VANESSA LAURIE / Stuff
The president of the new school’s governing board, Dr. Will Edwards, in the foreground, and kaumatua Sandy Parata, both spoke at the special Matariki Day ceremony.
The name and guiding vision for a new school in South Taranaki has been revealed.
Te Paepae o Aotea will open in 2023, the result of the merger of Hāwera Middle School and Hāwera High.
Changes to the city’s school system were first mooted in 2015, after Intermediate was devastated by fire. The high school also needed major repairs.
Last year, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced a solution: a new school for students in Years 7-13 would be built on the current secondary school campus on Camberwell Rd.
* Principal appointed for the new mixed school in Hāwera
* Beginning of construction works for the new 7-13 school in Hāwera
* A super school to replace Hāwera Middle School and Hāwera High School
On Matariki Day, over 100 people packed into the high school wharenui to hear South Taranaki kaumatua, Sandy Parata, invite the team behind the creation of the new school to reveal the name, logo , accompanying whaktauāki and a set of guiding values and principles.
The name Te Paepae o Aotea was given to the school by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui and Te Korowai o Ngāruahine.
Paepae represented the competition of ideas, the search for commonalities and the continuous pursuit of improvement and excellence.
Aotea was the name of the waka that the Taranaki iwi ancestors used to travel to Aotearoa.
Governing Board Chairman Dr. Will Edwards also said that using Aotea was “an invitation to all students, staff, whānau and other community members to explore their own stories of origin”.
Another key feature of the new school is its whakatauāki of “kia eke atu ki Taupaenui o te tangata,” or people reaching their full potential, which referred to a line in a karanga written in 1998 by expert Dr. by Taranaki te reo.
Edwards said Matariki was a “new start for the whole country” and a perfect time to reveal school details.
The director of Te Paepae o Aotea, Rachel Williams, nearly choked with emotion in her speech, as she acknowledged how excited she was to finally be able to share the details of all the work that had taken place in the backstage to prepare the school for the opening.
It is estimated that 1,100 pupils will attend the school, with enrollment due to open in the third term.
Williams, the governing board and other members of the leadership team were currently working on the school uniform, flyer and policies.
She said the community would be consulted in early July on the values, principles and program of Te Paepae o Aotea.
Recruitment of teachers is underway and advertising plans for support staff were also underway, Williams said.
Hāwera Intermediate and Hāwera High Schools will officially close at the end of the year.
It was previously announced that Hāwera Intermediate staff and students would move to part of the high school site at the start of the fourth term.