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Learning outside the classroom: ITC students visit Te Tahawai Marae

Posted on 02/02/2016 by
ITC students visit Te Tahawai Marae to learn about Maori culture

ITC students learn how to weave flax and perform a traditional Maori song and dance at Te Tahawai Marae

A group of students from ITC’s South Auckland campus recently visited Te Tahawai Marae in Pakuranga to learn about Māori culture. The students are currently studying a cultural unit which requires them to research the many different cultures that are important to New Zealand’s tourism industry.

They were welcomed onto the marae with a traditional powhiri, followed by an engaging history lesson about the marae’s heritage. The group learned about the significance of some carvings and listened to stories that have been passed down from ancestors.

ITC tutor Cathy Alder said it was wonderful to see the students enjoy this special experience.

“As most of our students are from different parts of the world, this is sometimes their first time in a marae. This visit was a great insight into the beliefs and practices of Māori culture, as well as an insight as to how much this culture is a part of the New Zealand tourism industry,” says Cathy.

After the powhiri and history lesson, the students had the chance to participate in some cultural rituals. They learned how to weave flax into a flower, as well as interesting facts about how the flax plant is cut. They were then taught a beautiful song and dance to finish.

“The students absolutely loved the day learning about another culture and it just reinforced the information they were researching for their project, making it more real and bringing it to life,” says Cathy.

“I think every student took a little bit more understanding and appreciation for Māori culture away with them that day.”

ITC aims to incorporate as many practical learning experiences as possible into travel and tourism courses. This helps students apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom in a ‘real world’ situation. Other practical learning experiences include field trips, site visits and role plays.

For more information about ITC’s travel and tourism courses, please contact us via our website, Facebook or call 0800 TOURISM.

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