Rākaunui Reflections: Zayne Collier

Rākaunui Reflections: Zayne Collier

Feb 06, 2023 - Voices

Guided by the Maramataka, each Rākaunui full moon we take the time to kōrero amongst our community of Kairapu: change-seekers in education and society. This month we hear from Zayne Collier - a treasured member of Te Kāpehu Rauora, Cohort 2023.

Read on to learn some of Zayne's story and hopes as a new kaiako, as well as some behind-the-scenes thinking on finding the right cohort name for this special current group on the Teach First NZ Programme:

Welcome to the blog, Zayne! Where/who do you hail from?

He aha te hau?
He aha te hau e warawara mai nei?
Te Ara Wairua, mai Te Hiku o Te Ika
Tae atu ki roto o Pawarenga, Te Kauae o Ruru Wahine
Tū mai te ngahere nui ko Te Au Warawara e!

E rere ana te au e warawara mai, ki runga o ngā maunga tū tei ko Whakakoro, ko Makora, ko Hine Rākei, ko Ongaro, e kawea nei te au mā runga i ngā wai tūpuna ko Whangape e rere ana, te aue o ngā tini mate e mirimiri ana nei ki wōku tāringa, te au e warawara mai ana ki Pawarenga. Ka rere atu rā te manu pouakai a tōku tupuna a Ueoneone kia tae atu ki roto o Ngāti Porou ki tōku maunga tū tonu a Hikurangi, e tū kaweka mai ana ki te ngahere nui a Te Raukūmara. He awa rere a Waiapū, e rere ana kia whangaia ai te iwi ko Ngāti Porou, te hapū ko Te Whānau-a-Takimoana. E rua ngā pokapū o te ao, ko te waha pū o Waiapū taku haukāinga ko Rangitukia, ko te waha pū o Whangape, ko Pawarenga ki te Tai Tokerau.
Ko Ngāti Porou me Te Rarawa Kaiwhare ngā iwi matua
Ko Te Whanau-a-Takimoana me Te Uri o Tai ngā hapū
Ko Zayne Collier tēnei e mihi atu nei ki a koutou katoa

In short, my name is Zayne, otherwise and most commonly known as Koro, and I hail from the two centres of the universe, Pawarenga in the Far North and Rangitukia on the East Coast, I descend from the two iwi Te Rarawa and Ngāti Porou. I come from a diverse background of ancestors, not only am I Māori, but I am Spanish, Yugoslavian/Croatian, Irish, Scottish and English.

Despite my ancestral background I, along with 200,000+ Māori am an ‘Urban Māori’ I was born and raised and still reside in Manurewa, South Auckland. In my case, I am 3rd generation ‘Urban Māori’. It is here the Manurewa, Takaanini rohe (area) where I teach, at my old college, Alfriston College, where I teach te reo Māori.

Te Kāpehu Rauora is the name for Cohort 2023 on the Teach First NZ Progrmme - tell us a little about the significance of this name, and the story it tells:

Our kāhui name - Te Kāpehu Rauora came about due to there being a consensus among all kāhui hāpai to change our name from what we originally introduced ourselves as at the Tekau event - Te Ahi Tūramarama. The consensus among the kāhui was most people felt the want to move away from the imagery of fire. Although nice to pay homage to our tuākana cohort - Te Ahi Tū - C21 who were graduating that same night, everyone wanted a name that was more us, that represented exactly who we as C23 are. During our Noho Marae week at Makaurau Marae, the kaupapa was put to Charles who decided all kāhui hāpai were to have 25 minutes to wānanga some possible new names.

It was then given to us members of Te Rūnanga to filter through the names and to return to the kāhui with our ‘top picks’/verdict. The resounding themes that emerged from every kāhui hāpai were water and navigation, names such as - Te Puna Rauora (The Pool of Revitalisation), Te Puna Aroha (The Pool of Love and Compassion), Te Kāpehu Whetū (The Star Compass)…The final result was not a decision on one single name that was collated yet a fusion of two: Te Puna Rauora and Te Kāpehu Whetū which resulted in Te Kāpehu Rauora (The Compass of Revitalisation).

Te Kāpehu Rauora encompasses everything that we of C23 and Ako Mātātupu as a whole aim for: a prosperous future for all tauira where they have an equitable and equal future in education, where indigenous needs are met, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and it’s principles honoured upheld for the betterment of our tauira so that issues such as social injustice are no more and never have to be a thing seen again. Ko mātou o Te Kāpehu Rauora tēnei, this is us of Te Kāpehu Rauora, using our compasses passed down from our tūpuna to guide us to the mysterious island we are all aiming to reach.

Why teach? And why this kaupapa?

Why teach? Because I want to make a difference in the communities that helped to nurture and shape me, the chance to give back to my school in this way is such an awesome opportunity that I could not pass up. Why teach? Because I love te reo Māori, because I’ve seen just how many doors te reo has opened for me and I want to promote and share that with those in my communities, with my tauira to make a positive impact and a positive change in their lives, to hopefully begin the intergenerational uptake and revival of te reo with my learners whānau - In some reports and studies authors claim it takes three generations of fluent speakers of a language say the language is alive and thriving in a whānau, yet it takes only one generation to undo all of that work, the cycle starts again. If us - kaiako reo Māori, can begin or aid in beginning that intergenerational shift for our learners and their whānau, what a gift that is.

I was put forward as a principal nominee for Ako Mātātupu, and before arriving to the summer intensive I had little insight as to who Ako Mātātupu as an organisation were and what this kaupapa stood for other than the information given during the first few zoom hui. One aspect that I’ve loved seeing within the Ako Mātātupu kaupapa is the acknowledgment, appreciation and application of indigenous peoples, thought patterns, mindsets, approaches, languages and cultures within all aspects of the kaupapa. When I arrived to Camp Morley on week on of the summer intensive, I felt at home, I felt comfortable in my Māoritanga, my Rarawatanga, my Poroutanga and my Korotanga. This kaupapa from the beginning emitted manaakitanga, mana tangata-tanga, all of our kaihāpai lived and breathed the five key principles of the kaupapa.

What are you looking forward to (or nervous about!) for this first year teaching as part of the programme?

I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it, I’m eager to get in the classroom and to learn with, from and alongside my tauira as well as share my knowledge with them, and push my tauira to strive to be and to want to be language champions. Personally, I am not nervous or worried about anything so far, mainly because I’m going back to my kohanga, where I already know most of the other kaiako from when I was a tauira (as well as my time working at my kura late last year) but I already know how the kura runs, the mātāpono and uara (principles and values). So I am more excited and eager than anything, eager to promote te reo Māori, whakaaro Māori, tikanga Māori (in an essence Te Ao Māori).

Ko Zayne ‘Koro’ Collier tēnei e mihi atu ana ki a koutou e pānuitia ana tēnei pānui, ā, e mihi kau atu ana ki a tātou katoa o Ako Mātātupu e piko ana ngā māhuri kia tupu ai ngā rākau ki te Raki-ki-Rāwhiti (North-East) ko tātou tēnei, ko rātou ko ngā tauira tēnei noki.
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa
Tīhei mauri ako!

Ngā mihi nunui, Zayne!

Rākaunui Reflections: Zayne Collier

Pictured: Zayne Collier (L) and James Birch (R) - fellow kaiako and members of Te Kāpehu Rauora, at Camp Morley.

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