Using their holidays wisely has paid off for students from Te Wharekura o Rakaumangamanga who have had their video clips accepted for display in Auckland Museum.
Instead of taking a break when the school term ended the thirteen students attended a three-day media wananga with Maori Television’s Te Reo channel head of programming Eruera Morgan covering media production and career pathways in Maori media.
During the wananga the students created three two-minute video clips focussing on their connection to the Waikato river and eel or “tuna” to meet a brief from Auckland Museum.
Auckland Museum, which is currently hosting the international exhibition AQUA co-created by the makers of Cirque du Soleil, has created a mobile trail where people can read special content and watch short videos on mobile handheld devices to learn water-related stories about objects in the collections.
One of the objects in Auckland Museum’s collections is an eel trap or “waharua” and it needed relevant video content to include on the AQUA mobile trail. The two other student video clips are now running in Te Kakano, the Maori information centre.
Auckland Museum educator Bethany Edmunds says with the videos in place the Te Wharekura o Rakaumangamanga students were invited to see their work in place.
“The best moment was when the students were in the museum’s Maori Court, and a group of younger students from another school came by with the mobile devices and were watching their video.
“That was when the reality sunk in that their mahi was going to be seen by everyone who visits the AQUA trail.”
Edmunds says the making the students’ work available for museum goers and letting them see how it is being used is the perfect conclusion to the project.
“It’s what we want for our museum – we want real engagement from living descendants of our collections, and this was a chance to acknowledge these students as valuable contributors to the stories we tell at Tamaki Paenga Hira.”
Longer term Edmund is hopeful the project might leave the students with a taste for a career with museums.
“By inviting them to visit and meet successful Maori staff here at the museum we’re hoping we might inspire them to utilise their knowledge of Te Reo Maori and tikanga to pursue education and career pathways in the museums, culture and heritage sector.”