Ngāti Ranginui history turned into school curriculum

By Herewini Waikato

Ngāti Ranginui is preparing a Te Ao Māori localised education curriculum for schools in Tauranga, called Te Tai Whanake ki Tauranga Moana.

It comes from the desire of iwi, hapu, and whānau to have the next generation in schools grow in their own identity as Ngāti Ranginui.  

Toni Heke-Ririnui of Te Runanga o Ngāti Ranginui says, “The importance of this curriculum is that Ngāti Ranginui shares its narratives on histories to all schools”.

The curriculum took two years to develop. Consultation with iwi, whānau and marae have been completed and now stage 2 will see the content to be transformed into animation. It will tell Tauranga Moana stories and histories through a Ngāti Ranginui lens.

Rewriting history

It will be hosted on a website portal, with Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Pūkenga adding their own components to it.

Ngāti Ranginui has developed learning levels and content type for each age group and how to access it and teach it to students including the early entrants.

Ōtūmoetai Intermediate kaiako Takiri Reweti has had to correct history writers, books and content about Tauranga.

“They say it was a fight, we the locals say it was murder. The good thing about this resource soon to come out is history can be corrected.”

Heke-Ririnui is adamant through this curriculum history will be rewritten and corrected with a Ngāti Ranginui narrative.

Henk Popping is the tumuaki of Ōtūmoetai. With Te Kāhui Ako, he is working with the three iwi and the Ministry of Education to make this kaupapa reach students in schools.

Pilot model

Te Kāhui Ako is made up of clusters of teachers from schools around Tauranga Moana, which is working with the Ministry of Education in implementing the new Aotearoa histories curriculum, which will include local Iwi stories and history and beliefs.

“The Ministry of Education sees it as a valuable pilot model that could be used across New Zealand,” Popping said.

The government announced in 2019 that New Zealand’s histories would be taught in all schools and kura from 2022.

Reweti is looking forward to seeing his students learning from Iwi narratives. His hope is that all of his students can be more empowered with an iwi Māori worldview. 

Ririnui hopes this curriculum will help sustain Ngāti Ranginui knowledge within their next generation, and that all of Tauranga Moana will know Ngāti Ranginui narratives.

 Te Tai Whanake ki Tauranga Moana curriculum will be launched on its website portal in October next year.