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In this video, kaiako from Pukeatua Kindergarten reflect on how stories connect people to places.

Pukeatua Kindergarten was able to explore local Māori histories through relationships in their community. They had support from their local marae, through te pepehā o Wainuiomata to connect to the place names in their area.

  • Transcript

    Transcript Transcript

    (Title, Pukeatua: Making Connections in your local area)

    (Kaiako speaking to camera)

    Evelyn: Kia ora, ko Evelyn tōku ingoa (Evelyn is my name). Ko Ngati-Pōneke toku iwi (Ngāti-Pōneke are my people). Nō Wainuiomata ahau (I am from Wainuiomata). So I'm born and bred in Wainui, it's my whenua (land), and I love this place.

    (The harbour looking across to the Wainuiomata hills and valley and then kaiako speaking to camera)

    Evelyn: The reason I feel so passionate about Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories is because for me having grandparents that were adopted and not knowing my iwi and my actual whakapapa (genealogy), I've taken on my land here. Growing up my sense of my own tūrangawaewae (place I belong) wasn't very strong.

    (A montage of looking along the beach to the Wainuiomata hills and the Wainuiomata valley)

    Evelyn: Local Māori histories matters so much, I think, because it connects people to places and areas that we live in. A lot of us may have roots in different whenua around New Zealand or even over, you know, around the world, but that doesn't mean we can't have wings elsewhere.

    (Kaiako speaking to camera)

    Evelyn: And I think for a lot of us there is a disconnect from maybe our past whenua. So it's actually trying to acknowledge what is here now. And where we are, and really appreciating that.

    (Kaiako speaking to camera)

    Sharda: Kia ora koutou, ko Himalaya tōku maunga (Himalaya is my mountain). Ko Yamuna tōku awa (The Yamuna River is my river). Ko India tōku iwi (India are my people). Ko Rakesh tōku hoa Tane (Rakesh is my husband). Ko Richard tōku tamāhine (Richard is my daughter). Ko Robin tōku tama (Robin is my son). Ko Sharda tōku ingoa (Sharda is my name). Nō Wainuiomata ahau (I am from Wainuiomata), no reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

    (Children playing with poi)

    Sharda: We need to know our roots, where we belong. And it helps in further learning and knowing where we are and moving forward. Like history is really significant because it helps us learn from the past and know our achievements and also our downfalls.

    (Children engaging in the actions to waiata, playing with the kaumātua, and connecting with school children)

    Evelyn: My beginning point with connecting with kuia and kaumātua is through like family and relationships and I mean being brought up in Wainuiomata. We're all connected, like the principal of the school was one of my old teachers. I went to school with her sons and we're all connected you know, and our little whāriki of networking. And I think it's important that in order to build those relationships, you have to start from something.

    (Kaumātua speaking to camera)

    Mate: Ko wai au (Who am I)? Ko Mate Taitua tāku ingoa (Mate Taitua is my name). Nō hea nō Whakatōhea, Ngāi Tūhoe (I am from Whakatōhea and Ngāi Tūhoe), tāku mahi roto i te hāpori (my work in this community), is to bring back te reo Māori, nga tikanga e pai ana ki ō mātou tīpuna (the tikanga of our ancestors). I do a lot i roto i te hāpori (in the community) so I'm a kaumātua for Wainuiomata marae.

    (The Wainuiomata marae wharenui)

    Mate: The local story would be Te pepeha o Wainuiomata. The one that wrote it was Linda Olsen. She's the manager of Wainuiomata marae, and she wrote Te pepeha o Wainuiomata which is you know, to do with Wainui.

    (Kaumātua speaking to camera)

    Mate: And the maunga is Pukeatua, Wainuiomata the marae, Te Āti Awa te iwi, Tokomaru the waka.

    (The wharenui of Wainuiomata marae)

    Mate: But that's an awesome way to bring part of the history of Wainuiomata.

    (Kaiako speaking to camera)

    Sharda: It used to be called Glendale School and Glendale Kindergarten in the sixties when it was built.

    (A montage of the walls of the kindergarten showing families, the Pukeatua Bridge spanning the road and the signs with the name on it in the area)

    Sharda: They changed to Pukeatua maybe eight years ago. There was the naming ceremony, because we wanted to name it according to the area where it belongs. Pukeatua Hill, Pukeatua Bridge, Pukeatua Kindergarten, Pukeatua School, so it signifies the connection to the land, the whenua.

    (Tamariki playing inside)

    Sharda: As Te Whāriki says, children learn from people, places, and things by making connections. That's how children learn, like starting from the whānau. So wherever you live, a neighbourhood or anywhere, you need to feel connected to people. You need to know my local area.

    (Kaiako and kaumātua facing camera)

    Evelyn: People can be whakamā (shy) about even reaching out like, you know.

    (Children walking to the marae)

    Evelyn: Just going to a marae, just to talk to people can be very, very intimidating if you don't know, you know?

    (Kaiako speaking to camera)

    Evelyn: My one piece of advice for kaiako that might be starting out in their place-based and localised curriculum journey would be to look at where they stand, where they are right now.


Ideas to incorporate into your practice

In the video Evelyn said, "Local Māori histories matters so much I think, because it connects people to places and areas that we live in."

Sharda said, "As Te Whāriki says, children learn from people, places, and things by making connections."

  • How can you strengthen the connection between people, places, and things in your setting?
  • What do you and your team know about the local Māori histories in your area?
  • What ideas does your team have to connect with those in your community who might know local stories?