SPARKLERS / Identity and culture

My Pepeha

Celebrating our identity, whānau and where we come from.
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki are able to introduce themselves in te reo Māori

Tāngia ēnei tohutohu – Print me

Students will need a copy of our My Pepeha worksheet.

(If tamariki are completing the worksheet at home and have misplaced the print-out or don't have a printer, they could answer the questions in an exercise book.)

He aha ai? – Why we love it

Being proud of our whānau, history and culture is validating and can deepen our sense of belonging, confidence and connectedness. Learning our pepeha is one way to begin talking about ourselves, our whānau and history.

Hei mahi - What to do

Introduce this activity with a kōrero about identity.

Some of the things that make up our identity are our history, culture, and whakapapa. These are also things that can give us a real sense of meaning and connection.

A pepeha is a type of mihi, an introduction of yourself in te reo Māori that incorporates your ancestry and history. Concepts like pepeha are important across many cultures, and we can add in as much detail as is important to us.

Your pepeha is a chance to connect to others, to your whakapapa, and to learn some te reo Māori along the way.

Print and give each student a copy of our My Pepeha worksheet. Ask tamariki to complete what they can now and take their pepeha home to finish with whānau. It can be such a rich and exciting kōrero for everyone!

Create a follow up time for tamariki to read their pepeha to a friend, the class, or have them share it with you.

Things to remember

Remember that different whānau know different amounts about their whakapapa. While pepeha can be a great opportunity to learn, let tamariki know that they can do a simpler mihi and leave out other parts of the kōrero: they might simply introduce their name, parents, and place they live.

Pepeha is about whakapapa – connection to a particular iwi or people. What are the places with historical and cultural significance? Explore where your tīpuna lived. Pepeha is different from listing places we love, although there are ways to do that, too!

Waitangi Day activity

Professor Aaron Hāpuku has a kōrero of learning more about pepeha as a connection to others and self.

What next?

We love:

Pepeha which create a printable pepeha, and they look stunning!

All of the mahi from our friends at Reo Māori and the Māori Language Commission

Connect further with whānau and whakapapa with a Whānau Poster

Or discover the connections, meanings and history of tamariki names with What's in a Name?

Sparklers at Home

Sharing My Pepeha with whānau will be really beneficial.To make this easy, simply copy and paste the following 'blurb' into an email or your home-learning programme as an introduction.

A pepeha is an introduction of ourselves in te reo Māori and incorporates our ancestry and history. Some of the things that make us who we are, is our history, culture and whakapapa. Children who know and understand their pepeha gives them a real sense of meaning and connection to you, your wider family and their place of belonging.

We would appreciate your involvement in helping your child learn their pepeha and Sparklers at Home has the same activity, My Pepeha, we've been using which makes things really simple. Talking about your family history and places of significance will be so valuable for your child. It will be so good to hear this back in the classroom too.

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