Māori History site on Te Kete Ipurangi - English medium

This site is designed to provide access to materials that will assist in the implementation of Te Takanga o te Wā, Guidelines for Teachers Years 1–8. This site features the stories of iwi educators, secondary teachers and their students, sharing their experiences of teaching and learning Māori history.

Te Takanga o te Wā is not designed as a list of lessons or learning experiences. Rather it provides a framework to support teachers to teach Māori history with their students. The content and context that you choose for your class could focus on building quality and collaborative engagement with your local iwi and hapū. The stories and histories relating to your school’s geographic location will assist you to instill a deeper sense of personal identity and belonging for every student. This resource provides connections to frame that context:

  • Whakapapa

  • Tūrangawaewae

  • Mana motuhake

  • Kaitiakitanga

  • Whanaungatanga

Each one has a list of possible conceptual understandings and a key message linked to the levels 1 and 2 achievement objectives of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Home: Stories from New New Zealanders, by Kate Paris

Home: stories from New New Zealanders tells the stories of four Avondale Intermediate students who moved to New Zealand from overseas. Interviewed by their teacher, Kate Paris, the students share memories of what life was like in the countries where they were born (South Africa, Sāmoa, Pakistan, and Kenya), and they discuss what it’s been like adjusting to life in New Zealand. The article explores the issues in a simple and accessible way, incorporating clear narration with students’ quotes and striking photography.

Bok Choy, by Paul Mason

This seemingly simple historical story carries an important message about discrimination. It is set in a goldmining town in Otago during the 1860s gold rush. Jacob’s mother is glad to buy bok choy (Chinese cabbage) from Ah Sum, but Ah Sum’s presence brings out the worst in their neighbour Mrs Bishop and her son, William. William taunts Ah Sum and leaves Jacob feeling confused about his loyalties. When Jacob slips into the river while fishing, it is Ah Sum who rescues him. The story shows how Jacob becomes aware of the realities of Ah Sum’s life. The ending is left open for readers to infer the long-term impact of Jacob’s encounter with Ah Sum.
NB: instructional series contains a text version at reading year level 6, and a comic version in the School Journal Story Library at reading year level 4.

The Polish Refugee Children, by Ali Mackisack

This true story of Adelphi Zawada’s grandparents will be engaging for students in year 4, although it is complex and presents some interesting challenges. Adelphi tells how her grandparents, as children, along with over a million other Polish people, were sent to work camps in Russia following the invasion of their country by the USSR during the Second World War.

Ramadan is Coming, by Marita Vandenberg

Obay’s family has come to New Zealand from Saudi Arabia. The article describes his family’s daily life, then focuses on the activities that occur at Ramadan. Obay and his brothers attend regular school, and their mother maintains their Arabic learning at home.

Uncle Tino, by Jane Davitt Va'afusuaga

“Uncle Tino” is a deceptively simple story about Samoan twins, Jessie and Jonas, who are embarrassed by their exuberant uncle who has recently arrived from Sāmoa. The lively story is woven through with Samoan concepts and values as Jessie and Jonas gradually change their attitudes toward Uncle Tino. The story reinforces the idea that cultural knowledge and skills are “cool” and worthy of respect.

Kurī, by Priscilla Wehi

Māori brought the kurī or Polynesian dog with them when they migrated to Aotearoa New Zealand. This article looks at what we know about kurī, their origins, what they were used for, and why they died out. It incorporates traditional stories about the explorers Tāneatua and Īhenga and explains the importance of kurī to early Māori society. 

A Hoe! And Painted Hoe, by Steve Gibbs

The first peaceful meetings between Māori and Europeans took place in 1769, when James Cook landed in the Tairāwhiti region. During those meetings, Māori traded a number of painted hoe (paddles) for cloth, seeds, potatoes, and other items. The paddles are decorated with the earliest examples of what we now call kōwhaiwhai. They ended up in museums around the world. "Painted Hoe" describes those early meetings. "A Hoe!" describes Steve Gibbs' own response as an artist to the story of the paddles.