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Gospel-led wānanga reclaims Te Reo

Mihinare theologians and Te Reo Māori teachers are backing a new faith-based wānanga that aims to help people “Reclaim the Reo” using Gospel-inspired content.

Julanne Clarke-Morris  |  31 Aug 2023  |

A new faith-based Māori language wānanga, ‘Te Wānanga Ihorangi’ has officially launched in Henderson, Waitākere with the support of Co-Principals Anameka Paenga and Rev Te Karere Scarborough, who also serves as a priest in Te Hui Amorangi o Te Tai Tokerau. 

Te Wānanga Ihorangi was officially launched on 21 August at its soon-to-be campus in Henderson. The new wānanga will also be supported by three further Mihinare teaching staff: Rev Neihana Reihana, Rev Waiora Te Moni and Rev Te Hira Paenga.

Rev Te Karere says Anameka and he hadn’t set out to create a new learning initiative.

"We just wanted to answer the next problem we saw in front of us - and that was the lack of formal learning contexts where language reclamation could happen within a supportive whakapono environment."

"There is no single answer for the challenges that face the church, and our iwi, but we know Te Wānanga Ihorangi will be a helpful contribution." 

While Pākehā students are welcome, the wānanga is set up primarily to teach Māori language learners to use Te Reo in the life of iwi, hapu and whānau, including resources to respond when called on to lead prayer or speak on formal occasions.

Te Wānanga Ihorangi offers language learning in a full immersion context, helping graduates to more confidently speak, write and read in real world contexts, including on marae and in whare karakia.

The teachers will aim for flexibility in teaching style, and encourage and support learners with different ways to success if the classroom experience doesn’t work well for them.

The courses feature whakapono foundations throughout, with karakia, himene, Te Paipera Tapu and Aotearoa church history all used as sources for language learning.

Te Wānanga Ihorangi will offer two Diplomas in Te Reo Māori from next year, which will be backed by at Auckland-based Te Wānanga Amorangi Laidlaw College (formerly Bible College of New Zealand).

Diploma programmes at Te Wānanga Ihorangi will commence in February 2024 in its brand new purpose-built campus currently under construction in the ground floor of the old Waitākere Council Building on Smythe Road in Henderson.

For more details on how to reclaim the reo at ‘Te Wānanga Ihorangi,’ or to enrol for next year, go to: