He tauira whakapakari no te Ao Turoa

Teaching and learning in Te Reo Maori

Whakarongo, whakarongo.
Whakarongo ki te tui e tui nei,
Tui, tui, tui tuia.
He tauira no te Kura o Maungatapu
He tauira no Te Puwhaariki
He tauira whakapakari no te Ao Tu Roa,
Hei homai aroha ki a tatou katoa
Tihei Mauri ora!

‘He tauira whakapakari no Te Ao Turoa’
A pupil strengthened from the environment and nurtured through nature.

He Korero Whakamarama mo te Whakatauki:

This whakatauki acknowledges the many symbols in nature that we draw strength, knowledge and identity from.

The harakeke, kowhai and Tui were part of the natural environment that once grew prolifically in this area.
Te Ao Turoa (natural environment) allows us to incorporate other elements of nature including the Tohora (whale), the papaka (crab) that are recounted in local tribal purakau (legends), and pepeha (tribal sayings) of the hapu and iwi that lived in the Tahuna o Rangataua (estuary of Rangataua).

‘Te Puwhaariki’ is the traditional name of the area where Maungatapu School is located.

All these symbols are now used as the names of the classrooms and foundation symbols of learning for Te Puwhaariki, the Rumaki Unit of Maungatapu School.

Pou Akoranga (Foundation Symbols for Learning)

1. HARAKEKE (Tau 1-4)

Hutia te rito o te harakeke kei hea te kōmako e kō, maku e kii atu he tangata, he tangata, he tangata
(Weaving and strengthening our community, whanau hapu and iwi and developing our sense of belonging)

2. KOWHAI (Tau 4-5)

Ko te Pūāwaitanga tenei o ngā Tauira
(The blossoming and use of skills and knowledge learned that is applied in everyday life)

3. TUI (Tau 5-6)

Ko te manu i kai i te miro nōna te ngāhere, ko te manu i kai i te matauranga nōna te Āo
(With confidence and respect it is time to utilise the knowledge attained to venture further into the world)


Āpiti hono tātai hono
(Connecting people, place and knowledge)

Te Puwhāriki Enrolment Guide

Te Puwhāriki is Maungatapu school’s total immersion in te reo Māori unit.  Maungatapu School is fortunate to be able to provide Māori education for those who wish for their child to be educated in Te Reo Māori me ōna Tikanga.

Te Puwhāriki teaching and learning is guided by Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and our Te Puwhāriki Graduate Profile.  There is a strong focus on the two Hapu of the area, Ngati Hē and Ngai Te Ahi and Tauranga Moana.

We have four trained pouako.  There are three classes in the unit, one at Year 0/1/2/3, one  of Year 4/5 and one of Year 5/6.  The level of Te Reo Māori is 81 – 100%.

Enrolment Guidelines

  1. Priority will be given to tamariki with whakapapa links to Ngai Te Ahi and Ngati Hē, and must live within the school zone of Maungatapu school.
  2. Tamariki must have a good command of Te Reo Māori (Age dependent). An interview with the tamaiti will be conducted.
  3. Parents will be made aware of our expectations within Te Puwhā

Prior to enrolling, the whanau and the child will meet with the Pouarataki and classroom pouako for an interview to discuss suitability for entry, and to ask any questions.  If an enrolment into Te Puwhāriki is accepted, an enrolment form must be filled out and returned to the school office.

Expectations of Parents within Te Puwhāriki

Due to the special character of the programme and the popularity of Te Puwhāriki, upon enrolment parents will be made aware of their commitment to Te Puwhāriki.

The list below outlines the level of commitment expected from Te Puwhāriki parents.

  1. Speaking and promoting te reo Māori to your tamaiti.
  2. Attending Te Puwhāriki whānau hui at least once a term.
  3. Attend parent – teacher – child conferences.
  4. Ensures your tamaiti attends kura every day
  5. Contributes to fundraising.
  6. Supervision on school trips or classroom activities.

Importance of Te Reo Māori

Te Reo Māori is the paramount language in Te Puwhāriki.  Te reo Māori is enhanced when the tamaiti has support at home from someone who is able to korero with them in Te Reo Māori.

When required, parents or guardians are encouraged to support the development of their child’s reo Māori by attending Te Reo Māori courses and promoting te reo Māori in their household and lifestyle.

Tamariki transitioning from Kohanga Reo and pre-schoolers.

Tamariki transitioning from Te Kohanga Reo and pre-schoolers should begin transitioning four weeks prior to starting school.  Tamariki are to be accompanied by an adult (parent, caregiver, or kaiawhina) for the duration of the transition.

Transition times are 9am – 10.20am, Monday to Friday or upon arrangement with the classroom kaiako.


A pōwhiri for new tamariki is important for the staff and whanau of Te Puwhāriki.  Powhiri for new students occur during the 1st week of each term.

Stationery and Uniform

Information regarding school uniforms and stationery can be found in the enrolment pack, school website or from the school office.

Karakia and Tuakiritanga

Karakia and Tuakiritanga is a strong component of our program in Te Puwhāriki.  We practise these kaupapa daily and use our tuakana teina relationships to enhance these practices.

Tuakana Teina

Tuakana – teina relationships are fostered throughout the program and the activities within Te Puwhāriki.  The role of tuakana as a tau 5 or tau 6 is a role each tamaiti aspires to, throughout their journey in Te Puwhāriki.  It is expected the tuakana are the role-models for the teina.  When the tamariki reach tau 5 and tau 6, they perform roles and duties above the normal classroom roles.


Tangihanga is a key component of our Māori Tikanga.  All tamariki or uri will attend tangihanga where possible and at the discretion of kaiako and Pouarataki.

On ‘Te Rā Nehu’ (the day of the burial), only tuakana will be taken to attend.

Permission forms will be sent home prior to the Nehu.

We rely on the support of whanau in letting the kura know if there are tangihanga at our local marae.