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Pōwhiri in a school setting

Duration: 7:30
Download the video clip for FLV player (32.57 MB)

Here we see a school modifying some aspects of the pōwhiri process, to accommodate the fact that they are a learning institution. In welcoming a new staff member, we see them go through the steps of karanga, whaikōrero, waiata, harirū, and hongi – in a way that is tailored to their needs, yet respectful of kawa.

Transcript

Pōwhiri can be performed in a number settings. This is how one school has determined their kawa for pōwhiri, welcoming their manuhiri.

We call it a haka pōwhiri or a welcome. In terms of how we conducted the haka pōwhiri, we wanted to make sure that we did cover the essence of protocol. So we did have kaikaranga or callers. They’re protocols we observe in karanga whereby the first call is to welcome the group. The second call from the tangata whenua side is to acknowledge all the deceased. Vanu, who’s Samoan, did the second call. And the third call is to state what the kaupapa of the day is. In many instances that call is done by one woman. We modified it, and depending on the confidence of our staff, so we ended up having three females doing the one call.

Liz Parata – Principal Clyde Quay School

Although we were first, second and third in order, we were very much together and I could really feel the other two beside me, you know, when you’re shaking a little bit which you do in that situation. It’s really great to feel the strength of the others beside.

Mel Bogard – Teacher Clyde Quay School

We find that that’s a good way of supporting staff who still perhaps are not confident doing all three parts of the call themselves because it’s like anything, you know, if you ask an adult to get up in front of 250 other adults to do a speech – it’s a nerve racking exercise.

Liz Parata – Principal Clyde Quay School

It was slightly different to what you would find on a marae tūturu and I think that that’s because we are a learning institution. Well Whaea Liz came in with the manuhiri.

Mel Bogard – Teacher Clyde Quay School

And we explained it to our children, because Matua Elwyn didn’t have a kaikaranga, a caller – so we deliberately modified that, changed that so that I went out so that I could call for him and his wife, and we were supported by four of our senior children.

Liz Parata – Principal Clyde Quay School

We have a modified kawa. Modification of the normal custom that’s entirely appropriate for our school we think.

Mel Bogard – Teacher Clyde Quay School

Depending on what rohe you come from determines whether you follow what we call tauututu.Tauututu is when all the tangata whenua speak first. And then all the visitors or manuhiri then speak second. What usually happens it comes back to tangata whenua to close the speeches. And in this instance, again for our kura, we modified that.

Liz Parata – Principal Clyde Quay School

You will notice that in the whaikōrero there was English spoken and that was entirely appropriate for our school population. Elwyn himself, he’s Pākehā and he owned that. We had children up on the pae and you wouldn’t see that normally, and that’s fantastic. You know they learn such a lot from that experience.

Mel Bogard – Teacher Clyde Quay School

Then we go around, we harirū, and harirū is either a hongi (usually a hongi) and in some areas they hongi twice; once for the living and once for the dead.

Liz Parata – Principal Clyde Quay School

And of course we didn’t hongi with 250 children, because that would have been practically impossible. We cut things down and tailor them to what the students need.

Mel Bogard – Teacher Clyde Quay School

We try to balance, I suppose balance in terms of tikanga where we’re respectful of kawa. We are respectful of the tangata whenua, meaning the rohe, but inclusive of that is what we believe as a school.

Liz Parata – Principal Clyde Quay School

The children at our school are the tamariki of the future, the adults of the future and they will always encounter visits to marae. They’ll be part of pōwhiri themselves in their adult life and in their lives as young people and it’s really good that they’ve got the confidence that they learn from being in a haka pōwhiri; that they’re not unnerved, that they are familiar with the process, that they can join in and they will have learned a lot of the parts of that and they’ll be able to take part as confident adults having had this experience.

Mel Bogard – Teacher Clyde Quay School

Pōwhiri

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