2 May 2013

Ngai Tahu history should be taught in schools

6:42 am on 2 May 2013

A Ngai Tahu primary teacher wants the history of her South Island tribe taught in schools around New Zealand.

Hana Skerrett-White, who affiliates to Taumutu Marae by Te Waihora or Lake Ellesmere and Awarua Marae in Bluff, is a Ngai Tahu youth mentor.

She was involved in a youth hikoi to Kaikoura and the Marlborough Sounds at the end of last month.

A group of 20 high school students, guided by the esteemed Ngai Tahu elder Sir Tipene O'Regan, visited those areas to learn about their connection to the land, and the places their ancestors named and settled in.

Ms Skerrett-White said learning about Te Waipounamu's (South Island) pre-European history would give students a better appreciation for the whenua, and open their eyes to a whole new world.

She said being a first year teacher allows her to see how students would benefit if more of them had access to that part the country's rich history.

Ms Skerrett-White said Ngai Tahu's long history in the South Island is relevant to all New Zealanders, not just Ngai Tahu, and should be included in the school curriculum.