Nov 22, 2012


From Hokianga Harbour on the West to Whangaroa Harbour on the East of New Zealand’s Far North Computers in Homes has travelled.  We have now been as far North as Te Kao and as far South in our region as Waima and Kaikohe with a large chunk in the middle also being covered.  The word has spread and we now have 13 schools on our waiting list and several individuals who weren’t able to get onto the courses at nearby schools.
Totara North School was selected to take part in Term 4 this year and began their training of 7 participants on the 16th October on which day we also had their launch.  For this tiny school of only 35 students there was no problem getting an eager 7 whanau on-board.  Kristina Lane the Tutor has been training weekly on Tuesday afternoons and are coming up to their graduation to be held on the 18th of December, 4:30 pm at the school.  I’m looking forward to joining in on their other prize giving’s at the school on this afternoon and I hear there is going to be a very special visitor attending afterwards for the kids possibly bearing gifts.  Well done to all of these whanau for their efforts and commitment so far, not long to go now and you’ll have a computer at home for Christmas.  Thank you to Kristina for all your hard work and to Bastienne Kruger the Principal for her support.
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Whangaroa were also selected for Term 4 to train 14 whanau.  With one person having to pull out due to gaining full time work the kura trained and graduated 13 whanau.  They had their launch on the 3rd of November and dived right into training.
They had their graduation recently on Sunday the 18th of November 2012, 10 am at the kura.  The kura did a wananga style of training which trained each of the 13 graduates for 4 hours (plus breaks) on Saturdays and Sundays for three weekends to complete their 20 hours of training.  While one group of 7 trained the other group of 6 would prepare the lunch and vice versa.  We had wonderful support from Maria Allerby kura Administration and Pauline More the Tutor to make everything happen without a hitch.  Maria was the behind the scenes person and she was absolutely wonderful in the planning and implementation.  Pauline had lesson plans worked out and was in communication with the participants regularly to keep them up to date with what was happening throughout the planning phase.
We had a lovely graduation with just the whanau, Maria, Pauline, the Principal, myself and Brett Hunter the Technician.  A few of the students from the kura were selected to help out on the day and led the karakia and mihi, they did a fantastic job!  (One of the graduates, Haki, even managed to sneak in a quick look at Facebook before the graduation started showing off his new skills in front of the group and also played some background music for us all).  After short speeches were made the certificates were handed out, photos taken and the cake was cut and we sat down for kai.  What a great bunch of graduates, congratulations to you all.
It was at this time I had the opportunity to talk with Tania Ngatai and hear her story on how Computers in Homes has changed her life.  Tania started studying with Massey University for BTchg/DipTchg with Te Aho Tatairangi, a four year new course that is done extramurally.  Although the course itself presents challenges the biggest and most difficult challenge for her was learning and presenting her work online.  After an embarrassing experience at a wananga noho involving a Power Point Presentation and several other difficult computer tasks set Tania was delighted when Computers in Homes was offered to her.
Since the course she has had to do two more power point presentations and in her own words “O.M.G they were absolutely ‘deadly’” she said with a laugh.  “I had eight pages of beeeeaaauuuutiful pictures, which manoeuvred around the page in so many different styles, animations and sounds, all going at once.  I was so proud of myself and extra excited to present it in front of my peers whom afterwards gave me the biggest applause as they knew my difficulty beforehand.  I am now confident and not afraid to ask any and all the questions, and am left with the thought “next year, watch out, here I come!!!”
Tania is now eager to begin Stepping UP training which will be set up at the kura for her fellow graduates and members of the community.  Well done Tania, keep up the good work!
Photos to follow.

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