Play Learn Grow Love Māori Language Week

Tēnā koutou katoa

Haere mai, nau mai, whakatau mai. Hello, welcome and please feel settled here at our pre-school centre of excellence. At Kohungahunga ko Tākaro Ako Tipu (Play Learn Grow) early childcare centre we are proud to celebrate the beautiful language of te reo māori. We have māori kaupapa (values) and whakapapa (ancestry) and identify as a māori organisation. So being Māori Language Week expect to see a few posts and mātauranga (knowledge) māori being shared.

Last year with COVID we still participate virtually by submitting mihi (talks) on what Kohungahunga ko Tākaro Ako Tipu (Play Learn Grow) teach about te reo and also tikanga māori. This strengthens the ongoing Māori language movement and helps embed social change across our West Auckland community. Our diverse staff, our quality education and cultural competence are what qualities are our whānau tell us, make us the ECE centre in West Auckland. We really appreciate this feedback and praise, and drives us to serve you.

This Māori Language Week sees Kohungahunga ko Tākaro Ako Tipu (Play Learn Grow) ECE take part in a world record attempt as we try to set the record for the biggest single, simultaneous celebration of an endangered language on earth. We will participate at 12pm tomorrow Tuesday 14th September 2021, with whaikōrero and the Kohungahunga ko Tākaro Ako Tipu karakia.

Kia kaha te reo Māori. May our language be strong.
Kia kaha Aotearoa. May our country be strong.
Kia ora Aotearoa. May our people be well.

This is how we started our Rock Garden

Play Learn Grow – Whanaungatanga

It is about being connected. It is a respectful relationship through shared experiences and working together with Whanau, which provides a sense of belonging. Whanau is a principle, which binds individuals to the wider group and affirms the value of the collective.

Kaiako team come together on Monday to Friday to provide contexts for our tamariki learning development in Te reo and other different languages, identity, and experience Maori and other cultures. Each morning the team Kaiako and tamariki take lead in our Whanaungatanga mat time. We share waiata, poems, hand action, and whole-body movements, especially listening to their voices sharing special news from their whanau, or any other achievements they have accomplished e.g., Toilet training, a proud moment for our tamariki and saying Karakia together. We share new things we have discovered, making these moments, happy and always having fun.

Whanaungatanga Mat Time In Pukeko Whanau

We start the day, by welcoming all Tamariki and Kaiako to Pukeko Whanau, using all the different culture greeting, eg, Ni Hao Ma!. We sing waiata: Mōrena tamariki mā, Tēnā koe/ hello to one, poem: Hammer hammer hammer, Kaiako will ask a question to the tamariki for any volunteer to sing waiata of their choice. Kaiako will ask another question to another volunteer, to share good news from home or a Kaiako to share good news within the center. After the sharing, we wash our hands and sit on the chair at a table , to say our Kaiakia for our kai time.


Mōrena Tamariki mā               Tena Koe Hello to one                            Pati pati pati pati tamaiti e          

Tamariki mā x2                           Tena Ko rua Hello to two                      Pati pati pati pati tamaiti e          

Mōrena Tamariki mā               Tena Koutou Hello to all                        Siva siva siva siva tamaiti e

Tamariki mā x2                           Haere mai everyone                                Siva siva siva siva tamaiti e,



Hammer, hammer, hammer                Hāmā, hāmā, hāmā                    Samala, samala,samala

Shake, shake, shake                                 Rūrū, rūrū, rūrū                          Lulu, lulu, lulu                             

Roll, roll roll                                                 Pīrori ,pīrori,pīrori                    Taavili, taavili, taavili

Tap, tap, tap,                                                Pāngū , pāngū, pāngū                              Pati, pati, pati

Clap, clap clap                                             Paki, paki, paki                                           Po, po, po


Sharing time: Show and tell good news.

Tamariki wash hands ready for Kai Time.

Manaakitanga in ECE

Mā te huruhuru, ka rere te manu.

Adorn the bird with feathers, so it can fly. (Whakataukī – Māori proverb)

At Play Learn Grow early childcare education centre we have a number of kaiako (teachers) with māori whakapapa (ancestry). This is why we are so passionate about Te Whāriki. He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa – the early childcare education curriculum for Aoteoroa (New Zealand).

We demonstrate manaakitanga which is a crucual Māori principle that is at the heart of Te Whāriki: He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa. We consider manaakitanga to be the process of enhancing peoples mana, by showing care, respect, kindness and generosity for others.

Manaakitanga weaves in to the strands of the ECE curriculum. The Ministry of Education state: “Children’s learning and development are fostered if the well-being of their family and community is supported; if their family, culture, knowledge and community are respected; and if there is a strong connection and consistency among all the aspects of the child’s world”. This is where manaakitanga comes in looking at pre-schoolers well-being in a holistic sense.

Manaakitanga at Play Learn Grow ECE

We kōrero with children about sharing (why it is important, praising good behaviours, politely pointing out not such good behaviour), kaitiakitanga (caring for the environment, another tikanga māori principle), welcoming new whānau (mihi whakatau or shorted pōwhiri for whānau of bigger kids) and settling periods as tamariki transition from home to Play Learn Grow ECE, or from another centre. We teaching care and respect for other tamariki, for our outdoor play area resources and indoor resources. Our kaiako to guide tamariki to set ground rules, and we remind tamariki if or when there is a rule breach of the rules they contributed to setting.

We do a short karakia before eating lunch, as we are thankful for it, and we build and nurture strong relationship with parents and staff. Play Learn Grow teachers create an environment of respect where our highly skilled teachers develop tamariki to grow and develop physically, mentally, socially, whilst playing and learning.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic we had visited places in the community. I took my kids to a local rest home to bring smiles on the faces of the elderly. We reach out to local schools and visit them to ensure the transition is not too hard. We listen to concerns of parents about sending in children into school environments with many hundreds of children, and to ease concerns we keep children past age 5 (tamariki have to go to school by their 6th birthday though). During changes in Alert Levels we communicate with whānau and stay open to serve the needs of Auckland’s essential workers (without other childcare options), even when some other centres stay shut.

Play Learn Grow teachers have completed or are enrolled in the Incredible Years Programme on child behaviour and management techniques. This is best practice, which certainly not every centre has their staff doing. However this is an important for Play Learn Grow teachers as we strive to be the best ECE centre in West Auckland.

Manaakitanga is all about caring and support for tamariki (children) – pre-schoolers in Play Learn Grow ECE), whānau (family) and kaiako (teachers). The Play Learn Grow culture is just so special to be a part of, and manaakitanga being so engrained in it by our Centre Manager, fellow kaiako, whānau and of course our beautiful tamariki. This to me is what sets out Play Learn Grow as the best ECE centre in West Auckland, and the best out of so many I have worked up over many years.