Rūaumoko Marae

Ko Rūaumoko – It is Rūaumoko, Koropupu – Who makes the geysers burst, Ana te wai – The water boil, Ruana te whenau e! – Who makes even the Earth tremble!

Rūaumoko Marae takes its first breath

Opening of Rūaumoko Marae, 1992. Rachel McKee, Pat te Paa, Fonofili Va’alepu, John Wood, Darkie Graham.

Rūaumoko Marae was opened on the 4th December 1992 at Kelston Deaf Education Centre (KDEC) as a cultural learning environment for Deaf students to learn about Te Ao Māori or the Māori World. Since its opening it has become much more than that, in particular to the Māori Deaf community throughout New Zealand.

 

Naming the Marae

KDEC Marae for the Deaf, Western Leader, 7.12.1992. Article on the opening of Rūaumoko Marae.

Rūaumoko means “unborn child” and the God of Earthquakes. The Marae was named Rūaumoko at least in part because the floor were used to gain attention by stamping, sending tremors through the floorboards.

Te Kaitiaki (caretaker) of the Marae Michael Wi explains “Rūaumoko makes the earth move and by doing so gets the attention of all creatures. This is a Deaf way too, Deaf people stamp on the floor to get attention because this sends vibrations through wooden boards”.

The sign for Rūaumoko is made by spreading both hands out and shaking them from left to right like an earthquake.

 

Learning at Rūaumoko

1997 Rūaumoko Entry Carvings. Ivan Tamepo explaining the meaning behind the carvings to Kelston students, Zachary Best, Dylan Louie, Ryan Cassidy and James Pole.

Rūaumoko plays a critical role in educating Deaf children from all over New Zealand about Māori culture and tikanga. The Marae has been supported by not only the KDEC board, but also by Māori Deaf leaders who are able to use Rūaumoko to engage with students.

Rebuilding the whare

1992 Rūaumoko Carving. Hilda Tamepo, Bill Katu, Bradley Poutai, Joseph Sua.

Rūaumoko Marae is fondly known as the “Heart of KDEC”. As Deaf awareness of Māori culture has grown and evolved so has the need to rebuild the whare “Rūaumoko” for the Deaf, Māori and Hearing communities of the future. The establishment of a new Māori centre of excellence is one of KDEC’s priorities for 2015/2016.

Knighted kaumatua (Te Arawa) Sir Toby Curtis, Kuia Dame June Mariu (Te Whanau a Apanui) and Rev Judy Cooper (Ngati Hine) have graciously accepted to become patrons of the Rūaumoko rebuild.

International visitors

4 May 2009. The World Federation of the Deaf board in front of the Rūaumoko Marae. (Source: Kelston Deaf Education Centre)
4 May 2009. The World Federation of the Deaf board given a Rūaumoko welcome. (Source: Kelston Deaf Education Centre)

Rūaumoko Marae is the only Deaf marae of its kind in the world. Over the years Rūaumoko Marae has had many visitors from all around New Zealand including Ministers of Parliament and international guests including the Board of the World Federation of the Deaf.

Can also be found in

  1. 2004
    Donated by Rūaumoko Komiti Image of Rūaumoko Komiti

    The experiences of Māori Deaf

    This segment from Māori TV’s Te Hēteri focuses on the experiences of Māori Deaf, catching up with Patrick Thompson, Whiti Ronaki, and Hemi Hema.

  2. 1995
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    Michael Wi, Māori Deaf

    Michael Wi, is profiled on ‘Marae’, where he shares his experience of growing up as Māori Deaf in a paheka-centric education environment, and learning as an adult about tikanga Māori, and marae protocols.

  3. 1996
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    Patrick Thompson discusses upcoming wānanga for Maori Deaf

    Patrick Thompson is interviewed on the ‘Marae’ programme, a bilingual Māori and English language current affairs show, about setting up a wānanga to enable Māori Deaf to access te reo Maori and Tikanga Maori.

  4. 1997
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    A korero with Riwia Fox, Māori NZSL interpreter

    Riwia Fox, an interpreter is interviewed about her work as a trilingual interpreter. At that time, Riwia was one of only two qualified NZSL interpreters in New Zealand who are Maori, with the other being Stephanie Awheto.

  5. 1997
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    Hunga Turi: Māori Deaf have their first accessible stay on a marae

    ‘Te Karare’ was present to witness members of the Māori Deaf community have their first accessible stay on Kokohinau marae.

  6. 1996
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    John Rua participates in a taiaha course

    John Rua participates in an annual taiaha course and as a participant, he leads a pōwhiri, welcoming the visitors. ‘Te Karere’ visits the course to film John and find out more from his course instructors.

  7. 2001
    Donated by Rūaumoko Komiti Image of Rūaumoko Komiti

    Māori Deaf Wānanga

    Wānanga held in 2001, involving both Deaf and hearing Māori, focusing on NZSL skills, learning about community and culture as well as socialising and having fun.

  8. 1991
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    Māori Deaf and Deaf education

    A look at the cultural education needs of Māori Deaf students. Māori Deaf are likely to experience more barriers in the education sector. Interviews undertaken by ‘Marae’ shows us that the multiple cultural identities of Māori Deaf are not completely accommodated for with aspirations on how to resolve this.

  9. 2004
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    Māori Deaf join foreshore hīkoi

    Māori Deaf participating in a hīkoi (protest march) in support of Māori claims of ownership of the New Zealand foreshore and seabed.

  10. 1991
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    Two Deaf children sign a karakia

    A karakia, the Lord’s Prayer, is given by two Deaf children using NZSL for the ‘Marae’ television series. This clip also contains Māori captions of the te reo Māori lyrics.

  11. 2004
    Donated by Rūaumoko Komiti Image of Rūaumoko Komiti

    Patrick Thompson’s ‘Te Hēteri’ interview - unedited footage

    Unedited footage of Patrick Thompson’s ‘Te Hēteri’ interview at the famed Star Sign Cafe on Auckland’s Dominion Road in 2004.

  12. 2004
    Donated by Rūaumoko Komiti Image of Rūaumoko Komiti

    A Day in the Life of Rūaumoko Marae

    Insight into the preparations that go into a powhiri onto Rūaumoko Marae, and rare footage of the powhiri itself, followed by an interview with Patrick Thompson.

  13. 2004
    Donated by Rūaumoko Komiti Image of Rūaumoko Komiti

    Being Māori Deaf: Interview with Patrick Thompson

    Raw footage of an interview with Patrick Thompson attempting to connect with a Māori culture he was denied growing up. Patrick provides a voice for Māori Deaf, to grow understanding about the challenges they face, and to promote the importance of NZSL.

  14. 1999
    Donated by Rūaumoko Komiti Image of Rūaumoko Komiti

    Mai Time features NZSL!

    Mai Time made one of their episodes accessible in NZSL to mark Deaf Awareness Week 1999. KDEC’s sign singing choir and Patrick Thompson made an appearance along with as did Rūaumoko Marae’s kapa haka roopu.