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Unit 14: Tō tātou maunga – Our mountain

Learning intentions

In this unit students will:

  • prepare a mihi
  • deliver the mihi to an audience as a way of introducing themselves
  • research local iwi.

Success criteria

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



Unit 14 transcripts (PDF, 285 kB)

Unit 14 Worksheet A (PDF, 285 kB)


Activity 1

The students will learn about the hongi and will be introduced to the extended family.

Show the students He kōrero whakamārama - The hongi where the hongi – the traditional Māori greeting, is explained.

Watch Unit 14 Scene 1 where the family meets their extended family at the marae. Ask the students to listen for the words in Māori for nephews, grandfather, grandchildren and husband.

In groups of seven or eight, have the students prepare a roleplay showing a family reunion. They will need to decide who will be the visitors and who will be the hosts. They also need to think about their role in the family. The students can use the transcripts from Unit 14 Scene 1 as a guide. Encourage them to use the greetings and phrases they have learnt so far. Have them perform the roleplay for the rest of the class.

Activity 2

The students will learn about the mihi and they will prepare a mihi for class.

Show the students He kōrero whakamārama - The mihimihi where the mihimihi – introduction, is explained.

Watch Unit 14 Scenes 2 and 3 where the boys’ grandfather is talking to them about their whakapapa.

Ask the students to develop their own mihi following the examples given on both DVDs. They should first think of the place they strongly identify with. This could be the place their parents or grandparents came from or the place where they were born: e.g. they might be from Rotorua or from Brisbane. Ask them to find out the name of the maunga – mountain, the awa – river, or moana – sea or lake, near their special place and the iwi – tribal group or clan associated with their special place.

Tēnā koutou e hoa mā. Greetings to you (3 or more people) my friends.
Ko ______ te maunga. The mountain is [name of the mountain].
Ko ______ te awa/moana. The river/sea/lake is [name of the river/sea/lake].
Ko Ngāti ______ te iwi. The tribal group is [name of the tribal group].
Ko ______ taku ingoa. My name is [your name].
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Greetings, greetings, greetings (to all of you).

Ask the students to practise saying their mihi to themselves a few times, then take turns with another student to say their mihi to each other. Once students feel confident, they could introduce themselves to the whole class using their mihi. Please ensure that they do greet the rest of the group.

Encourage the students to give each other positive feedback by saying kia ora – thank you, after each person finishes. Explain to the students that it is not appropriate to clap after someone has presented a mihi. The purpose of a mihi is to greet people and introduce yourself. It is not a performance.

Activity 3

The students will learn other ways of delivering a mihi.

Revise greetings, pronunciation and ways of introducing people, and discuss the importance of acknowledging where you are from when you meet someone. Review He kōrero whakamārama - Customs do vary where this is explained.

The students could use the mihi format in Unit 14 Worksheet A or extend the one they wrote in Activity 1 to incorporate parents’ names, and brothers’ and sisters’ names – or make up their own.

Have them say the mihi with a partner practising the correct intonation and pronunciation. Ask each student to deliver their mihi to an audience. The audience could think about ways of assessing the student’s mihi. For example:

  • Did the student memorise their mihi?
  • Did they say it clearly and confidently?
  • Was their pronunciation correct?
  • Did they use:
    • emotion
    • expression
    • eye contact
    • hand and body gestures?

Activity 4

The students can collect information and process it.

Have the students brainstorm all they know about the local iwi. Visit local libraries or search online for local iwi information.

The students should decide what aspect of local iwi history they want to write about: e.g. the names of their waka – canoe, maunga – mountain, awa – river, tūpuna rongonui – famous ancestors, significant marriages and battles of the iwi, the history of the marae, the role of the marae in today’s society, or any other relevant topic.

Tell them to organise their ideas and information, writing as many of these ideas as possible in te reo Māori. Encourage them to use libraries, museums, the local information centre, iwi social services, local marae committees and members of the local iwi to help them gather information about the history of the iwi.

Ask them to find out what pan-tribal means and if it applies to the local marae.

Have the students present their findings (e.g. in a book or booklet, on PowerPoint, as a poster or a diorama), using visual images to emphasise important points. The finished projects should be presented to the class and displayed in the classroom.

For further information you may like to refer to He kōrero whakamārama - Customs do vary.

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