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Why Bush Farm matters

Ko te Poho o Tamatea te mauka

Ko Whakaraupo te moana

Ko Kāti Wheke rāua ko Kāi Tūāhuriri kā hapū

Ko Kāi Tahu rātou ko Ngāti Kahungunu ko Ngā Puhi kā iwi

Ko Materia Hutana tōku ikoa

I connected with Katie and Bush Farm School through the vines of my Kāi Tahu whānui in 2020. I had a kōrero with Katie and I was hooked with the kaupapa in Pūrau she was sharing as I was drawing from my from own school experiences, going through mainstream and bilingual schooling.

I felt deeply disappointed through my whole schooling career as I saw and understood the teachers who didn’t want to be there. As for being Māori in mainstream schooling, I went through, Māori wasn’t an option.

Through Katies Bush Farm school, there is space which cherishes growth and the skills of each individual tama and kotiro who connect with the school. She facilitates the space which combines the outdoors and her depth of knowledge with teaching tamariki. We combined Te āo Māori into her schooling programme which I found no struggle or difficulties. It was a natural process, I felt as though I was connecting and teaching with my own whānau at my Pā.

I felt proud to be a part of Bush Farm school, not only for the alternative education, not only for the tamariki who soaked up and thought deeply about the knowledge we shared. I feel proud because Katie knew when she needed help with a space she didn’t understand. She understood the importance of tangata whenua and acknowledging tangata whenua correctly in our own way. I feel proud that she has facilitated understanding and creativity to her kids as they accepted me and the things I came along with. We learnt Waiata-ā-ringa, Tātai, kupu Māori, atua history and many more unknown concepts to them. They cherished the sessions and I felt valued to a part of their team. Whānau valued this te āo māori input and I heard tamariki were sharing this new knowledge with them.

I value and cherish the mahi Katie does as she has shown a different way of education and she acknowledges the different type of education.

Materia Hutana - January 2021


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