Marge | Māngere, Auckland
“Ā, ko Marara Marge Tiakiwai tōku ingoa. He uri ahau nō Tūhoe, engari i tipu au ki konei, ki Tāmaki, ki Māngere.
I tēnei wā kei te noho au ki Manurewa. He kaiako au, ki te Kura Kaupapa Māori ā-rohe o Māngere. Ia tau ka kite au i ngā tamariki rerekē, i ngā tamariki haututū, ngā tamariki pai. Ko ngā tamariki tino rata ana ki a au ko ngā tamariki haututū. Koinei ngā tamariki kaha ki te kōrero me te mea hoki he auahatanga rerekē tā rātou. Koirā tāku. Pīrangi au te kite i ēnei tamariki me te kōrero atu ki a rātou me te ako ki te taha i a rātou. Koinā te tikanga, koirā te take he kaiako ahau. E aroha nui ana au ki ngā tamariki pēnei. Āe, kia ora!
Ko ngā mea kua ako au mai i ēnei tamariki, he maha ngā raru, ngā pōraru, engari, ko te mea nui ka eke tātou. Ka taea e tātou. Kua ako ahau i ngā tikanga rerekē, ngā rautaki rerekē ki te whakaako i ēnei tamariki. Nā te mea, ko rātou, he ao kē tā rātou. Kāre rātou e tiro whāiti, kei roto i te pouaka, me kī. Ko tā rātou ko te tiro whānui. Me titiro rā ki ō rātou whānau, me tūhono, me hono ā-wairua nei ki a rātou. Āe, kia ora!
I tipu au ki konei, ki Tāmaki Makaurau. Kei te Kura Kaupapa Māori ā-rohe o Māngere e whakaako ana, engari, kāre au i uru atu ki ēnei momo kura. I haere au ki ngā kura reorua, Ngā Iwi ki Sir Bader Douglas Intermediate ki tērā atu taha me te Kura o Onehunga. Mai i reira, i haere au ki Te Wānanga Takiura o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa. Mai i reira, i haere au ki Te Wānanga Takiura o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa. I reira, i poipoia au mai korā, mai taku tau tuatahi, taku tau tuarua, taku tau tuatoru. I whiwhi au i tētahi mahi ki Ōtāhuhu. Kātahi ka whānau mai tētahi pēpi, taku tamāhine tuatahi. I haramai ki konei, ā muri i tērā ki waenganui i taku whānau me te mīharo rawa atu ki te noho ki konei me ngā kaiako tino nui, nui te aroha ki ngā tamariki, me te noho pūmau ki tō tātou reo Māori, tikanga Māori.
I’m a descendant of Tūhoe, but I grew up here in Auckland, in the suburb of Māngere. At the moment I’m living in Manurewa, I’m a teacher, at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori ā-rohe o Māngere. Every year I see different kids, cheeky kids, good kids. The children I really like are the cheeky ones. They’re the ones who are very verbal and they are creatively unique. That’s my opinion. I want to see these kids and speak with them and teach side-by-side with them. That’s the reason why I’m a teacher. I love children like that.
The things I’ve learnt from these children, there are a lot of difficulties, problems, but the important thing is, we achieve. We overcome them. I’ve learnt different ways, different strategies for teaching these children. Because, with them, they live in their own world. They don’t take a narrow view, nor are they ‘in the box’, let’s say. They take a broader view. You need to look at their whānau, you need to connect, you need to develop a meaningful relationship with them.
I grew up here, in Auckland. Even though I teach at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori ā-rohe o Māngere, I never attended a school like this. I went to bilingual units, Ngā Iwi and Sir Bader Douglas Intermediate which is on the other side of the suburb and I also went to Onehunga. After that, I went to Te Wānanga Takiura o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa. I went there, I met my tribal elders Tawhiri and Kaa. When I was there, I was nurtured from my first year all the way to my third year. Then I got a job in Ōtāhuhu. After I gave birth to my first daughter, I came here to my whānau and it has been extremely wonderful to be here with really great teachers, teachers who really care for the children, and who are steadfast to our Māori language and customs.”