26 Mar 2015

Worldwide voyage arrives in Auckland

11:13 am on 26 March 2015

Tiana Barns, Te Manu Korihi - tiana.barns@radionz.co.nz

Thousands of children from low-decile schools in Auckland have turned out to greet two sailing waka from Hawaii.

A welcome for the crews at Point England Beach.

A welcome for the crews at Point England Beach. Photo: RNZ / Tiana Barns

Crews arrived at Point England Beach to learn from the Manaiakalani Kaupapa - a philosophy of using ancient knowledge in modern learning.

Education leaders on board the two vessels, Hōkūle`a and Hikianalia, travelled to Aotearoa to see how what is known as 'the hook from heaven' philosophy works in low-decile schools, in the hope of using the learning tools in Hawaii.

Learn more about Manaiakalani Kaupapa in Auckland

Learn more about the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage 2014-2015

Manaiakalani was first launched in 2007 to engage Decile 1A schools in Auckland in learning with technology. Over ten schools within the cluster group greeted the voyagers.

Point England School principal Russell Burt said the school had found different ways of learning that benefited the children.

"We explore new ways of learning that are going to make Maori and Pasifika kids more successful in and out of school, so we are interested in finding out on how we can re-tool school and make it more successful for its true client, children."

A screenshot showing the voyage of the two waka around Aotearoa.

A screenshot showing the voyage of the two waka around Aotearoa. Photo: http: / /www.hokulea.com

The average annual wage of parents whose children attend the school is less than $20,000, so a trust works with the schools to fund the technology required.

The trust's chair Patrick Snedden said the children now had access to devices - such as tablet computers - not usually available in low-decile schools.

"These kids are starting to improve and accelerate in their learning because they have access to the tools of digital enablement which have previously only been available at high decile schools."

The schools have close ties with the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage crew, and Point England School student Ana spoke during the powhiri about the cluster of stars that the school group is named after.

They are now meeting the visitors to exchange ideas on how the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage kaupapa can be brought to life in the classroom.

Education leaders on two Hawaiian sailing waka welcomed.

Education leaders on two Hawaiian sailing waka are welcomed to Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Tiana Barns

University of Hawaii President David Lassner said kura here could use the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage key principles to teach the tamariki.

He said Manaikalani was a good example of working with indigenous people.

"We've been spending some time with leaders understanding what are the practices around indigenous education which we can learn here and take back to Hawaii."

The schools have been connecting with the group while it is at sea, using digital devices and blogging to the wider world, with some having over 10,000 hits.

Mr Snedden said the tamariki were reaping the rewards of being digitally savvy.

He said this sort of initiative could work elsewhere in the country.

"We think it is completely possible for parents and public good supporters to enable these kids who were deprived in a analogue environment to actually benefit in a digital environment."

The waka are here for the next few weeks before they head off to Tahiti and Australia.

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