Using a hīnaki – eel trap.

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What are the learning outcomes of using  a hinaki?

Today I will look at a hīnaki or eel trap as a Māori resource for teaching.  We can ask the children and ourselves these questions?


  1. What is the purpose of a hīnaki?  To catch eels for our whanau to eat.
  2. Who can use this? Anybody who wants to catch an eel and has the knowledge of how to use the hīnaki.  You must be strong enough to lift an eel.  And as it is by water I would recommend an adult.
  3. What would be the learning outcomes of taking the children down to the creek to use the hīnaki and go eeling?  
  • fun
  • exercise
  • social skills
  • mathematics
  • developing memory
  • engaging in real life activity
  • learning about sustainability
  • engaging with others-social skills
  • sharing -manaakitanga
  • listening skills developing
  • learning a new life skill


So there is a never ending list of learning outcomes for the children and adults by using this one resource of the hīnaki – eel trap.  Then you can go back into the classroom and retell the story of what you did, draw pictures of the eeling adventure, talk about what the children learnt etc. You could spend a whole week of learning on this one resource.  Maybe get someone in that knows how to make a hīnaki in to help the children make one for your centre.

Here is a pdf link to some interesting facts about long fin eels.

I hope that you find this useful.  Any photos or stories you may like to share with others share below in comments.

Kia pai to ra

Enjoy your day.


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