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Rauemi / Resources

These resources have been developed on behalf of the Ministry of Education by Water Safety New Zealand.

They provide kaiako classroom or outdoor activities to help tamariki learn about keeping themselves safe around water through strengthening their connection to wai through whakapapa, mātauranga and tikanga.

Resources include background material, unit plans, assessment material in the learning area of hauora of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. These topics also have Technology, Te Reo and Social Studies as minor curriculum foci, if they’re not already the major curriculum focus. The centrepost of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is founded on the aspiration to develop successful learners, who will grow as competent and confident learners, effective communicators in the Māori world, health of mind, body and soul and secure in their identity, and sense of belonging.

For the roots of humanity to grow well, spiritual seeds must first be sown.
Irrigate with the enduring waters of life, and Hauora will result.

Learning Context / Kaupapa

Waiora – Personal Health and Development, safety and safe practices.
Taiao – Health and the environment, close and enduring relationships between people and the natural world.
Tangata – People and relationships, affirming and supporting unique Māori views of the world.

Karakia / Waiata

General karakia and waiata have been collated to use and teach during lessons. 


Tikanga is concerned with the customary values and practises that have developed over time. Whānau live according to their values and beliefs, and supporting rules and customs put in place to ensure that everything is done in the correct manner.

Tikanga determines what we physically do in the water, but more importantly, doing it the correct way.



These resources can be organised across the four strands of learning:

Waiora – personal health and development

Piki mai, kake mai. Homai te waiora ki ahau.

Come to me, join with me. Bring me the waters of life.

Students will explore and learn about food and nutrition that sustain the physical body, and explore the notion of sustenance that contributes to the wellbeing of mind and spirit. Students will also describe, consider and analyse aspects of personal growth and development, safety and safe practices.

Koiri - Movement concepts and motor skills

Ko te piko o te māhuri, tērā te tupu o te rākau. As the sapling is bent, so the tree will grow.

Students will develop and apply movement concepts and motor skills and have opportunities to participate in and enjoy physical activities.

Taiao - Health and the environment

Hāhā te whenua, hāhā te tangata. Desolate land, desolate people.

Students will discuss and exchange ideas about the close and enduring relationship between people and the natural environment, exploring ways to lessen harmful environmental impacts.

Tangata - People and relationships

He taura taonga e motu, he taura tangata e kore e motu.

A string of beads is easily broken, but human bonds can never be severed.

Students will describe and analyse human relationships in a variety of contexts, both personal and those of others. There are four encompassing aspects of Hauora, interwoven within all the strands.

Te wairua

Involves Māori perspectives on the fundamental nature of humanity including customs, practices and protocols, Te Reo Māori, values and attitudes.

The purpose of including these aspects is to provide guidance in teaching and learning hauora in safe and positive ways, and to affrm and support unique Māori views of the world.



All lesson plans are available in PDF format. Download the English language plans. Download the Te Reo plans.

ACHIEVEMENT OBJECTIVES: Over the course of the programme, which may take several years, tamariki learn:


Identifying bodies of water in Aoteaora

  • Characteristics of different bodies of water from the students local area
    History and importance of these bodies of water
    Water safety and measures in and around these bodies of water

  • Identifying place names

  • Traditional methods for keeping safe in the water

SEE THE LESSON English | Maori

The importance of a place name

  • The history behind the names of certain areas and locations in Aotearoa

  • Our tupuna were skilled navigators. Kupe was the very first to navigate on waka, the long journey from Hawaiki to Aotearoa. Maui fshed up the North Island, Te ika ā Maui. Our ancestors were very adept at understanding the water.

SEE THE LESSON English | Māori

Traditional methods for keeping safe in the water

  • Water safety practises of our ancestors

  • Water safety practises of today when in, out and around water

  • Utilising water safety practises of old and recent, to support better water safety around all bodies of water.

SEE THE LESSON English | Maori

Dangers and safety rules for places we swim

  • Four simple rules to remember when you’re in, on or around water

  • To listen and read the water
  • Safe behaviour in the different types of water.

SEE THE LESSON English | Māori

Testing materials for flotation

  • Traditional stories where floatation devices and survival methods were used
  • Survival methods in the water
  • To predict, test and evaluate the use of everyday objects and materials as floatation aids.

SEE THE LESSON English |Māori

Knowing our rivers

  • Aspects of research, investigate and ask questions about a river from home

SEE THE LESSON English | Māori

Rocky shores, sandy beaches and river mouths

  • The dangers that are present in the various coastal environments (i.e. rocky shore, sandy beach and river mouth)

  • Strategies they can use to understand and minimise these dangers.

SEE THE LESSON English | Māori


Other Resources


Water Skills for Life is the national standard for aquatic education in Aotearoa primary schools. It is generally learnt in the pool.

Click here for the full Set of teaching resources.

More people drown in rivers than in any other aquatic environment in Aotearoa.

Click here for the full RiverSafe teaching resources.

Gain insight into the relationship and connection between Māori and wai.  

Click here for research.



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