The Floating Classroom - Learning on the Lake

As part of our concept ‘Our Place’, and our commitment to the Tuwharetoa Cultural Knowledge Programme, all of our students attended the Floating Classroom - a joint project between Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board and Chris Jolly Outdoors. 



Led by Kristy Northcroft, our students experienced the lake (across 2 beautiful days in Taupō), and heard the stories of the lake and its surrounding mountains. For many of our students it was the first time they had been on the lake in a boat.



A highlight of the cruises was visiting the Mine Bay Maori rock carvings by Matahi Brightwell and hearing the story of Ngātoro-i-rangi. 

I really enjoyed seeing the carvings because they look really detailed. I learnt that the carvings are 14 feet tall. Zoe



Ngātoro-i-rangi is the man who raced around the lake against Tia - I don’t know who won. Louie


On the floating classroom I learnt that Mt Tauhara is Pihanga’s husband. I also learnt that they had three children - one is Motutaiko island. I enjoyed hearing the story of the carvings at Mine Bay. Michaela


On the floating classroom I enjoyed learning about the rock carving. I learnt that Matahi Brightwell carved it in the summer to tell the story of Ngatoro-i-rangi. Touching the trout was gross because of the blood. It felt slimy.  I also enjoyed seeing the Maori art pages and having a dance party with my classmates.  Te Ramaroa


Students were also quick to spot the carving of Horomatangi, the taniwha of our lake, carved into the rocks alongside the image of Ngātoro-i-rangi. 

Some students were lucky enough to fish for trout - and some were even successful in catching one. For many, it was the first time they had seen trout being fished for, looked at a trout up close, and (reluctantly and cautiously) touched a trout.



I enjoyed watching the people fishing - we didn’t catch anything but I learnt that when the fishing rod bends there is a fish on it. Arkayzhia


Matua Grant accompanied Room 5 and 13 on their cruise and the students enjoyed sharing our Kapa Haka waiata with Kristy Northcroft and the Chris Jolly crew on the way back to the harbour. 


As we travelled back through the river mouth, we learnt about Matawhero - the taniwha that protects the river mouth.

We went back down the river and learnt about the taniwha. Robert

When we went on the boat we learnt about the taniwha named Matawhero. Kayleen


What a great opportunity for the students to learn about the area they come from. Kristy was such a fantastic wealth of knowledge and we are so lucky to have her to share that knowledge with us. Mr Kidd




Kristy Northcroft will be joining us at school for a couple of days to continue her work with our students and the stories of our place. 

Keywords:  Floating Classroom, Treaty Of Waitangi,  Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board, Chris Jolly   Outdoors, community, Whanau. Trout, Our Place, Matawhero, Ngātoro-i-rangi

2021 foley boat 16