Members of the Māori curriculum team have participated in the Ngati Tuwharetoa Cultural Knowledge Project. This project is to support teachers in obtaining cultural views and stories of Ngati Tuwharetoa. The principles of the New Zealand Curriculum embody beliefs about what is important and desirable in school curriculum – nationally and locally and that they should underpin all school decision making.
Knowing the stories of the various areas around the lake and of Ngatoroirangi, teachers will be able to provide a localised curriculum to the students. The Cultural Knowledge Project has been developed by Miriama Prentice to assist teachers to obtain localised stories and history of the Taupō and Turangi areas.
More recently Kristy Northcroft has been able to partner with Chris Jolly, Cruise Cat to provide localised information of the rohe (area) of Ngati Tuwharetoa. Teachers and students will be able to go out onto the lake and see these areas that are being talked about in stories and be provided with information that is correct and from the local Iwi perspective.
Recently, members of the Wairakei Primary School Māori curriculum team went onto the floating classroom and experienced the stories and cultural views from Kristy Northcroft and Miriama Prentice. The trip was very informative and there was an amazing amount of information given during this boat trip.
During the trip one of the stories that was told was of Ngatoroirangi, who was a Tohunga of Ngati Tuwharetoa. A representation of his image has been carved into a rock face around the shore of Lake Taupō. Miriama Prentice and Kristy Northcroft explained his facial tattoos and the various creatures around him while we were in the boat next to this amazing carving.
The Cultural Knowledge Project floating classroom is going to be of benefit to teachers, students and locals in the future along with the amazing resources that are provided.
Keywords: Te Reo, New Zealand Curriculum, Cultural Knowledge Project, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngatoroirangi, Floating Classroom