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Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Mihi ki te Ngahere

In term 4 2016, the kaiako at Mairtown, had an idea that it would be nice to introduce a karakia or a mihi to the nature programme, as we thought it would be fitting as we enter the beautiful Mair Park on a weekly basis.  We approached our Tikanga Māori advisor Roimata for her guidance and knowledge to lead us on the right path, as wanted to acknowledge Papatuanuku and Ngahere as important parts of our environment, and especially to our nature programme. 

 "For Māori, myths form an important part of their world view. Io, to Māori is the supreme atua before the time of the influences of European settlers and their introduction of Christianity.  Māori believe that Io, created Ranginui and Papatuanuku, whos children created the world. (Ki Te Whaiao, Kaai T, Moorefield J, Reilly M, Mosley S).  These myths are important whakapapa to the Māori origins from atua" (Sarah Nathan)

 When we take the children into the bush on the nature programme, we recognise our tamariki as the kaitiaki (guardians), as they pick up the rubbish and are respectful of our native bush environment.   

This term, Sarah who is currently studying her Bachelor of Early Childhood and is also our wonderful nature programme coordinator, made this her goal for her studies.  After talking with the kaiako, and with lots of support, our journey began.  Kate and Sarah, discussed how this could be implemented into mahi with the tamariki.  We began looking at the Kaitiaki (guardians) of Papatuanuku (earth mother) and Ranginui (sky father) and the children’s Māori mythology book ‘In the Beginning’ – By Peter Gossage.  We thought we could create story stones and laminated characters for the children to tell the story.

 Mā te rongo, ka mōhio; Mā te mōhio, ka mārama; Mā te mārama, ka mātau; Mā te mātau, ka ora.

Through resonance comes cognisance; through cognisance comes understanding; through understanding comes knowledge; through knowledge comes life and wellbeing.

Sarah introduced the story to some of the tamariki at the kindergarten, and explained what each Kaitiaki was and how they are important within our environment.  We also explained to them we wanted to be able to acknowledge the kaitiaki for the gifts of the natural environment we utilise so often, within both our environment at kindergarten and on the nature programme. 

The children were soon happy to share with one another their knowledge they had on the Kaitiaki and which one was their favourite and why.  When the story stones were complete , we had the book ‘In the beginning’ set out for two weeks as our pukapuka o te wiki (book of the week), as the children thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Roimata gave us 3 options for a karakia and with that we put it to our kindergarten whānau to choose the one they felt most appropriate, all the feedback was lovely and positive and this is the karakia that was selected and will now be used every Friday before we enter Mair Park in the mornings.

Mihi ki te Ngahere

Kia tau te rangimārie

O te rangi e tū iho nei

O te papa e takoto nei

O te taiao e awhi nei

Ki runga i a tātou katoa

Tīhei Mauri Ora!
Let the peace of the skies above,

Of the earth below and

Of the universe around us,

Be with us all

Behold it is life!

This has been a wonderful learning journey for the kaiako, tamariki and the whānau.

Thank you to Roimata, who supported us in our journey and to the whānau for all the wonderful feedback and joining us in implementing this wonderful mihi. I'd also like to acknowledge and thank Sarah for all her hard mahi in making this come to fruition. This is something Sarah has been very passionate about and she has played a big role in seeing this journey through to the end and as a result from all her mahi, we have a beautiful mihi ki te Ngahere. Thank you Sarah.

Ngā mihi, Kate and Sarah.