Waimea College


Quiz Night

Did you hear Thomas Chin’s inspirational speech at Ngā Manu Kōrero last term? Did you see the passion and power with which the kapahaka supported him? For those of you who did, it will be no surprise that Thomas won the senior English section of this prestigious competition, so now we have to get both Thomas and representatives of the kapahaka to Gisborne for the national competition.

To do this, we are holding a quiz night on Tuesday, 21st of September, from 6 – 8 pm in the school hall. Tickets of $5 each may be bought from the school office, or at the hall on the evening itself. Organise a team of 4 or more, and come down to the school on the 21st, to have fun, while supporting a very worthwhile cause.

Ngā Manu Kōrero 2018

Ngā Manu Kōrero is a Māori speech competition that aims to encourage fluency in both Te Reo Māori and English among Māori secondary students. It is a celebration of all things Māori and provides a platform for youth to voice their opinions on different issues and topics. Each year the regional Ngā Manu Kōrero competition is hosted by a different school and this year, Riccarton High School was lucky enough to host the competition.

The day started off on Friday the 22nd of June with a pōwhiri. The welcoming haka was performed by a combination of students from Riccarton High School and St Thomas’ of Canterbury College and it was a great way to start off the proceedings.

Junior speakers would go on to compete with a prepared speech in either the Te Reo Māori or English junior speech competition, while senior speakers had to compete with an impromptu and prepared speech in either English or Te Reo Māori. From our school, we had Mia Robinson competing in the Junior English section, Thomas Chin competing in the Senior English section and Jasmine August competing in the Senior Māori section.

All of our students had amazing speeches and Thomas Chin went on to win the overall regional competition. He will be heading off to Gisborne for the National Ngā Manu Kōrero competition in September this year.

Although a speech competition, Ngā Manu Kōrero is about more than just speeches and provides an opportunity for people to make new connections, celebrate the Māori culture and have a lot of fun. After both speeches from a school were finished, the school would then perform an item to tautoko (support) their speakers.

Also throughout the day, the M.C.’s held interactive challenges with the audience like the singing competition that took place on the senior stage or the rap battle session on the junior stage.

The Year 10 Riccarton Enterprise Studies class, along with various other food trucks, had food and drink for sale, much to the enjoyment of everyone else.

Students and teachers alike gave service to the school and helped to make Ngā Manu Kōrero a great celebration of the Māori culture.

The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all and it was amazing to see Riccarton High School host such an incredible event.

Melanie Aitken (13PL)

Mana toroa hui

On Thursday the 1st of March, year 12 and 13 Māori students gathered together for a senior hui.

The purpose of this hui was to encourage students to identify with their Māori culture and to establish the concept of mana (honesty, strength, humility and power) within the school.

The day started off with a survey to gauge how everyone was feeling and this showed that half the students were nervous to be there and that most of the students were still trying to understand what it meant to be Māori.

After a few icebreaker games which helped everyone get more comfortable with each other, the activities relating to Māori identity began.

First was a photo activity where students were split into groups and tasked to take a photo representing their idea of what it means to be Māori.

Some photos showed that Māori culture was being represented and encouraged to an extent in places around us but that more could be done to help students understand what it all means.

Other photos showed that Te Ao Māori (The Māori World) goes beyond a physical representation and that it is something you carry inside yourself.

A little later in the day, Hori Te Ariki came in to speak. His message for us was that we shouldn’t listen to what we can’t do but push for what we can.

He also shared his experiences of designing Māori art to put in public spaces and touched on the idea that it was important to see your culture around you.

This was followed by an activity about the perception of Māori. We talked about how different perspectives meant that everyone viewed people in different ways and that it was easy to have some sort of misguided belief about a group of people if you don’t know or understand them well.

After this, we created lists of both the positive and negative associations there was with being Māori and discussed some ways we could change the negative stereotypes that were there.

At the end of the day, we discussed our next steps. We split into three groups with different areas of focus but all with the same goal. How can we raise mana within our school?

Overall, it was a great day and I think a lot of people got something out of it, whether it be that they realised they shouldn’t be scared to enter the whare or a better understanding of what it means to be Māori.

Hopefully, this will be a building block to a stronger school culture here at Riccarton.

Melanie Aitken (13PL)


What is Matariki?

Each winter the stars of Matariki and Puanga signal the end of one year in Aotearoa and the beginning of the next.

Traditionally Māori have recognised the rise of Matariki as a time to celebrate and prepare for the indigenous New Year. It was a time when crops were harvested, and seafood and birds were collected – a time of celebration and plenty, but also a time for preparing and storing for times of shortage ahead.

Matariki was a time to practise manaakitanga – to share kai and present offerings to others.

Nowadays during Matariki we can express manaakitanga by:

  • Acknowledging the value of healthy kai as a taonga for achieving hauora Māori.
  • Offering healthy kai to whānau and manuhiri.
  • Using koha kai as a way of supporting and nurturing others.

The stars of Matariki

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars – a seven-star constellation that appears in late May or early June each year.

There are two translations for Matariki – ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to legend, when Ranginui (sky father) and Papatūānuku (earth mother) were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.