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Unit 20: Mā wai te haka e tātaki? – Who will lead the haka?

Learning intentions

In this unit students will:

  • learn the well-known waiata Tōia Mai
  • prepare for a class concert
  • plan and write an invitation for a class concert
  • learn the haka Ka Mate
  • practise kīwaha.

Success criteria

Before commencing the unit the teacher will discuss the learning intentions with the students and together agree on appropriate success criteria.



Unit 20 transcripts (PDF, 302 kB)

Lyrics for Tōia Mai (PDF, 288 kB)

Lyrics for Ka Mate (PDF, 288 kB)

Unit 20 Teacher Sheet A (PDF, 284 kB)


Activity 1

The students will learn the words of a well-known waiata.

Show the students the words of Tōia Mai (Māori version). Watch and listen to the students singing the waiata and listen to the Audio CD Track 10. Show the students the English translation. Learn the song. Make up actions.

Watch He kōrero whakamārama - Use of mā where ma is explained.

Watch Unit 20 Scenes 1, 2, 3 and 4 where Hana and Haami prepare for, and perform in, the concert. The students have been introduced to ten waiata in the units. Ask the students to select at least three waiata they would like to learn and perform together as a group. You can choose waiata the students already know, or select from the CD and DVD.

This would be a good opportunity to seek the assistance of parents or people from the local community, school advisers or other resource people.

Students will need to watch and listen to the performance of the selected waiata. Ask them to learn the words and tune first, then learn the actions. If there are no actions, students could work together to make up actions. It will help if formal practice times are arranged so all students know when they need to be available.

Activity 2

The students will prepare for a class concert.

This activity will require the students to complete several tasks in preparation for the concert.

Make a list in Māori, if possible, of the waiata and haka that they know, of any other entertainment they could include in the concert; of the jobs that need to be done and who will do them; and what to wear for the concert and a concert programme (including a speech of welcome, waiata haka, other entertainment and time to share food and refreshments).

All of the above ideas need to be discussed as a class and jobs will need to be allocated to prepare for the concert.

For more ideas about what to wear for the concert, watch Unit 20 Scene 1 again.

Activity 3

The students will plan and write an invitation for the concert.

See Teacher Sheet A for an example of what to include in a simple invitation.

The students will need to think about who they invite to the concert, decide on a date and time for the concert, and a location. Ask the students to brainstorm with a partner how to write an invitation (remember to include the day, time and place) and plan the layout for the invitation. Finally, each student could write a personal invitation for their own whānau – family.

If there is a Māori cultural festival in your region, this would be a good opportunity to take the class along to watch, listen, test the students’ Māori, and celebrate Māori culture.

Activity 4

The students will learn a haka.

Show the students He kōrero whakamārama - Kapa haka tikanga, which explains the haka.

This is a real opportunity for all the students to learn the words to the national haka, Ka Mate.

Watch Unit 20 Scene 3 where the boys do the haka, Ka Mate or the waiata video clip Ka Mate. Tell the students that the haka, Ka Mate is part two of a longer haka. Ask the students to write the words of the haka in their Wehi books. Practise the words until the students know them confidently.

Some tribal areas may prefer their local haka to be taught instead of Ka Mate. Please seek the advice of local kaumātua – elders, to ensure the best decision is made for the school.

Encourage the students to learn the story behind this famous haka.

Activity 5

The students will practise kīwaha.

During each rehearsal encourage the students to use the following kīwaha, which they have learnt thoughout this series. Remind them that practice makes perfect. Finally, ask them to share these kīwaha with their friends and whānau so that the kīwaha become an everyday part of their conversations.

Ka pai! Good!
Tino pai! Very good!
Ka pai rawa! The best!
Kia kaha! Go for it!
Ātaahua! Beautiful!
Tumeke! Awesome/amazing/wonderful!
Ka rawe! Great!
Tau kē! Incredible/awesome/fabulous!
Kei runga noa atu! (You’re) amazing!

... and last but not least:

Ka mau te wehi! (You’re) awesome!

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