Mahi Pukenga - The Arts

Art education in the context of these unit plans is about recognising, celebrating and interacting with the art forms of Moriori. Moriori were "tchakat pukenga" - artists of the land; spiritually connected to the elements, and dependent on the land and the sea and each other, and their works can be seen in many places around the islands of Rekohu. The most well-known examples of toi Moriori (Moriori art) are the momori rakau (tree carvings) at Hapupu. There are also other exceptionally beautiful examples of Moriori art to be found. The exquisite pohatu momori (petroglyphs) found in Nunuku's cave, symbolising hunts and people of days past, recording a history, or perhaps a law? There are a multitude of the most beautiful adzes and tools, carved from basalt and shcist and in all shapes and sizes.


The art genre that you will engage with in these units, includes hokairo (carving), karamiha (singing) musical instuments, drawing


Why learn about art?

Mahi pukenga provides opportunities for akonga (learners) to be creative, and to express themselves in a positive way. In order to get meaning across (in a non-written format) they have to use their skills, their imaginations, their creativity and their emotions to not only create mahi toi (artworks) but also to view and interpret it.

Learning about mahi pukenga also provides opportunities to reinforces the deep, spiritual beliefs that traditional Moriori held dear.



According to the New Zealand Curriculum document, Art Education is about:
Learning in, through, and about the arts stimulates creative action and response by engaging the senses, imagination, thinking, and feelings. Arts education explores, challenges, affirms, and celebrates artistic and aesthetic expressions of self, community, culture, and our unique environment.

How is the learning area structured?
This learning area comprises the four disciplines: dance, drama, sound arts – music, and visual arts.

Each discipline is structured around four interrelated strands:

    • understanding the arts in context,
    • developing practical knowledge in the arts,
    • developing ideas in the arts,
    • and communicating and interpreting in the arts.

The achievement objectives for each discipline reflect that discipline’s distinct body of knowledge and practices.

Dance is expressive movement that has intent, purpose, and form. Through engaging in dance education, students discover how to integrate moving, thinking and feeling. They explore and use dance vocabularies and practices to express personal, group, and cultural identities, convey and interpret artistic ideas, and to strengthen social interaction. Students develop literacy in dance as they learn about, choreograph, perform, view, and respond to dance across a range of genres and contexts.

Drama is the expression of ideas, feelings, and human experience through the realisation of role and the use of movement, sound, and visual images. By engaging in drama education, students discover how to link imagination, thoughts, and feelings with drama practices and histories in ways that give expression to our cultural diversity. Students investigate the forms, styles, and functions of drama, recognising its power to affirm or challenge attitudes and values. They become increasingly literate in drama as they work with the elements of role, action, time and space, tension, and focus. They learn to use dramatic conventions and technologies to structure these elements. They also learn to combine dramatic conventions and technologies with techniques of voice and physical expression to create imagined worlds.


Sound Arts – Music
The sound arts are expressive ideas and forms practised in natural, acoustic, and digital sound environments. By learning to make sense of sound, students can appreciate and value the aesthetic qualities of music and express feelings, ideas, and identities. Students develop literacy in worlds of sound by listening and responding, singing, playing instruments, and creating music; by reading and recording sound, symbols, and notations; and by analysing and appreciating musical forms. Students draw on cultural practices, musical histories, theories, technologies, and structures as they develop skills and knowledge. They learn to communicate imagination and personal understandings as they connect aural thinking, perceptions, and musical practices.


Visual Arts
The visual arts use materials, processes, and conventions to create static and time-based representations and abstractions in response to human experience, concepts, and needs. Through engaging in visual arts education, students learn how to discern, participate in and celebrate their own and others’ visual worlds. Students develop visual literacy and aesthetic awareness as they manipulate and transform visual, tactile, and spatial ideas to solve problems, communicate personal stories, and comment on social issues. They develop knowledge and understanding of cultural, historical, and contemporary visual arts practices. The visual arts include drawing, sculpture, design, painting, printmaking, photography, and the moving image. Students also learn about the histories and theories of art, architecture, and design.

From the New Draft New Zealand Curriculum, Learning Media, 2006 Wellington Ministry of Education

 Do you have a unit plan that you would like to share with us for inclusion on this site?

There are a number of ways in which you can submit your unit plans to us. We accept unit-plans and lesson-plans via email (thats the easiest way) but you can "share them with us" on Google, send them to us via dropbox (yours) or even physically post them to us (that last one is probably the least reliable method).

 If you want to emails them to us:
  1. Make a note of where your unit-plan is stord on your computer
  2. Click on the button to the righteducation-resources unit plan submissions
  3.  Type "Unit Plan Attached" in the subject line
  4. Enter your message into the message area
  5. Click on the attachment button and find the Unit-plan
  6. Click send.




If you want to share your Unit Plans or Lesson Plans with us via Google Docs:

  1. Open the Unit Plan or Lesson Plan in Google Docs
  2. Click on the SHARE button  (The upper right hand corner.... Its the blue one with "Share" written on it)
  3. Type in
  4. Click on send. (When the warning about 'no account' pops up, click on OK)

To share your unit plans or lesson plans with us via Dropbox. You copy, move or save your unit plan to your dropbox and then "invite" us ( to access it.