Every once in a while, we get an opportunity to revitalise things. When it comes around, don’t miss it.

Te reo Māori version

This week, for example, Māori Language Week, is all about lifting the role te reo plays in our lives. It’s also a great time to spotlight a new business that revitalises the stories of tīpuna, our Māori ancestors.

Three Wellington students from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna have just got their tourism business off the ground thanks to $2500 they won in a Te whai hua – kia ora, Sorted in Schools budgeting competition. Talk about a great opportunity.


The prize money helped students Rakairoa Campbell, Waimarama Tapiata-Bright and Rauru-ki-tahi Fitzgerald  partner with Te Papa Museum and host a week-long photography exhibition that officially launched their walking tour business, Taraika Tours.

The exhibition called Kupe sites – landmarks of a great voyager featured 36 photographs with detailed stories and explanations matching places that Kupe, the great Māori navigator and explorer, travelled to around Aotearoa.

Taraika Tours will take paying groups around Wellington to places Kupe stopped at, including some seen in the photographs. 

"We’re the last students at this school that really know the Māori history of this area,” said  Rauru-ki-tahi Fitzgerald. “So we’re hoping to share it to others before we finish school, otherwise we believe that the Māori history and stories of this area will slowly die down.

“My main goal is to leave this for our younger ones and hope that they do the same when they grow up.”

Te Papa was thrilled to help and loved why the Year 12 students were determined to make their business launch a success. 

“Some of the money is going towards our art exhibition,” said Rakairoa Campbell, when asked about how they intend to use the $2500 prize money. “The rest of it will go towards future stuff.”

“They’re bilingual,” said kaiako/teacher Renee Campbell, “but te reo Maori is their first language. The students had great feedback from the community and corporates interested in the walking tours. Lots of people are keen to learn more about their local history, and it’s been a great way for them to learn what it takes to run a business.”

“Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna’s entry was exceptionally well thought out and clearly communicated,” said Marina Kawe-Peautolu, Kaitakawaenga/Learning Designer at Te Ara Ahunga Ora. “We were very impressed that their fundraising idea was clever and original. We also liked how this event and their business would directly help their junior students achieve a dream. For us, they were a standout winner.”

Erin Thompson, Kaikōkiri/Learning Specialist – Kura at Te Ara Ahunga Ora, said, “It was great to be able to support these rangatahi who have worked incredibly hard to develop and deliver a unique business idea that supports their kura community and highlights the significance of Kupe’s journey to Aotearoa.

“I have no doubt Taraika Tours will be well received as a rare opportunity to learn the history behind some of Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s significant sites and the meanings behind the names they carry. 

“This, to me, stood out as an innovative and well-thought-out idea, and a well-deserved recipient of this year’s Money Jam competition. Tau kē!” 

Te whai hua – kia ora, Sorted in Schools is a free financial capability programme that aims to equip secondary students with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make good decisions with money from the time they leave school. More than 74% of secondary schools and 75% of kura are registered to teach the resources, potentially reaching more than 216,000 students. 


Comment (1)

Gravatar for Deanna


6:38am | 14 Sep 2021

Fabulous role models you three. And you have an awesome Kaiako. Looking forward to watching your progress.