Brand new campus for pioneering preschool-to-tertiary Māori immersion school in Hastings

Classes have began in the new Te Wānanga Whare Tāpere o Takitimu campus in Hastings where children learn from pre-school to tertiary level.

The Māori language immersion institution is the first of its kind in Aotearoa.

Many of its staff attended as children and have returned as part of a self-sustaining life-long learning model. James Pocock reports.

Heretaunga’s oldest kura kaupapa Māori is poised for new growth at its newly-opened home.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wānanga Whare Tāpere o Takitimu Maori performing arts school will begin classes next week in its purpose-built new multi-million dollar site on Bennett Rd.

The school opened as a kōhanga reo with just 12 students in 1991, the first total-immersion te reo Māori school in Hastings and Napier.

Tama Huata was the tipuna and founder of Te Wānanga Whare Tāpere o Takitimu, starting the kaupapa in 1983 and formalising it as Te Waka Tapu o Takitimu Trust in 1984.

The founding trustees were Tama Huata, Aorangi Tuki, Heke Huata and Manawa Tini.

His daughter Narelle Huata said everything developed from Tama Huata’s experience as a Māori entertainer in Sydney’s Māori music showbands scene

“He then returned to New Zealand and started the performing arts school modelled off his experiences,” she said.

Sir John Bennett, Te Amorangi Wi Te Tau Huata, Ringahora Heni Ngakai Huata, Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, Bill Hamilton and Joe Northover were the kaumatua who helped Huata to establish the school, and developed leaders in Māori performing arts since 1983 through the Kahurangi Dance company.

Now the school has more than 200 students, and became the first to offer a degree in Māori Performing Arts in 1995 according to the Education Review Office (ERO).


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First published by Hawke’s Bay Today. Click here to read the full article.