Trentham School

Empowered Learners for the Future

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Trentham School Kawa

Te Kawa o Te Kura o Trentham

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi. 

Literal: With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.

This whakatau was chosen to advocate for all of our community working together to uphold tikanga Māori. Staff, whānau and kaumatua were consulted throughout this process.


Karakia (non denominational) are used by Trentham School. Karakia is about bringing us together (Kotahitanga) for a favourable outcome for the purpose of our activity. We encourage the use of Te Reo Māori and are inclusive of other languages in our learning community. Because Karakia is about establishing a mindset, karakia may also be performed without spoken word.


Karakia will be used to start the day, bring us together before eating kai, to end the day, during hui and during other special learning times. Karakia words will be shared with families by teachers to support you using and leaning at home too. 



This is the process formally known as Hub Hui. Trentham School Hubs begin the day together sharing Karakia, waiata, mihimihi/pepeha and panui (notices). This could be an opportunity to use Te Reo Māori for Maramataka (looking at the calendar), Te Ara Whakamana, and Te Ahua o te rangi (weather). This can be child led after modelling to classes.


Trentham School Hubs will look to establish this process at the end of the day in 2022 - again sharing reflections, Karakia and waiata.



All hui at Trentham School will begin and end with a karakia and waiata. This supports the process of wānanga. The group enters the meeting with the same mind set, looking for favourable outcomes. The group ends the meeting in good faith, feeling clear of what has been discussed and leaving with a shared vision for what will happen moving forward.



All manuhiri (visitors) will go through the Pōwhiri/whakatau process at Trentham School. The pōwhiri is a welcoming process that removes tapu (restrictions) of the manuhiri to make them one with the tangata whenua. For larger groups the agenda will be set by leadership and shared with staff. For small groups this procedure can be adapted by classrooms according to timetables etc. This process will be developed and grow through regular and consistent welcoming of all new learners at the start of each term. Newly enrolled learners and their families will receive an invitation to join us at our next Pōwhiri.



This is the process for farewelling staff, students and whānau from Trentham School. 



Tikanga Māori is highlighted as important at Trentham School. Victoria University explain the understanding of this tikanga and list the following:


  • Avoid touching another person’s head, unless invited. Why? Māori people regard the head as very tapu (sacred). 

  • Pillows - Avoid sitting directly on pillows or cushions. They can however be used to prop up your back.

  • Hats - Avoid putting hats on food tables. Why? This is linked to the idea that heads are tapu so anything that relates to heads, like pillows or hats, should also be treated carefully (see ‘Food’ below). 

  • Food - Avoid passing food over anybody’s head. Why? There are many Māori rituals and practices relating to food. In a teaching and learning context, it is common for Māori to share food as a means of welcoming people, celebrating success or building rapport. However, another important function of food is to remove tapu so it needs to be handled carefully around things that are considered to be tapu. 

  • Tables - Do not sit on tables, particularly tables with food on them or those likely to have food on them at any point. Avoid putting bags on tables. Instead place them on the floor or a chair. Why? Putting your bottom or carry bag on the table is perceived to be unhygienic. Not sitting on tables is also linked to Māori beliefs about the tapu nature of bodily wastes and the need to keep them separate from food. 

  • If you are late to class or a meeting, wait at the door if karakia, waiata or pepeha are in progress. Why? It is respectful to those that are speaking and to the process.

  • Avoid entering and crossing a room while someone in authority is addressing an audience. To avoid offence, either wait quietly by the door until there is a break in the dialogue or, when that is not appropriate, enter as discreetly as possible. 

  • Try not to walk directly in front of the speaker or, if you cannot avoid it, crouch down as you pass as a sign of respect. Why? Traditionally Māori society is very hierarchical and crossing in front of a more ‘senior’ person is considered rude. 

  • Avoid stepping over people, even in crowded teaching spaces when you are over people trying to find a suitable seat. Ask the person to draw their legs in first, or find another route. Why? From a Māori cultural perspective, it is considered offensive for a woman to step over a man. 

  • Greet people as they enter the Room. Why? This is a sign of respect and acknowledges the mana of people entering the room.

Environmental Considerations

At Trentham School we are kaitiaki of the environment. We show respect to our environment by:

  • Sharing karakia before cutting harakeke.

  • Making sure we use karakia before taking something from the environment. We also ensure we have asked the people responsible for these spaces eg. local council, mana whenua.

  • We return what we have taken from the environment to its rightful place.

Whanaungatanga with Orongomai Marae

Trentham School continually looks to strengthen our relationship with Orongomai Marae. 

  • We liaise with kaumatua around kawa and tikanga Māori for Trentham School.

  • In 2022 Trentham School Leadership will liaise with Orongomai Marae around the needs of the marae. This is a reciprocal partnership and Trentham School wants to support Orongomai in the same way they are currently supporting us.

  • Money is set aside for Koha for Kaumatua.

  • Trentham School will visit Orongomai Marae on a 2 yearly cycle, making sure students and staff participate in this experience.

  • We participate in Waitangi Day Celebrations alongside the Upper Hutt Cluster at Orongomai Marae.


Kia puawai enei rakau ‘Kia Kaha’ mo ake tonu atu

May these trees bloom with strength forever