” and that he “felt very included from the word go”.
The trip drew 15 students from the Whitireia campus, and for some it was a first-time experience.
Good preparation was essential as the Powhiri required a degree of protocol, and Whitireia Iwi tutor Raniera Winikerei had briefed the students well.
Students were also encouraged to identify with a variety of elements for their personal introductions; these were focused around natural and earth elements such as land, sea, sky and family background.
Learning how to pronounce key words in Teo Reo was also part of the preparation and planning. The students practiced one version of Te Aroha with Shari Hohepa leading the charge.
The stick games, the poi and preparing the hangi were highlights. Student Jason Phillips says: “I loved it, personally. It reminded me of my childhood especially at primary school, so a real sense of family, that’s what I loved about it.”
It was a real bonding opportunity for the students, and helped build a sense of ‘family’ and togetherness.
Student Caitlin Harper confirms this, saying, “I liked the whole family aspect, the fact that we all kind of bonded closer, and it was an amazing.”
Watch and listen below to what the students and tutors had to say about the marae experience: