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Appendix 2: Other possible learning activities

  • Explore the different regional variations of Māori language used in waiata/haka. What are some of the key elements that identify these as belonging to a particular hapū/iwi? How do such regional variations of te reo impact on identity?
  • Analyse the use of transliterations in Māori waiata/haka, for example, E pā tō hau, he wini raro (where ‘wini’ is used for the word wind, not ‘hau’).
  • Compose a school waiata/haka that encapsulates the history of your school and its ethos. Choreograph suitable actions.
  • Debate whether it is a good thing (or not) for non-Māori to perform the haka, for example, at sports fixtures, in overseas pubs, and so on. What are some of the implications of this?
  • Explore the diversity of subject matter found in different waiata/ haka.
  • Compose an oriori (lullaby) for your first baby or a new niece/nephew/cousin, telling the new baby about an ancestor who fought in the war.
  • Compare and contrast the All Blacks haka (Ō Pango), composed by Derek Lardelli, with New Zealand’s most famous haka (Ka mate), composed by Te Rauparaha, or with the New Zealand Army haka about Tūmatauenga (god of war), composed by Te Keepa Stirling.
  • Make up original actions to a well known waiata, for example, Hoki mai e Tama mā.
  • Assume the role of a presenter on Māori TV. Write a set of questions to interview a Māori historian and/or kapa expert on ANZAC Day about the influence of the Second World War on the composition of waiata/haka.
  • Compare and contrast Māori performance body movements with those of our Pacific neighbours. What are the meanings behind the actions?
  • Investigate the potential for the integration of technology into your kapa haka or school production or class play. (Get information on Maui – One man against the gods.)
  • Compare and contrast the words used in a traditional song of love with those in a modern love song or love poem.
  • Design a Māori aerobics/hip hop routine using Māori music, Māori postures/body movements, and Māori instructions.
  • Discuss how nature has influenced the movements displayed in waiata or haka, for example, pūkeko-like footwork, the bush, and the sea.
  • Examine waiata that use pōhewa (imagery) and tohu (symbolism) to convey a message.
  • Write a poem about love using pōhewa (imagery) and tohu (symbolism), then convert into an action song with appropriate movements.
  • Investigate how European influences may or may not have impacted on the performance of kapa haka over the years. Use evidence to support your conclusion.
  • Perform a mock pōwhiri/welcome using only actions/body movements.
  • Choose a topic for a simulated pōwhiri/welcome then select a particular waiata, relevant to the topic, that could be used to support one of your speakers (visitors and locals).
  • Compare the manipulation/reversioning of waiata/haka compositions in the old days (to suit different hapū or iwi) with the waiata of today (which have intellectual property/copyright protection).
  • Compare and contrast physical movements specific to or characteristic of particular regions, for example, the dipping of the knees and the accentuated hip movements of Ngāti Porou women, the subtle differences and foot movements across iwi, and the spontaneous light-hearted performances by Waikato women at hui.
  • Using a mixture of kapa haka actions, flowing contemporary actions, and different parts of the body, have the students make up one action each for ngao (Māori tai chi) to be performed outside in the natural environment to relaxing music such as Hirini Melbourne or Whirimako Black. Create instructions using the natural environment as a guide, for example, Torona atu ki a Ranginui (Reach Out to the Sky).
  • Critique Pātea Māori Club’s innovative ground-breaking waiata Poi E for its point of difference at the time.
  • Similarly, critique the likes of Bub Wehi’s innovations in national kapa haka competitions with his groups Waihirere and Te Waka Huia.(See ministry resource Te Waka Huia)
  • If possible, locate footage of the final episode of Dancing with the Stars (TV One, April 2009) featuring Tamati Coffey’s swing tribute to the Māori Battalion and compare with the waiata E te Hokowhitu a Tū.
  • Use Google Maps and Google Earth to design a map and timeline illustrating the general boundaries within New Zealand of each company and where the Battalion went overseas.
  • Research the origins of people’s names in relation to war (to help make links to one’s history), for example, Crete, Fianza. (There may be some whānau members whose inherited names have changed over the years. For example, they could have originally been named after a place in Italy, which was mispronounced by others, then transliterated into Māori.)
  • Create a modern version of an old waiata where students perform it and make it their own.
  • Compare/contrast a group from your area performing a particular waiata/haka from the 40s or 50s, with a group from outside your region performing the same waiata/haka today.
  • Create a dramatisation/musical/short film (like Taika Waititi’s Tama Tū) about Māori soldiers.
  • Translate an episode from the war into a comic with animation, for example, on an electronic whiteboard.
  • Compare the Māori language of the time with modern day reo Māori.
  • Compose your own waiata integrating the Māori Battalion song March to Victory.