Ngā mihi e hoa mā,
On the back of a busy Term 2 it was great to see so many of our members turn out for PPTA’s 21st Māori Teachers' Conference in Rotorua last week.
The hui is a chance for Māori and non-Māori teachers alike to reconnect with kaupapa Māori in a union context – to find inspiration in the knowledge and experience shared by guest speakers and ask questions about all aspects of our mahi in a safe and compassionate environment.
This year many attendees expressed how heartening it was to hear from everyday people dedicated to improving communities so often neglected by government authorities – people who have made positive steps to curb violence, extend healthcare, defy notions of “limitation” and lead with the idea of Māori succeeding as Māori.
All of this makes a lasting impression on our young people. As our rangatahi panel told us – they are a generation hungry for role models.
Several of this year’s workshops allowed attendees to explore the kaupapa behind PPTA’s collective agreement claims (currently being negotiated with the Ministry of Education) in greater detail. Attendees said they found an examination of the increasing workload of Māori teachers in the last 20 years particularly insightful.
This hui left me with the impression that our many kaiako are working harder and harder in situations and circumstances that are becoming more difficult and thankless. But we recognise the value of your effort and dedication. Our rangatahi show us they recognise and value it too.
PPTA / Te Wehengarua remains, as always, committed to seeing that it is rewarded.
Te Makao Bowkett,
Rotorua Girls High School students with Ally Gibbons and Aramoana Mohi-Maxwell
Jeremy Tatere MacLeod