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Teaching tikanga as a way of life

March 2, 2022

For Chance Rohe, Kaiwhakaako at EIT’s Te Ūranga Waka, tikanga serves as a guide for everyday life.

For Chance Rohe (Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu), the “learning never stops”.

Chance, a successful Māori artist and Kaiwhakaako at EIT’s Te Ūranga Waka, teaches Te Pōkaitahi Tikanga (Kaupae 3) –  NZ Certificate in Tikanga (Mātauranga Māori) [Level 3].

The programme runs over 17 weeks twice a year. It is primarily aimed at those students who have completed level two and level three Te Reo Māori at EIT and are looking to further their knowledge based on tikanga of the marae through mahi toi (Māori art).

 According to Chance, art is used to create a visual piece that is reflective of the assignments of the course. Using the content of the assignments, students will create artworks ranging from hand drawn works, to paintings. This creates a collection of artworks that will be selected to hang in an art exhibition that concludes the course.

Chance is deeply passionate about Te Ao Māori and about ensuring that his students “come out from this programme with an open mind and confidence to be who they are”.

Born in Napier and raised in Wairoa, Chance moved to Hastings in 2003 when he finished his secondary school education, he started to pursue a Bachelor in Fine Māori Arts under the tutelage of Dr Sandy Adsett MNZM, here he exhibited locally, nationally and internationally in places abroad like Sydney, Hawaii and London. He completed his Bachelor in Māori Fine Arts from Toimairangi, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Hastings, followed by a Bachelor of Māori Performing Arts from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Whakatāne.

 He later went on to teach Te Reo Māori at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison for five years, before moving to the EIT Hawke’s Bay Campus in 2019.

Growing up, Chance was surrounded by all things Māori.

“I have always practiced whakamoemiti (a type or form of karakia). My family is full of creatives. So, everything that I am now was indirectly imbued into me from my family and continues to do so in my everyday life.

For Chance, tikanga serves as a guide for everyday life.

Mātauranga Māori is a way of life for Chance. He sees Mātauranga Māori as “a learning platform of life”, that informs our view from many angles. Chance’s versatility as an artist is evident in the range of mediums he uses, these include painting, drawing, digital art, kirituhi and tā moko. However, he says that he initially started with drawing and illustrating and later he transitioned to painting, and more recently in the digital artwork space.

For Chance, the endless nature of art and in particular, Māori art, is what he enjoys the most.

“You can never stop learning and can never have enough skill. There’s always going to be another person or another image that’s going to spark something within me, to inspire me to create more”.

His goal is to bring EIT schools together with toi Māori (art). Chance says that his students are given another view on how to speak Māori and how to look at things within Māoridom.

The (free) Te Pōkaitahi Tikanga (Kaupae 3) – NZ Certificate in Tikanga (Mātauranga Māori) [Level 3] programme runs twice a year in February and July. The schedule consists of weekly day classes or night classes with three weekend wānanga.