20 Jun Camp experience engages our young leaders

Nine of our rangatahi (youth) from Years 10 -12 were selected as leaders for our upcoming Year 9 Hui Taurima event. As part of their training they were invited to participate in a Waka Haerenga (waka journey) in the Abel Tasman on 11 and 12 June.

He aha te kai ō te rangatira? He Kōrero, he kōrero, he kōrero.

What is the food of the leader? It is knowledge. It is communication.

The Waka Haerenga was facilitated through a culturally and place responsive approach.

The plan was to travel and explore the coastline via Waka Hourua (double canoe) for two days but unfortunately a gale wind warning meant this plan had to be adapted significantly. Instead, the group paddled for half a day from Kaiteriteri to Marahau and return, then travelled by Sea Shuttle to Anchorage.

The afternoon paddle was replaced by a hikoi (walk) around the Pukatea loop where the students learnt about contemporary and traditional uses of native plants, searched for Pakohe (a dark grey stone often used for weapons and sometimes musical instruments) and played Taonga Puoro (musical instruments) on the golden sands of Pukatea beach.

The evening was spent cooking and eating kai together and sharing stories around the camp fire. The students heard stories and legends about the area as well as weaving their own stories into the experience.

The following morning the rangatahi (young people) walked to the Cleopatra pool where Brodie and Tyxson braved the icy water and rocky natural slide. We were treated to views of the lagoon and the Tasman sea as well as learning more about the different ferns and plants.

After a rough Sea Shuttle ride back to Kaiteriteri the group learnt a Mau Rakau sequence (martial art based on traditional Maori weapons) at the Kaka Pa site before enjoying a lunch of chip butties before heading back to school.

Throughout the camp the students learnt about the geology, past uses of significant sites, the meaning and stories behind the Maori place names, and the history of past and present Iwi.

The students were passionate and engaged in the learning opportunity and demonstrated positive leadership skills throughout the experience. They are also able to gain eleven NCEA credits for their preparation, learning and evaluation of their Haerenga.

Lee-Ann and Callum from Kaiteriteri Waka Experiences were passionate leaders with a wealth of knowledge and experience that added meaning, relevance and value to the Waka Haerenga.

By Jane Townsend – Deputy Principal