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Culture, Tikanga and Working with Parents & Whanau

An Authentic Version of the Concept of Tuakana-Teina dictated by Whakapapa

copyright ChildForumBy Ngaroma Williams
© ChildForum


Within Aotearoa, New Zealand early childhood education pedagogy, the relationships of tuakana, teina are misunderstood, misinterpreted and/or misused.

Ngaroma Williams explains how and calls for a Maori worldview to be expressed and better understood.

To understand Māori social structures it is necessary to know something about whakapapa (see endnote 1). Māori cosmogony (creations) is a significant feature of how tūpuna Māori (ancestors) viewed te ao turoa (see endnote 2); the role they played and the foundations they set down for the generations that follow.

Our tūpuna coined vigorous and valuable methods of passing on knowledge and skills. Whakapapa is an underpinning principle of such knowledge, “whakapapa is a basis for the organisation of knowledge in respect of the creation and development of all things” (see endnote 3).


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