For two Kaiwaka School students, 2018 completed a six-year journey of outstanding achievement after being awarded a prestigious Taonga Award. The special trophies were presented to the best male, Tane Thomas, and female, Lisa Van Blerk, students who have shown consistent leadership in Te Reo and have done so with aroha (love) and passion.
“The awards are specific to Kaiwaka School and represent the importance placed on bicultural partnership at our school. Whaea Mina Paikea leads our school in this. We consider ourselves very fortunate and privileged,” said Rosie.
“Tane and Lisa have excelled at leading our school this year. We are so proud of their confidence and ability when performing kapa haka — they help everyone be better.”
Kaiwaka School student Lisa Van Blerk is the 2018 winner of the Whanau
Komiti Nga Tumanako Taonga
The male taonga is presented to the year six boy who is the best and most passionate about leading mihi for powhiri, leads in Kapa Haka, teaches younger boys through modelling and encouragement and is outstanding in te reo. It was first presented in 2001 and is known as the Helen George Nga Tumanako Taonga.
The female taonga is presented to the year six girl who leads in powhiri, leads waiata, leads in kapa haka, models and teaches younger girls in their roles and is outstanding in te reo. It was first presented in 2015 and is known as the Whanau Komiti Nga Tumanako Taonga.
Kaiwaka Primary School offers kapa haka, te reo and tikanga classes for three hours a week to all students and principal, Rosie Ellis, says 95 per cent of the students choose this option.