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Rangihoua school teaches teens in Kiwa app

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The story of the first school in Aotearoa forms the basis of two new learning resources launched this week at the University of Auckland’s Epsom Campus.

Ko Wiriwiri rāua ko Kina is an interactive bi-lingual app focuses on the experience of two fictional school girls, Wiriwiri and Kina as they start school at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands in 1816 and learn to write their first letters and syllables in te reo.

Hohi 1816 is a board-game designed to increase the historical knowledge of teachers.

The resources were developed by Kiwa Digital supported by the Ministry of Education’s Te Aho Ngārahu fund, an initiative to improve the access to quality local curriculum resources in te reo Māori.

Author and game developer Ruth Lemon says both resources explore the dynamics between the missionaries and Māori people and address a common misunderstanding that missionaries were the main actors in establishing the first schools for Māori.

In fact, Māori were active partners in the establishment of the first school, and the Pākehā teacher needed to learn many new things, including te reo Māori and Māori teaching and learning approaches.

Kiwa chief executive Steve Renata says long term language preservation plans could be implemented successfully only if they had technology solutions at their heart.


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