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Being Proud to be Young Gifted and Maori

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It’s great to be young, gifted and Maori
That was the resounding catch-cry heard at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi recently at Eastbay REAP’s student Gifted Mini-symposium.

The event held on August 17 and followed with a teacher’s Gifted and Talented Education Mini Symposium on August 18, attracted more than 100 students, parents and teachers.

Whakatane Seventh Day Adventist student, Niao Harawira-Maru said being able to hear speakers and performers encourage students to achieve was ‘inspiring ’.

“It has inspired me to be like one of the speakers, James Webster, and help other Maori students to thrive and learn.”

The 11-year-old also said he benefitted from being encouraged by Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi staff members to set goals and pursue his dreams.

Eastbay REAP Chief Executive officer John Chemis said the collaborative effort between Eastbay REAP and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, continues to support teachers and Whanau.

“Our role is about supporting professional development by bringing experts in this field to the Eastern Bay, but also to bring educationalists who have a Maori world view.”

“While our theme was Maori succeeding as Maori, we also hosted speakers who are able to provide advice and support on more general aspects of gifted education, so it is of benefit to the whole community.”
Auckland University lecturer, Dr Melinda Webber, who specialises in Maori gifted education was the keynote speaker and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi’s, Dr Pi’ikea Clark, who is the Director of the Tokorau Institute of Indigenous Innovation, also provided an indigneous perspective on giftedness.

Eastbay’s REAP’s gifted and talented education programme (GATE)mentor, Shona Hammond Boys, also spoke about how stress can affect gifted children.

We are fortunate that we work collaboratively with the w?nanga to provide this event for the community. Without their support it would not be as successful as they provide an excellent learning environment and supportive staff for the event,” Mr Chemis said

Eastbay REAP is already planning towards next year’s Gifted and Talented mini-symposia and encourage teachers and whanau throughout the rohe to get involved.

For more information contact Eastbay REAP Schools’ Coordinator Janie Stevenson on 07-3084098 xt 213 or

Clara Maru


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