Rūaumoko Deaf Marae

How can te ao Māori impact a digital world to create a special place for deaf learners at Rūaumoko Marae?


There was a problem loading the media.

Transcript: Rūaumoko Deaf Marae

Opening sequence (background music): title of the strategy, Connected Ako: Digital and Data for Learning, appears with graphical images of a puna (spring). Transition to moving icons of punas that represent the 6 areas of mahi in the strategy.  

Question appears on the screen: Can te ao Māori impact a digital world to create a special space for deaf learners?  

Transition to footage of the story. Interview style format mixed with background images of students and educational environments. 

  • -[Nathan Martin, E-Learning Designer and Developer, Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education New Zealand]  Rūaumoko Marae has been part of Deaf Māori community for 30 years. Rūaumoko Marae is a central part of Deaf Māori community. It's a place where Deaf Māori can just be, they can connect and some learning can happen there too, actually. 
  • - [Dr Kathie Rifle, Māori Strategic Lead, Rūaumoko Marae, Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education New Zealand] My connection to Rūaumoko Mare is through the students, and through my role as Māori Strategic Lead.  
    One of the key areas that I was asked to focus on was to breathe life back into the marae, reignite the ahi kā particularly in regards to our students, but also in regards to bringing our Māori Deaf community back to the marae.  
  • - [Whiti Ronaki, Kaumātua, Rūaumoko Marae] A lot of Māori Deaf children don't understand about te ao Māori or about the Deaf community. 
    - [Dr Kathie] When we first formulated our team to go, okay, 30th anniversary, what are we going to do? What do we want it to look like? And one of our team came to me and he said, what about building the marae in Minecraft? My initial thought was, I don’t know how we can make this pixelated programme give honour and respect to our whare. But I trusted him. 
  • [Nathan] The intent of building the marae was to create basically a legacy learning platform so students to come will build on top of what already has been built. Deaf history, Māori history, but what I like about it is that the students are owning the learning and they’re building it and they’re learning at the same time and they're doing it together. 
  • [Kaylee, senior student] I thank Nathan (Campbell) and Wilj (Dekker) the tutors. They have really helped us be able to develop our skills and enjoy what we’re doing. They have taught us how to figure out for ourselves how to get to grips with the digital Minecraft platform and build a whole world. It’s been really hard work.  
  • [Callun, student] The best one was to stay in the marae, that was awesome. It was really good because I really enjoyed it, and we had to get up in the morning. We had to get up and make it in Minecraft and all stick together.  
  • [Dr Kathie] When they started building it and showed us the first walkthrough of what they had achieved, I was...I was blown away. 
  • [Nathan] I was really proud to see the students deliver on the anniversary. They've started a place for them to come together and connect, a place to belong, feel safe, a space to collaborate, a space to learn. And it's all wrapped up in identity.  
  • [Kaylee] Minecraft really requires you to basically copy the real world and make it digital, I thank Nathan (Campbell), he's taught us how to use our skills to make cars and roads and other buildings, and we've tried our best to take on all of that learning. 
  • [Callun] I really love to work together, like being with my mates and, you know, discussing everything in sign and agreeing on things. Being within a project like that was awesome. Like, the teamwork was the best part. 
  • [Whiti] Minecraft has been really good, something new. They're learning how to use computers, what they are, and they can use it to learn about their iwi and about the land where they're from. It's good. It's really good. 
  • [Eric Matthews, Residential Youth Worker] I think if we can use more and more visual ways to talk about Māori stories, Māori myths. A lot of people just haven't access that information about te reo Māori. So yes, I think technology is very important, especially if we can use sign language. And use visual ways of presenting that information to support our children to learn about their world. 
  • [Kaylee] I think that Nathan (Campbell) did his best to teach us how the Māori world and the digital world can come together. I think Minecraft is a great example of that. 
  • [Nathan] We can use te ao Māori to create more inspiring, connected places in the digital world by focusing on the importance of relationships. Including those with people, the environment and the spiritual realm. I'm excited that this was made by Māori for Māori.  
  • [Kaylee] I hope the Minecraft project carries on. I feel like all students should be welcomed into it and I'm sure they will enjoy it because I loved it. 
  • [Dr Kathie] Where there are resources and technology available that help to strengthen language, culture and identity, that is the key to educational success. 

Closing sequence (background music) with graphical image of the puna.  

Onscreen title appears: Connected Ako: living, learning and working in the digital world.   

Final screen shows logos of the education agencies.  
Top line showing agencies leading this work which will develop workplans based on the strategy: Ministry of Education (MoE), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).  
Bottom line showing the broader education agencies who have contributed to the strategy and will use it to inform and guide their own plans and decisions: Education New Zealand (ENZ), Education Payroll Limited, Education Review Office (ERO), Network for Learning (N4L), Teaching Council, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) and Research Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ) 



Explore the Rūaumoko Deaf Marae’s Minecraft platform: Rūaumoko Minecraft marae - Ko Taku Reo(external link) 

Read the story featured in the Education Gazette: Māori Deaf students build digital version of marae to empower community - Education Gazette(external link)

Check out the Education Gazette issue Exploring and innovating through Te Ao Māori (issuu.com)(external link):

 cover issue

For further information please contact DigitalStrategy@education.govt.nz.

Next story

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback