March 24, 2021

He Pī Ka Rere hosts first workshops in West Auckland ECEs

Born from a collaboration between Sport Waitākere, He Oranga Poutama and Te Hotu Manawa Māori (now Toi Tangata), He Pī Ka Rere draws on the imagery of a fledgling bird preparing for flight. When the bird is ready to fly it stretches out its wings, faces the wind and launches into the air – He Pī Ka Rere!

The kaupapa Māori initiative equips tamariki with the skills and knowledge to learn healthy habits and behaviours by applying indigenous techniques which have sustained tūpuna for generations. The latest phase sees Healthy Families Waitākere integrate the initiative into mainstream Early Childhood Centres (ECE) across West Auckland, a region with a high Māori population. Healthy Families Waitākere Rautaki Māori, Darrio Penetito-Hemara, explains.

“We held the first workshop series over two days in February, with 15 ECE kaiako learning about kaupapa Māori, Atua and traditional games which work alongside these pūrakau. We work with kaiako to broaden their capabilities in kaupapa Māori, which is then passed back to the tamariki during learning time.

He Pī Ka Rere nurtures and develops the whole being of a tamaiti, building the skills, abilities and awareness needed to sustain a lifelong relationship with kori and kai. The initiative shares direct links with Atua Māori and the realms in which they reside, bringing Te Ao Māori into early learning environments.

The initiative will be coordinated by Kaiwhakahaere, Tiraroa Hetaraka, former head boy and recent graduate from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi. Tiraroa brings a wealth of mātauranga to carry this kaupapa and enable it to flourish in West Auckland.

The activities within the He Pī Ka Rere are modified to cater to tamariki of all ages and abilities, whilst utilising the natural environment as much as possible. It’s a learning activity not only for tamariki, but also kaiako and whānau whanui, to broaden skillsets and understanding of Te Reo Māori.

The initiative requires minimal equipment, focussing on moving the tinana and learning the importance of health and wellbeing.