Te Puna Reo o Manga Tangaroa

This kaupapa has developed an accessible, full immersion Te Reo Māori, early childhood learning centre which supports tamariki and their whānau to learn in Kaikohe, inspired by Whaea Clara’s son Manga Tangaroa who has lifetime disabilities that we see as extraordinary capabilities.

This Puna Reo caters for ALL tamariki in Kaikohe, allowing them to flourish within a kaupapa māori environment. It is unique in that it is fully accessible meaning tamariki that are currently excluded from early childhood education will have equal access and opportunity.

ĀKAU held a papamahi with whānau to develop concepts for Te Puna Reo O Manga Tangaroa. The pūtake created by the whānau were used as the overall ideas for the design and are incorporated internally as well as through the landscape design.

Sensory and therapeutic spaces are included through a variety of equipment and custom items that provide tamariki that have special needs with personalised sensory experience.

Colour concepts are based around kōrero of the Hokianga and stimulating designs on the ceilings are there to visually engage tamariki even when laying down or looking up, especially for those tamariki in wheel chairs.

The landscape design is based on the concept ideas from whānau, who were inspired by the pūrākau of ngā ngaru e toru – the three waves that travels into the Hokianga.

The story of this amazing kaupapa has been followed by Māori TV as part of an 8 episode series Super Kura - be sure to check it out! ĀKAU are also proud to announce that Te Puna Reo o Manga Tangaroa has received an award in the 2023 Interior Design Awards as the winner of the Community Impact Category. The full article can be read at Architecture Now.
The project transcends the line between design and community, process and product, into an ‘act of care’ and it will, hopefully, stir a generation of like-minded small communities to aspire to deliver their own centres for their taitamariki.
2023 Interior Design Awards Jury