Te Reo Māori

Drina Paratene was warmly welcomed to Green Bay High School last week with a heartfelt pōwhiri, strongly supported by students and colleagues from Long Bay College, where she has taught for the past year. Drina is from Ngati Whatua ki te Kaipara, Ngati Paoa and Ngati Awa.

Drina’s vision for students at Green Bay High School is for them to embrace the Māori culture and language and become life long learners, and aims to develop students’ knowledge of te ao Māori in order to build their confidence while developing a sense of pride and self-esteem.

With a teaching philosophy firmly grounded in kaupapa Māori and mātauranga Māori: following the cultural ways of knowing, doing and understanding the world around us, students and staff at Green Bay High School are very lucky to access Drina’s vast knowledge and experience. Kaupapa Māori theory is based on a number of key principles involving te reo Māori (the Māori language), tikanga Māori (Māori custom), mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), and ahuatanga Māori (Māori characteristics).

Drina is a Lecturer, Researcher, curriculum writer and adviser with a passion for te reo Māori programmes and resource development. She has a Bachelor of Education, from Auckland University; a Diploma of Teaching Kura Kaupapa Māori (ECE) from the Auckland College of Education; and completed her Master’s thesis on Matauranga Māori/Education. In August 2011 Drina was a co-researcher and author of Te Heru: a framework for Māori success within an initial teacher education programme for Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa/NZ Childcare Association to support Māori to be successful in their teacher education courses, as part of its bicultural journey.

Drina has been heavily involved in the revitalisation of te reo Māori me ona tikanga through full immersion Māori language, leadership, mentoring, whakawhānaungatanga, whānau development, and a vast number of iwi/community networks for many years.

As a strong Māori woman in her own right, Drina wears her moko kauae proudly, symbolising the three values she believes are essential to a meaningful life: Tika (honesty and integrity); Pono (belief in a higher spiritual order); and Aroha (love).

He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata. He tāngata. He tāngata.