Nine students graduated Pou Tahi and Pou Rua from the Ruatorea branch of Te Whare Tu Taua o Te Wiwi Naati, the art of weaponry.
“The benefits of mau-rakau for these students of Ngati Porou, is to instil in them the values and principles of our ancestors that fought and died on the battle fields” says Earle Karini, branch tutor.
Meri-Hine Nepia –Poutu is a student of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou and this year became a tutor, “The biggest benefit is to learn some of the aspects of leaders like Peta Awatere and other leaders of that ilk, it’s to strengthen you, mentally for the big wide world, this is a representation of how one should carry themselves, and to prepare them to stand firm and secure in the world.”
These Whare Tu Taua Aotearoa courses are NCEA accredited and taught in three kura on the East Coast.
Phil Heeney is the principal of TKKM o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou “This art form, the art of Maori weaponry is growing throughout the country, some of the skills they learn are skills learnt by some of our ancestors. So, it is very good that these student grow in this environment so that they can be proud of themselves and proud of their heritage.”
Nine students are being examined this year at TKKM o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou, five girls and four boys.
“We didn’t really have the opportunity to be a part of the Maori world, we were very limited in our exposure to the Maori world,” says Phil Heeney.
Their next grading will be at the end of the year.
“So they can stand with confidence in their own homes, and be confident in this world,” says Karini.