School site blessed

Waipa Post - - News - BY BETHANY ROLSTON

A site bless­ing was the lat­est mile­stone in the jour­ney to build a new $10 mil­lion wharekura (school) for Waipa¯ tamariki in Years 1-13.

Te Wharekura o Nga Pu­ra­pura o Te Aroha on Fac­tory Rd in Te Awa­mutu is a Ma¯ ori medium school.

It is also the only ful­lim­mer­sion school in the Waipa¯ dis­trict.

Stu­dents at the school are taught cur­ricu­lum sub­jects in the Ma¯ori lan­guage for at least 80 per cent of the time.

They are im­mersed in te reo Ma¯ori with an em­pha­sis on teach­ing and re­vi­tal­is­ing Nga¯ti Raukawa, Ma­niapoto and Apakura iden­tity, tikanga (cus­toms), kawa (pro­to­col) and wa­iata (songs).

The school has been housed in the Apakura cam­pus at Te Wa¯ nanga o Aotearoa for the last 10 years. Its new site is on a va­cant 1ha field on Fac­tory Rd. The field, owned by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, has pre­vi­ously been used as a sports field, but is des­ig­nated for ed­u­ca­tional pur­poses.

The new build is funded by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion as part of the Govern­ment’s 2018 bud­get in­vest­ment to sup­port schools ex­pe­ri­enc­ing roll growth pres­sures. The de­sign for the school has been fi­nalised, based on a roll of up to 120 stu­dents, with room to ex­pand.

It is es­ti­mated the build will take 12 months, start­ing in Jan­uary 2019.

It will have 10 gen­eral and spe­cial­ist teach­ing spa­ces, a multi-use hall/ gym area, an ad­min­is­tra­tion area, a li­brary and re­source space.

Jade Tap­ine, tu­muaki (prin­ci­pal) of Te Wharekura o Nga Pu­ra­pura o Te Aroha, says the new build is sig­nif­i­cant for the tamariki and the wider kura wha¯nau com­mu­nity.

“This has been many years in the mak­ing and we are ec­static that we are so close to ful­fill­ing our dreams,” he says.

“We have been very for­tu­nate and blessed to be housed by Te Wananga o Aotearoa over the last 10 years, but it has al­ways been an as­pi­ra­tion to have our own whare.

“While at times it has been very frus­trat­ing to see our tamariki go with­out such things as a play­ground and spe­cial­ist teach­ing spa­ces, we have done very well aca­dem­i­cally and spir­i­tu­ally.

“If we can achieve great things within the re­stric­tions of our cur­rent space, just imag­ine what we can achieve within our new kura.”

Jade says the Maori medium path­way is re­flected in the school’s vi­sion state­ment. “‘He Taonga te Ta­maiti’ — through te reo Ma¯ ori and tikanga Maori we build char­ac­ter, em­bed strong core val­ues and prin­ci­ples that en­able our tamariki to re­alise and un­leash their po­ten­tial. Chil­dren first al­ways.

“We look for­ward to our fu­ture and en­sur­ing we can cater to the needs of our com­mu­nity as we are cur­rently at max­i­mum ca­pac­ity. It sad­dens us to in­form new wha¯ nau that we have no space but on a pos­i­tive note it is a sign of ora (life) within our kau­papa. By wel­com­ing the build we can open the doors to more whanau who chose the Maori medium path­way for their tamariki.”

Board of Trustees chair­man Paul Martens says the new wharekura cre­ates a seam­less path­way of ed­u­ca­tional de­liv­ery.

“Through full im­mer­sion Ma ori medium, this will greatly con­trib­ute to and en­hance the ex­ist­ing ed­u­ca­tional cen­tres that are in close prox­im­ity.

“At Te Wharekura o Nga Pu­ra­pura o Te Aroha, our stu­dents are equipped with the val­ues, knowl­edge, cul­ture and skills that en­ables them to be­come suc­cess­ful lead­ers in this ever-chang­ing world as Ma ori.”

Photo / Bethany Rolston

A site bless­ing, led by Paraone Gloyne, was the lat­est mile­stone in the jour­ney to ful­fil the kura as­pi­ra­tions of a new $10 mil­lion build on Fac­tory Rd in Te Awa­mutu.

Photo / Bethany Rolston

Te Wharekura o Nga Pu­ra­pura o Te Aroha BOT chair­man Paul Martens (left) and prin­ci­pal Jade Tap­ine.

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