Kia Ora, I’m Tiana Tuivasa, a Year 13 student in our Year 12 and 13 Te Ao Haka class. I recently had the incredible opportunity to experience Māori culture at Tāmaki Paenga Hira through an engaging performance, which included watching our Kaiako, Whaea Huia. This activation/performance was indescribable, providing a physical experience that felt truly unreal. The students felt the wairua and ihi through the vibrations of the Kapa Haka group’s presence. The performance showcased various items found in a Kapa Haka bracket, with members explaining the significance and value behind each piece. After the activation/performance, our Te Ao Haka class had a private tour of the Te Marae Atea Maori Court, the heart of the museum. A highlight for me was hearing, “You are safe, and you always have been.” The strength behind these simple words was profound. The Karanga moved many students performed at the start, which gave us goosebumps and illustrated the impact of vibration and feeling. Another memorable moment was learning that empty seats were occupied by our tupuna and whānau, reminding us of our deep connections. The tour expanded our knowledge of the marae and the power we, as Māori, hold. This experience brought joy, tears, and excitement, reminding us of our heritage and uplifting our mana. This Te Ao Haka trip was unforgettable and deeply enriching.


Stefan Kumerich review 


My Aio experience was excellent. I felt like I experienced a whole new world that I haven’t seen before and taking a step deeper into this culture made me feel more connected to my ancestors than I have ever felt. If I could recommend this to everyone I would. I also was lucky enough to have a private, in depth, tour of the Māori weapons and practices in the museum and being able to understand the tikanga and importance behind these things made me understand how deep Māori knowledge is.  Before this, I was oblivious to the complexity of Māori culture.


Manaaki  review 


Aio was a spiritual experience that helped open my eyes to things I previously didn’t know about. The activation presentation was a special experience. It was cool seeing my kaiako performing for us. The performance captured my attention and allowed me to view maoritanga in a different way. Our guides gave in-depth explanations around the deeper meaning behind the marae and how it connects to our inner being. We had the opportunity to learn about taiaha and other weaponry such as the patu. It made me feel empowered as a Maori in a colonised school. I hope to be able to have the chance to develop my knowledge further in the future, building on the understanding I already have.