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Welcome to our cultural hub of the school: Tiakimanawa. The name itself meaning the protective heart. The vibrations of new learning and waiata flows and beats through the school, just like the manawa (heart) of a tinana (body). I am the teacher of this space. Each class in our school comes through for weekly Te Reo Māori lessons. Also held within Tiakimanawa are the Cultural Groups – Kapa haka and Pasifika, Poi club, Kaipara Tangata and Whānau Kāhui meetings.
I am an ahikāroa of Ngāti Whātua Tuturu, who has come home to share my knowledge of the world around us, inclusive of local Māori knowledge and heritage. Through my great-grandparents I whakapapa to the marae in Ōkākā (South Head) Haranui, and on my great grandmothers side I whakapapa to Omanaia in the Southern Hokianga. My grandmother is Mihiwira Taogaga nee Hill, and my grandfather is Valli Taogaga (from Samoa). On my fathers side I inherit my aboriginal bloodline from New South Wales, Barkindji Wempijda.
It is important for me to acknowledge these connections as they make me who I am. An important part of my teaching philosophy is knowing who you descend from and where you are – the theme of our current school inquiry.
Tiakimanawa is a thriving class of culture, full of exciting ways to learn. You will find that the physical space is different to other classes in the school. My teaching pedagogy and ethics pertain to a Māori way of learning – holistic and indigenous. I am currently the representative of the University of Auckland’s Master of Educational Practise. This means that the students are being taught with the utmost contemporary theories based on today's research.
Piki whakarunga ki te taumata Ōtakanini e
Titiro atu ki te rā, te rā e takoto nei
Ko ngā wai kōwhitiwhiti ko te moana o Kaipara e rere ana e
Huaina mai e ngā tupuna Ngā tai i turia ki te marowhara e i.
There is no other feeling, than that of “home”.
Mauri ora, Waratah Taogaga.