Monday, November 15, 2010

Tikanga Maori

The centre where I am doing my work experience does not really implement Tikanga Maori in some aspects. When I first started at the centre I only noticed a few protocols that all the children had to abide by in their everyday routine. Taking off their shoes and socks inside as soon as they come into the centre early in the morning or from outside play. The centre also has songs, book and signs designed to promote and teach the children Maori language and culture. Running inside the centre isn’t permitted as it is dangerous and the children may hurt themselves, also that sitting on the table is not allowed as they are used to eat food off. The way the centre doesn’t always use Tikanga is when they allow children to use pasta or food as a creative art activity (I made jewellery with the children as I did not know we are not allowed to use food, and the other staff members said that it is fine, so I’m a little confused about that situation, but I can see why it is not allowed now). Touching children on the head and also having the children not eat at the same time. With the touching of a child’s head, it only seems natural to do it, I have noticed that all the teachers/ staff in my centre do touch the children’s head and it doesn’t look like it’s on purpose. I feel that parents or community do not have much input into what is done or said at the centre. This may be because I do not see the parents at all when I am working.The centre has had major adjustments to staffing and management as they are leaving and new ones are coming in so I have only seen the Maori language being used only a few times through songs, words being spoken and signage. There is one teacher who is Maori and tries to use the language as much as she can, I have noticed the other staff members have minimal or no Te Reo knowledge what so ever. I try to implement my knowledge as well but feel its not enough. Having staff changes seems to be making things harder for the new manager who has so much to organise with staff as well as children.

I don’t think that my centre has been fully successful in implementing Tikanga Maori as not all protocols are met. I believe that this is because the cultures of the staff and their beliefs are different from each other as well as their knowledge of The Treaty and Maori culture. Even though the Protocols they do implement for example; when the children take their shoes off, teachers do persist with this and it is apart of everyday routine so the children are quite used to this and some do it automatically. Children tend to run inside and are then told to not run because it is dangerous and that they might hurt themselves, which lets them know what they are doing and why they should stop. Even outside children still run around and fall over but they will get up and run more. Teachers try to tell the children the same thing when they are outside, but I feel that it is what outside is for, to enjoy, run around and have fun! Another reason why I think Tikanga Maori is not implemented properly is that my centre is more for the children. To let them enjoy themselves and let the staff enjoy looking after the children. From the parents I have met they truly trust the staff at my centre to care for their children in a way the staff think is best. I haven’t had much of an opportunity to talk to parents or others that are involved in the centre in other ways.  I don’t really think the parents care in terms of protocols. There are a few issues about parents and their children but staff try to keep things moving and do their job, by looking after the children as best they can. The centre has had many changes in the last 6 or 7 months as it used to be Kohunga Reo until a new owner came along and changed that. I think this had a big impact on how Tikanga Maori has been implemented in the centre or hasn’t.

I think that implementing Tikanga Maori more into the centres programme would make things more difficult at this time as many changes have been made within staff and management, maybe giving the centre more time to organise and set up a well run centre will help sort out what needs to be implemented through Tikanga Maori. Also as teachers being able to learn more about the Maori or other cultural protocols and aspects that we can or have to implement in our centre will give a better idea of what is needed as well as expand our knowledge and give us a chance to better the centre.I also want to be able to teach children more about the Maori Language but to do that I need to expand my knowledge of it as well.


  1. Hey! Your blogs sound really good. =) Do you mind emailing me that exemplar thing you mentioned in class the other day? Thanks!

  2. Arnia,
    I found your comments and excuses invalid for an early childhood centre. When there is something that is being implemented in a centre it is about being led by example. The Owner/Supervisor/Manager should be leading tikanga and expect staff to comply. There is no reason why tikanga should not be implemented in the centre, tikanga is part of the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi. What surprises me is that the centre used to be a Kohanga so all these systems should have already been in place, unless all the staff have been replaced, but even then there should be something happening, do you hear Waiata at all during the day, Maori language being spoken? Lead by example Arnia, lead by example.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. All staff have been replaced and are still getting replaced because either they want to leave or have to. Its different now since I started.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.