Tiramarama Mai

Tiramarama Mai is an innovative alternative education programme for rangatahi located in Blenheim.


The initiative aims to support rangatahi to reach their potential, regain their sense of self-determination and contribute positively to their whānau, hapū, iwi and wider community.  There are currently twelve young people on the programme, with more soon to come.


The Marlborough programme will assist teenagers trying to achieve their goals and reach for new heights. Gail MacDonald said the group of students, aged between 14 and 16, attended Tiramarama Mai from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 3pm.


Apart of their whānau engagement strategy is their exposure to Te Reo me ona Tikanga Māori Practices all within an accelerated learning environment. It’s already starting to motivate them towards a new path of positive learning and impacting their communities and whānau by coming together. Everyday they begin with a karakia and hongi, followed by some choice waiata.


"It is important for the young people to know who they are and where they come from," they’re Kaiako Thomas Ngaruhe said. "It's not that these kids are naughty. They learn differently." 


Luke Taoho-Jones, 14, joined Tiramarama Mai so he could work towards returning to mainstream schooling and Jahtivah Filipo, 15 is aiming towards a future in hairdressing and beauty therapy.



Minister Te Ururoa Flavell came down for a hui Blenheim and gave his blessing as apart of the government's Whānau Ora scheme.


Funding from Te Pūtahitanga means that Maataa Waka was able to employ a co-ordinator for Tiramarama Mai and craft some of their higher learning programmes. The programme also receives support from a teacher at Marlborough Boys' College's alternative education programme.

Mataa Waka will have an inspiring short film about their kaupapa coming soon!