Revitalising the Marae - A place to stand

May 13, 2021

Central to our identity as Māori our pā are places that allow us to give full expression to our values, customs and language.  They give us a sense of belonging, a place where we can nurture our identity, self-confidence and pride in being part of a collective.

Marae are our connection to whakapapa, linking us back to ngā atua, tūpuna, te taiao and our mātauranga.  They were the focal point of our communities being a place to celebrate, grieve, wānanga and grow.  

Over the years, Aotearoa has experienced a decline in the number of whānau returning to their ūkaipō, the urbanisation of our people pulling them away.  Our marae are becoming mokemoke, forgotten tūpuna and empty pae – we have a responsibility to those that came before us and those still yet to come to revitalise our marae as the one true place we stand as Māori. 

The marae is our principal home; maintain and respect it

Te Wānanga o Raukawa was born out of a desire to reconnect our people back to their marae which is why all our tohu at diploma level and above include iwi and hapū studies.  As part of their qualification students have to research their own marae, iwi history, interview kaumātua and more. 

For those seeking to make the first steps in reconnecting back to te ao Māori to revitalise their marae, the following study options not only support individuals but can be a reason for bringing other whānau home. 

Poupou Karanga

Using the rich heritage of te iwi Māori you will call upon the knowledge of ngā tupuna and examine the values and principles of pūrākau (Māori legend stories) learning their relevance to karanga.  This tohu will give you the confidence to be able to stand as a kaikaranga on your marae, kura or workplace as you draw on the wealth and knowledge from expert kaikaranga and develop your own practical skills.

Poupou Tū Whaikōrero

 Take your conversational reo to a whole new level as you develop your whaikōrero through the use of structure, voice, stance, rākau and other delivery methods.  For men who want to gain the knowledge and confidence to stand on their marae as a kaikōrero, this tohu will get you there.

Poupou Huia Te Reo – Te Hōkainuku (Level 4)

Poupou Hui te Reo is a fully online Māori language course suited to language learners at beginner to intermediate level.  Begin your learning journey in the comfort of your own home.  Learn language that you can use in the home, at work and in everyday situations.  If you have been wanting to learn the Māori language this is a great place to start.

Poupou Huia Te Reo – Te Hōkairangi (Level 5)

This programme is suited for advanced beginner to intermediate level.  Traditional Māori pūrākau are used to help further develop your language and understanding of the Māori world view.  Language learned is immediately applicable to activities in the home, work and community.

The benefits for whānau, hapū, iwi include:

  • Developing and nurturing one’s sense of identity as a Māori
  • Poupou Karanga and Tū Whaikōrero cohorts delivered from marae are a great opportunity to bring the whānau home, share stories, learn whakapapa and increase the number of kaikaranga and kaikōrero for the marae.
  • NZQA approved, gain a certificate qualification at the same time
  • FREE supported online study with our online reo courses, learn from home and practise what you learn at your marae with whānau
  • Develop the confidence to stand at your marae and participate
  • Learn together, grow together
  • Uplift and support each other while being supported by our pūkenga and kaimahi

In 2015, Tirohia Marae located south of Paeroa had an ambition of bringing their whānau back to their marae having just released their reo strategy.  They delivered both Poupou Karanga and Poupou Tū Whaikōrero and over the course of two years had 58 whānau complete.

“Everybody still talks positively about those courses and we have been fortunate that several of the students have taken up the reigns of karanga and whaikorero. That part of our journey certainly aligns with where the Marae is today,” say’s Josie Anderson, Tirohia Marae Chair.

That was just the beginning for Tirohia and from those very first wānanga the whānau continue to be engaged and for the marae to be a place of learning. Even now whānau return to the marae each month, for reo noho. Our next intake for Poupou Tū Whaikōrero, Poupou Karanga and our free online reo courses begin July 2021 or March 2022.  Karawhuia Māori mā!

Hokia ki ō maunga kia purea koe e ngā hau a Tāwhirimātea

Return to your mountains to be cleansed by the winds of Tāwhirimātea




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