|dc.description.abstract||Whaanau and schools in Dunedin developed an innovative solution to the issue of finding quality te reo Māori teaching for fluent tamariki. Ka Puananii o te Reo, a one day a week te reo immersion class for Years 1 – 6, was launched on the 4th of February 2010 at Dunedin North Intermediate School.
This research explored the Kaa Puananii o te Reo programme as a potential model of success for learning te reo Maaori. The study used ‘interviews as chats’ with 6 tamariki, 3 rangatahi and 11 whānau members. The whaanau and tamariki perspective was necessary to develop an understanding of what participants thought was a successful model for the delivery of quality te reo me ōna tikanga Māori. The goals of Ka Puananii o te Reo were: greatly increased skills in te reo Maori me ona tikanga; greater links between the tamariki and whānau across the city resulting in a new community of te reo Maori speakers; and an emerging cohort of tamariki and rangatahi as the next generation of te reo Maori speakers.
The three major themes, which emerged from the interviews, were engagement, whanaungatanga and cultural identity. The majority of the participants said they were happy with the programme, with tamariki learning and using more te reo Maori, as well as increasing their level of te reo reading and writing skills. Many found the high fluency levels of te reo a challenge, prompting whānau to continue developing their own levels of te reo within their home. The theme of ‘whanaungatanga’, the “principle of inter-relations” McNatty (2001) was identified as an important concept. Whānau described the process of ‘whanaungatanga’ as ‘growing little pockets of tamariki speaking te reo’ as a step towards expanding the community of te reo Māori speakers.
Numerous cultural benefits were identified, such as increases in emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, and the sense of pride to ‘be Maori’, and the development of wider cultural affiliations through the strengthening of links with Kura Kaupapa Maori ki Ōtepoti, whānau, hapū, and iwi members. Although it is difficult to attribute such outreach to the te reo Maori community to Ka Puanani, whānau feedback indicated that there was an increase in the uptake of te reo Maori, including the wider exploration and consideration of te reo Maori immersion options.
The structure of this paper is based on the marae ātea process, the process of clearing the pathway forward. Karakia (prayer) is used at the start and end of this paper in accordance with Māori tikanga (custom) and whakatauākī (proverb) are used at the closure of each chapter.||