Te Taumata o Ngāti Whakaue Iho-Ake Trust was established by Ngāti Whakaue in 2005 to achieve the aspirations of the Iwi in the areas of education, te reo and well-being. A series of workshops, hui and wānanga from 2001 to 2004 led to the adoption of a strategic outlook document that outlined Iwi aspirations in reo and tikanga, and in the care and education of mokopuna and their whānau.
The boards of Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands, Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust and the Ngāti Whakaue Education Endowment Trust came together and agreed to umbrella this new entity.
In partnership with Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Education, two projects were launched immediately: Paepae Wānanga: our flagship wānanga series for those who serve on the Ngāti Whakaue paepae, men and women. The goal was to enable a paepae “three rows deep”.
Tiaho Tamariki: promoting participation in Early Childhood Education, our team aims to increase the number of tamariki Māori arriving at school with a quality early learning experience either through Kohanga Reo or other early childhood education service.
During those early years we set up Moko-Puna Te Ao Kapurangi, a supported playground for whānau with pēpi under the age of 5 years, and we opened Te Puna Akoranga o Ngāti Whakaue, an Iwi based puna reo structured on the Early Childhood Centre model for tamariki aged 3 months to 5 years.
In 2008 we produced the first Te Reo strategy for Ngāti Whakaue and subsequently launched two major reo projects: Whakarauorahia Te Reo and Te Reo Hōkoi. The first was a Te Arawa wide pilot that tested five different methods of reo revitailsaition. The second was an in-home mentoring programme that worked with whānau to develop whānau reo strategies and resources.
This was the year that the Ngāti Whakaue Life-Cycle Option was adopted and this has driven development within the Taumata since then. It’s a philosophy that looks at Iwi obligations to meet the needs of whānau, hapū and marae; and the organic, cyclical and reciprocal nature of tribal development.
In 2013 the government launched a new initiative, the Social Sector Trials, and Te Taumata won the tender to deliver the trial in Rotorua. Through this four year programme we co-ordinated and funded over 10 key cross-sector initiatives that brought together government agencies, communities, services and the education sector to collectively focus on what can be done better to support educational outcomes for rangatahi. Two collective impact projects born of the social sector trial continue today, ensuring that agencies, services and community are joined up with a common focus on better outcomes for whānau and rangatahi. These two projects are: Ngā Pumanawa E Waru, driving equitable access to education through digital connectivity, and the Rotorua Working Together Group, a quarterly meeting of local government agencies and community.
Also in 2013 we launched Matakōkiri Science Wānanga for rangatahi and the Te Rangihakahaka Professional Development Wānanga for Rotorua teachers.
In 2017 we opened Kōkiri – an alternative education service for rangatahi who are at risk of disengagement. We have successfully partnered with Rotorua’s four state schools to provide a nurturing learning environment for these young people to “reset, refocus and relaunch” their education aspirations. The Kōkiri team love their work. Everyone who comes through their gates are treated as whānau. The rangatahi feel like they belong and are taught the tools they need to achieve their goals.
Also in 2017, the government opened the fourth round of Partnership Schools Kura Hourua. We saw this as a prime opportunity to scale up the science wānanga and provide an Iwi based, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa rangatahi. We were successful in the tender process and in January of 2018 we opened Te Rangihakahaka Centre for Science and Technology.
Within six months we exceeded initial roll projections, average attendance and target academic progress statistics. A change of government came with a change in a number of policies, of which partnership schools were one. We negotiated our way through this and re-opened Te Rangihakahaka as a designated character school in 2019. The 2017-2018 year saw the birth of two new projects: Whiria Te Ako: professional learning and development for teachers and other professionals.
Te Puna Manawa o Whakaue: a Puna Reo especially for our 3 and 4 years olds.
Both these projects continue the hallmark of the Taumata brand – partnership, innovation, leadership and connectedness. The two new portfolio’s launched in 2018:
Ngāti Whakaue Health Portfolio – We have established the Te Kahui Hauora Problem Gambling Harm Minimisation and Patient Transport services. They are a great team of kaupapa Māori practitioners and we fully welcome the skills and capabilities they bring to Te Taumata. Housing First Rotorua – Providing quality, safe, affording and stable to our most vulnerable people is now a reality through a special partnership with two nationally recognised Non-Government Organisations – LinkPeople and Lifewise. Further projects, programmes and services are on the horizon. Whatever the needs and aspirations of the people, Te Taumata will innovate and serve.