Tikanga & Te Reo Māori
E koekoe te tūī, e ketekete te kākā, e kūkū te kererū
The tūī, the kākā (parrot) and the kererū (wood pigeon) are referenced in this whakatauki in terms of their speech – the tūī chatters, the parrot gabbles, the wood pigeon coos. The popular meaning is, “it takes all kinds of people”, and that reflects our organisation and what each of us brings to the learning that each Kindergarten will provide your tamariki.
Northland Kindergarten Association is working towards embracing Tikanga and Te Reo Māori and recognising that Te Reo Māori is a taonga (treasure). Some of these strategies include:
- Ongoing Professional development for Tikanga and Te Reo Māori available to all Kindergarten teachers and staff of the Association.
- Tikanga me Te Reo Māori Language Planning strategies for each individual Kindergarten.
- Pou Whakarewa Tikanga Māori / Māori Advisor who works alongside each Kindergarten.
Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori
The language is the life essence of Māori mana
In 1987 Māori language became official in this country. The quotes below provide some of the rationale for its recognition. At a kaumatua hui organised by the Department of Māori Affairs in 1979, Sir James Henare said “Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori” (the language is the life essence of Māori mana). Language is the life essence and sustenance of a culture. It provides the tentacles that can enable a child to link up with everything in his or her world. It is one of the most important forms of empowerment that a child can have. Language is not only a form of communication but it helps transmit the values and beliefs of a people” (Pere, 1995, p. 9).
For tamariki to acquire the ability to communicate through language, they need to be guided by those closest to them (Drewery & Bird, 2007, p. 167). Therefore in the early childhood environment it is crucial for staff to build positive relationships with tamariki and their whānau/families. Vygotsky also emphasized the importance of these relationships in supporting and enhancing children’s development (Claiborne & Drewery, 2010, p. 18). Conversely, the way we communicate with each other is one of the most important aspects of development that link people together.
Every contribution that we make, no matter the size, makes an important contribution to the growth and development of our language.
Me mau koe ki te tikanga Māori
Hold fast to the traditions of our Māori culture