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A Powerful Peacemaker

Episode:85Te Papa Collection:Taonga Māori

Suggested curriculum levels:2 – 7

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Social Sciences: Identity, Culture, and Organisation

Description:Te Papa's Matiu Baker tells us the story of the powerful taiaha named Te Rongotaketake.

Questions for students

  1. What is a taiaha? How is it used in fighting? What other important role can it have?
  2. What is the one thing that the narrator says 'can bring war to a standstill'? What does she mean by, 'it needs no language'? How is this message usually communicated?
  3. Do some further research into the battle that the Tale refers to, when warriors came to Wellington from other parts of the North Island. What tribes and chiefs were involved? What was the purpose of the battle? What was the outcome?
  4. The taiaha in the Tale has a special place in New Zealand history. Explain why this is so. Reference the events and people that form the taiaha's history.
  5. How are regional differences and power struggles resolved or expressed in New Zealand now? Use the 'Then and now' response template to compare the methods used in the past with those used now. Take into account modern systems of democratic government at national, regional and local levels, and the role of tribal authorities.

Related templates:

Then and now