28 May 2017

*M*A*T*A*R*I*K*I* 2017


Last year a good friend asked me if I had heard that two new whetū in the Matariki cluster, had been named (Pōhutukawa and Hiwaiterangi).
She was a tauira  at Te Wananga o Aotearoa and  had the privilege of listening to a tohunga kōkōrangi (astronomer) who has been studying celestial bodies for 20 years and made this discovery through whānau manuscripts and rangahau.
When he delved a little further he found that most of the books written about Matariki, based on the 7 whetū, are versions "borrowed" from other cultures.
"You need to make a resource that gives the correct information" my supportive buddy said.
 I had talked to a group of kaiako during PD. A couple said that they would just stick with the information they had on the "7" stars because it was just easier-didnt confuse anyone, resources, staff would be hōhā etc.
I was a bit annoyed by that , especially after hearing from the same people that they wanted to"not just give lip-service to te reo Māori, but involve themselves in tikanga and te ao Māori-a Māori viewpoint."
I thought about the days of the week. Originally Mane, Tūrei etc were used as  kupu whakawhiti (loan words). Later the Māori Language Commission introduced kupu Māori which were more relevant from a Māori world viewpoint. e.g In the old days Mane (Monday) was a day when the moon was celebrated. Māhina is moon. Mā has been dropped and the pre-fix Rā added (day). So Rāhina =moon day.
The same is true with the months of the year. For me it is important to do what I can to provide resources that give a Māori perspective, whether it's explorers, animals, insects, birds etc.

The information which has been released regarding Matariki is just beautiful. It helps us weave in other aspects of nature and the environment.
Basically each of the whetū reflects an element of nature. Some iwi say that when looking at Matariki you looked at each single whetū and not the cluster to foresee what the coming year would bring.


I thought a great freebie would be a little booklet in te reo Māori which is useful for mainstream and kura.
If you haven't any resources to enable you to introduce the two new whetū, or the domains of Matariki stars then this will be a great start.
It comes with translations and explanations.
Four to a page... He whetū ahau. I am a star.

Fold edges

Anei! He pukapuka tino ātaahua e pa ana a Matariki.
Like all good emergent readers, it repeats the same structure on every page. Only one word changes.
Download the pukapuka here.
I have just checked the pdf and it seems to have lines and boxes around some pictures, but they magically disappear once printed. Please let me know if there are any problems with the quality.

If you would like to view my other Matariki resources you can do so here.

Matariki is the Māori New Year and this of all occasions is an important time to embrace another world view and see it as new learning for the ākonga as well as you!
I would love to hear your ākonga reading these!
Comments or questions on pukamata, here.

25 May 2017

Te Huia. Gone But Not Forgotten.


My favourite bird in the whole world is the huia.(Big call)
From her white tipped blacky- purple metallic tail feathers to her long slender curved ivory beak. A beauty she must have been to watch in our ngahere. Teaming up with her male,the couple would work together using each others skills to probe and forage for difficult- to- get kai.
"Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou..."
You can imagine my absolute joy when my librarian/kaiako friend Kristin showed me the book "12 Huia Birds" a beautifully written and illustrated book on the demise of the huia.
I quickly flicked through the book and  found the amazing illustrations haunting and mysterious. So intrigued by it that I raced to the nearest place I could purchase it.(Impulsive? Yes but worth it.)


Here is a blurb about the kaituhituhi -Julian Stokoe and the ringatoi Stacy Eyles.

Julian Stokoe is a creative director of animation and interactive media. He is also a children's book author with a keen interest in conservation issues.

The tale of the huia has so many compelling story beats. From their unique appearance and special place in Maori culture to their extinction related to an international fashion for wearing their tail feather in hats. The tragedy of the loss, so recently in New Zealand history adds extra potency to the story's power to speak for the wider topic of extinct and endangered species.

Huia were last seen in Julian's childhood district of the Tararua region. But there is no huia bird monument or even lessons about the huia in the local schools. The bird was in danger of going extinct again in the common memory of the place where it once lived. Hoping to safeguard the story for the current and future generations is what propelled Julian to write and produce 12 Huia Birds as a print and interactive digital book.

"The huia might have vanished but their story can still live on to be understood by the current and next generations. Even now we are repeating the same actions that led to the extinction of the huia such as with Maui dolphin and kauri forests."

Stacy Eyles


Stacy Eyles (Ngāti Porou) is an art director, artist, and award-winning illustrator based in Wellington. He produces work in many different media, ranging from canvas and murals to clothing and television.

The illustrations and text really go well together. My friend used it with her Year 1's. They loved it. It could definitely be read to and utilised  by Year 7 & 8's.
The package gets better and better. It is available as an app with games, huia facts and ideas on conservation/ kaitiakitanga. This resource would be awesome to begin a kaitiakitanga  inquiry topic.
But the best thing,besides the app being free, the story has a te reo Māori version read by George Henare.
If you would like some free downloadable resources and teachers notes, here is the webpage.
I had often wondered why we never learnt anything about this bird at school. In actual fact it wasn't until I left school that I found out it was extinct. I am so happy our ākonga will be able to  have a cool interactive way of engaging with an extinct manu māori. (manu māori=native bird).

As Julian says , the huia live on in pictures and products, street names and cafe's and now in this book and app.
When I left my last school, the lovely Kaurilands I was fortunate to receive a beautiful painting by a local ringatoi Tracey Henderson. Now I have a painting and a book to bring my favourite bird to life.


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou-Julian, Stacey and Tracey.


21 May 2017

Kaitiakitanga and Matariki


Kaitiakitanga-

Guardianship, stewardship, protection, preservation of taonga.
In Te ao Māori there lies a deep relationship between humans and the natural world. All life is connected. Everything has a “mauri” or life force.
A stream has a mauri that enables fish and stream life to live. Take away or damage the mauri and a whole community could suffer. As a part of “protection” one of the operating principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, these taonga should be cared for.
Garden to table, Enviroschools, Twin Streams projects and other  programmes are popular in schools and allow us to gain more knowledge and participate in Kaitiakitanga.

Matariki Stars and Kaitiakitanga


The star Waitā is associated with the sea and all the food sources in it.

The star Waitī is associated with fresh water and the food sources nurtured by the waters.

Tupuārangi-everything that grows up in the trees-berries, birds and fruit.

Tupuānuku-everything growing in Papatuānuku.

A perfect way to integrate Matariki and kaitiakitanga is through these whetū and these awesome clips from
 Ngāi tahu (Mahinga kai clips) in the thinglink above.
We are so fortunate to be able to share this information with our ākonga as many of them would not have this traditional knowledge.
Ngai Tahu’s (Te Waipounamu) vision is to work actively to protect the iwi , ancestral knowledge, language and culture, resources and environment.
After the Ngai Tahu claim was settled the iwi set about to restore their place names and invested time and effort into tribal taonga-histories, whakapapa, environment and traditional knowledge.

The practice of Kaitiakitanga allows New Zealanders to reflect on the notion of kinship with nature, and how this idea might be beneficial to the threatened world.