Tama Ariki-Biddle: 2018 Award for Educator of the Year Tangata Whenua

The 2018 ACE Aotearoa Annual Award for Educator of the Year Tangata Whenua has been awarded to Tama Ariki-Biddle.

Tama has an in-depth knowledge of Te Ao Māori and uses his knowledge and great teaching technique to develop his community’s love and understanding of Te Reo and Tikanga.

Whether teaching waiata to professionals or high needs school students at a local rural school, Tama teaches in a way that is engaging and brings learning to life. His classes include IDEA Services Roopu Manaaki Kapa Haka group, waiata, beginners and Next Steps Te Reo Māori. Tama also works with local schools.

The positive enduring relationships that Tama has developed with one of his community groups has helped them achieve success, at the recent IDEA Services Regional Kapa Haka festival in Rotorua.

IDEA services participants have a wide range of physical and intellectual disabilities, which increases the challenges faced by Tama as their tutor. However members of the group have managed to learn about a dozen songs to use in their Kapa Haka routine, in a relatively short period of time.

Tama has developed the group by giving them regular opportunities to perform in the community. These opportunities have helped students grow hugely in their confidence and see themselves as capable learners and active members of the community.

At the Kapa Haka Festival in Rotorua, Tama’s group received a standing ovation, and performed three extra waiata. They were polished, and had taken great care with Tikanga. The support from Tama as the tutor made the difference to the quality of their performance.

Click here to see the 2018 award winners.