Waitangi Day - Educator In Focus - Mary Barratt

Sharing, learning and communicating with our community is a core part of what Elite is about. In a few short days (6th February), Waitangi Day is celebrated, we spoke with Elite educator Mary Barratt about her culture. 


Kia Ora!

My name is Mary and I am originally from Aotearoa (long white cloud, a town inside Auckland) New Zealand.

Waitangi Day - Elite Family Day Care educator

In New Zealand we introduce ourselves with our Whakapapa (My ancestry genealogy line) first, this allows others to connect with me and my ancestry.

Ko Puwheke te maunga hirahiara 

Ko Taratara te maunga nui 

Ko Tokerau te moana pounamu

Ko Mamari te waka

Ko Paratene te tangata

Ko Haiti-tai- marangi te marae

Ko Takapau te urupa

Ko TeRorohuri me Whanau Maoana te hapu

Ko Ngati Kahu te iwi


Ko Marae Taua te maunga

Ko Tainui te waka

Ko Tanehopuwai te whenua

Ko Whanau Pani te hapu

Ko Hui Tairo te tangata

Ko Waikato Maniapoto Ngati Apakura te iwi 



My Mothers side

Puwheke is the most famous mountain

Taratara is the main mountain

Tokerau is the green sea

Mamari is the waka vehicle

Paratene is the man

Haiti-tai-marangi is the marae (ancestral house)

Takapau is the grave

TeRorohuri and Whanau Maoana are the family

The tribe is Ngati Kahu


My Father's side

Marae Taua is the mountain

Tainui was the waka canoe

Tanehopuwai is the land

Whanau Pani is the family

Hui Tairo was the man

The tribe is Waikato Maniapoto Ngati Apakura


Waitangi Day to me means Sadness, Loss of land…and language, due to the British invasion and signing of the treaty.Being denied the right to learn my own language or embed my culture was a very sad time. Only now are we able to regain our lands, tribes. Waitangi means “crying water” hence the name Waitangi day which was previously called New Zealand Day. Waitangi day is a national holiday celebrated similar to Australia Day. 

My favourite childhood place to go is at our holiday batch beside the beach.. I have many fond memories of our family time there and look forward to visiting again when travel is safe again.

Waitangi Day Elite Educator Home Town

A fun fact about me: Family is most important to me and I am the proud grandmother 16 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild!


I love to incorporate my New Zealand culture into my family day care service by using action songs sung in Maori, showing and experimenting with cultural instruments. I teach children our meaningful patterns and symbols along with using traditional greetings such as hello, goodbye and at mealtimes.


Mary operates Amayzing Steps Family Day Care

Jehu Street ESPERANCE WA 6450
Find out more about fabulous Elite educators here.