New course aims to supply 200 Maori immersion teachers by 2020

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A new four-year Maori immersion teaching degree at Massey University will help to fill a critical shortage of expert Te Reo teachers and help halt the decline of the language, says Associate Professor Huia Tomlins Jahnke who led the development of the course.

On Tuesday February 7, Massey University will welcome 27 new first year students to its intense Maori immersion teaching course – Te Aho Tatairangi – the only course of its kind in New Zealand.

Whanau and students on the course will be formally welcomed to Te Kupenga o te Matauranga marae at Massey Universitys Hokowhitu campus in Palmerston North.

Associate Prof Jahnke, Head of Masseys School of Maori Education, said the redesigned and extended four-year course aimed to supply 200 Maori immersion graduates into the teaching profession by 2020.

There is a shortage of teachers nationally, and in the Maori sector that shortage is critical and our graduates will help to build a bigger talent pool. It will also help the long-term rejuvenation of Te Reo Maori which is currently classified as an endangered language, she said

Lecturers include experts and current practitioners from leading Kura Kaupapa Maori known for their strength in Te Aho Matua, including Dr Kathy Dewes, who was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours and who is the principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata in Rotorua; Rawiri Wright, principal of Hone Waititi in Auckland and Chair of Te Runanga Nui o Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori; and Toni Waho, principal of Mana Tamariki in Palmerston North.

One important aspect of the course is that all students are supported by, or assigned to, a kura hapai mentoring school. This is a unique requirement that ensures the distance learning undertaken through the programme is married with daily practice.

The programme is being delivered through a new partnership between Te Runanga Nui o Nga Kura Kaupapa M?ori and Massey University and is firmly based on the principles of Te Aho Matua, the foundation document which sets out the ethos behind the formation and running of Kura Kaupapa Maori, M?ori-language immersion schools.

This approach will ensure the ethos of the kura kaupapa Maori movement is upheld in the preparation of teachers who will teach in the total immersion sector, Associate Prof Jahnke said.

We are happy to be working closely with Massey to ensure our teachers are properly prepared. The inclusion of Te Aho Matua in the design, content and delivery of the programme is the key, says Toni Waho, who is also a member of Te Runanga Nui.


Te Aho Tatairangi graduates will qualify with a Bachelor of Teaching Maori Medium/Diploma Maori Education.

  • For more information please contact Sue Allen, Massey Public Relatio
    ns, on 029 917 5466.

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