Students’ artful idea launches tour business

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna won $2,500 thanks to a winning entry by students Waimarama Tapiata-Bright, Rakairoa Campbell and Rauru-ki-tahi Fitzgerald.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna won $2,500 thanks to a winning entry by students Waimarama Tapiata-Bright, Rakairoa Campbell and Rauru-ki-tahi Fitzgerald.

Seatoun students from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna, have just got their tourism business off the ground thanks to prize money they won in a budgeting competition. 

Rakairoa Campbell (left), Waimarama Tapiata-Bright and Rauru-ki-tahi Fitzgerald put their winnings from a Te whai hua–kia ora, Sorted in Schools budgeting competition toward a photographic art exhibition that officially launched their business, Taraika Tours and doubled as a fundraiser for their junior students.

Waimarama Tapiata-Bright, Rakairoa Campbell and Rauru-ki-tahi Fitzgerald won $2,500 in a competition called Money Jam, run by Te whai hua - kia ora, Sorted in Schools - a financial education programme produced by Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission. 

The prize money helped the trio secure enough funds to partner with Te Papa Museum and host a week-long photography exhibition that officially launched their walking tour business, Taraika Tours/Ngā Tapuwae a Taraika. 

The exhibition called Kupe sites – landmarks of a great voyager, featured 36 photographs with detailed stories and explanations that match places Kupe, the great Māori navigator and explorer, travelled to around Aotearoa. 

The idea came about as part of the trio’s Business Studies classes. While their learning centred on how to start and run a business, they were keen to combine it with celebrating their local heritage.  

Taraika Tours will take paying groups around Wellington to places Kupe stopped at, including some seen in the photographs. The walking tours will start in Term 4, but these budding entrepreneurs wanted to start promoting it.  And promote it they did, coming up with a marketing idea that was quick to capture the community’s attention. 

Rauru-ki-tahi, Sales, Marketing and Communications Manager said “Once we came up with Taraika Tours, our kaiako told us about the Kupe Sites exhibition held at Te Papa recently.  That’s what gave us the idea to ask Te Papa if they would be willing to lend it to us and it went from there.”  

Te Papa was thrilled to help and loved why the Year 12 students were determined to make their business launch a success. 

All money raised at the opening night of the exhibition would go towards their primary school students’ trip to the kapa haka nationals in Nelson later this year. 

Kaiako/teacher Renee Campbell said, “They’ve presented to a lot of people like Māori Tourism and Wellington City Council and the wider whānau to get permission to do what we’re doing. They’ve had lots of practice pitching to organisations looking for funding so when the Money Jam competition popped up, I told the kids to go for it.” Campbell said. 

“The students had great feedback from the community and corporates interested in the walking tours.  Lots of people are keen to learn more about their local history and it's been a great way for them to learn what it takes to run a business. I’m really proud of them.” 

The exhibition’s opening night was a fun-filled celebration that included the students organising karakia, kapa haka and delicious food for visitors. Even the little ones got behind it with well-rehearsed poi routines and smiles that lit up the crowd. 

“There was a lot of organising to do but they did a great job.” Campbell said.  With just over 60 visitors attending opening night and each giving a koha to show their support, these resourceful students achieved a remarkable funding raising effort and got Taraika Tours off to a flying start.   

Kaitakawaenga/Learning Designer at Te Ara Ahunga Ora, Marina Kawe-Peautolu, said the competition received a record number of budgeting plans for all kinds of fundraising events.    

“Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna’s entry was exceptionally well thought out and clearly communicated. We were very impressed that their fundraising idea was clever and original.  We also liked how this event and their business would directly help their junior students achieve a dream. For us, they were a standout winner.”   

Kaikōkiri/Learning Specialist – Kura at Te Ara Ahunga Ora, Erin Thompson said, “It was great to be able to support these rangatahi who have worked incredibly hard to develop and deliver a unique business idea that supports their kura community and highlights the significance of Kupe’s journey to Aotearoa. I have no doubt Taraika Tours will be well received as a rare opportunity to learn the history behind some of Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s significant sites and the meanings behind the names they carry. 

This, to me, stood out as an innovative and well thought out idea and a well-deserved recipient of this year’s Money Jam competition. Tau kē!” 

Te whai hua kia ora! Sorted in Schools is a free financial capability programme that aims to equip secondary students with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make good decisions with money from the time they leave school.  More than 74% of secondary schools and 75% of kura are registered to teach the resources, potentially reaching more than 216,000 students. 



Te whai hua - kia ora, Sorted in Schools is the first financial education programme that is government-funded and fully aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum and Māori Medium Education.  Te whai hua – kia ora, Sorted in Schools aims to equip all young people for their financial future, embedding good money habits early on.   

Resources for students in Years 9 and 10 were launched in 2019.  Resources for students in Years 11-12, which also enable them to gain credits toward NCEA, were launched in June 2020.  

Money Jam is an interactive contest designed to change how young New Zealanders think about managing their money.  

During Global Money Week (23–28 March 2021), Te whai hua – kia ora, Sorted in Schools encouraged students to create a plan and budget for a fundraising event for the chance to win $2,500 to bring their winning experiences to life AND have Brain Busters hosts Chris Kirk and Mikey Falesiu from TVNZ 2 attend as special guests.