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26 February 2021

posted 25 Feb 2021, 13:54 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 25 Feb 2021, 17:38 ]
This morning we welcomed new whānau at our annual Pōhiri. The weather gods were arguing with us so a move to indoors it had to be. Wow! One of my favourite events of the school calendar. I thought I'd share the words I shared on behalf of the staff and Board once the official Welcome was completed:

Tēnā koutou katoa e te whanau o Whetūkairangi
Nau mai haere mai ki te kura ahurei
Kei konei mātou hei tautoko, hei manaaki i a koe.

Your child/ren and many of you have joined the school as we embark on a really exciting next stage in its life. When the school was originally built in 1897, it was the first school on the Peninsula at a time when….. It had only been approximately 50 years since iwi had occupied the Pā and whereas Worser Bay was a favourite seaside resort for the ‘townies’, the Crawford family began selling their land in residential blocks and the original holiday homes around here became permanent dwellings. A school was required!

Now fast forward.

This is not just any old school! The philosophy of open spaces, open hearts, open minds and the principles of collaboration at all levels and across all people - smaller and bigger, younger and older has been kept alive here for many many years.

We have witnessed our children achieving great outcomes - whether it be academically, socially, physically, emotionally... it’s the powerful combination of all facets of a whole person that we do our best to pay equal attention to for we cannot fully function as best as we might if any aspects are ignored. 

So life and learning here is full, rich and varied.

Positive Education / Wellbeing is our rock, our foundation, and  we aspire to have everyone that enters the gates - be it children, whānau, staff or the dashing in and out courier driver - have their ‘mana’ uplifted. 

As we are all part of the bigger system at large.

At the recent Whānau Picnic, I heard the story of a Worser Bay child who has now moved on a little way through schooling who had obviously reflected on their primary experiences and said to their sibling ‘Please do not take Worser Bay for granted’.

I agree, please don’t. We have something special to give. And... We won’t get it always right. We are all human - we have lives, loves, vulnerabilities and flaws…... and contrary to what many children think, that is not my mansion next door and we staff  don’t all live at school…. well, not all of the time! But together we can make a difference to the lives of our little people and give them a place to learn about relationships, mistakes, communication, challenge, about working collaboratively, pushing boundaries, growing grit, passion, ... that big word Resilience which has never been so important as it is now.

Sir Ken Robinson, education guru, orator, educator, inspiration passed away last year. He told many stories but one that always stayed with me is his story of a young girl of 8 who just could not sit still or cope very well at all at school. The school consequently told the child’s mother that she was unwell and needed fixing. The mother, obviously very concerned, sought professional help. The doctor, after spending a period of time with the child, then went outside the door with the mother to observe through the window in the door. He had left music playing.

The doctor came to a conclusion. “She’s not unwell, she’s a dancer, she needs to dance.” 

Gillian Lynn went on to dance for the Royal Ballet and became a world leading choreographer of many of  the big name musicals.

Every child has untapped potential and it is our job, together, to notice and give them every opportunity to flourish.

No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa 

The Whaikorero from John below:

I Tipu mai te mauri
Te mauri nui te mauri roa
Te Mauri whakaea
Ki te whai ao ki te Ao-mārama
Tihei Mauri ora

Ko te mihi tuatahi ki ngā atua
Ko Ranginui kei runga 
Ko Papatūānuku kei raro
Me mihi au ki a Tāne-te-wānanga, te kaitiaki o ngā kete wānanga, te matua o te mātauranga.
Me mihi au ki a Rongo hoki te Atua o te tatau pounamu
Te Atua o tenei marae
Tuia i runga, Tuia i raro
Mauria mai ō koutou tini mate
Kia tangihia, kia mihia.
Ki nga mate o tenei wahi tapu
Hoki atu ki te karanga o Hine-nui-te-pō.
Haere atu rā
Ki Hawaiki-nui,
Āpiti hono tatai hono te hunga mate ki te hunga mate
Āpiti hono tatai hono te hunga ora ki te hunga ora
Nā, kia huri au ki te hunga ora
E ngā iwi o te motu,
E ngā iwi o nga hau e whā,
E ngā iwi o te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa,
E nga iwi, e nga reo, e nga mana
Tēnā koutou, Tēnā koutou, Tēnā koutou.
Naia te whakamanawa e rere atu ra ki te Raukura, te tohu o te tatau pounamu me te houhanga a Rongo.
Mihi atu, mihi mai
Me mahara tātou te mana o Taranaki Whanui, 
Nga Rangatira, Te Whiti o Rongomai me Tohu Kakahi
Ko tenei kaupapa ko ta mātau kaupapa hoki
Ka puritia koutou o tenei kaupapa
Te kaupapa o manaakitanga ki nga iwi katoa
Ki nga whanau katoa, nga whanau hou, 
ka nui te koa me te hari ki te kite i a koutou i tēnei rā. 
Ki nga tamariki hou me nga whanau kua tae mai nei, Tena koutou
He mihi aroha ki a koutou.
Ka hono tātou ki a tātou katoa. Ko mātou katoa nga aho o te whariki whānau nei.  Kaore ano te whariki kia oti te tui. 
Tuia, tuia tuia ano
Tuia i runga, Tuia i raro
Tuia ki roto, tuia ki waho, 
Tuia te Whanau o Whetūkairangi.
Ko te whanau o Whetūkairangi e
No Reira, e tau nei ki runga i a tātou katoa, te wairua aroha. Kia ora koutou katoa

 No reira, Ki nga mana i a Tātou katoa, Tēna koutou Tēna koutou, Tēna koutou kātoa

A loose translation, of the above:

The Whaikōrero begins with a karakia.  This karakia acknowledges the life force which is present in all things and asks that it may grow and flourish in us all.
Next the gods, Ranginui above and Papatuānuku below us.  I also mihi to the god of knowledge Tane te Wananga who travelled through the heavens to gain the baskets of knowledge.  Also Rongo the god of peace who looks after the tatau pounamu, the greenstone door which is a metaphor for peace.
Tuia, a theme of the Kōrero, meaning to tie together.  Tuia i runga, tuia i raro ties the above, the gods to what is below, in the earthly realm.
The next piece of the kōrero is to the ancestors or those who have gone before us including the dead of this wahi tapu (sacred place) remembering that our school occupies the original Pā site in the region, the home of Ngai Tara.
Taranaki whanui, the iwi who have mana whenua here are then acknowledged and the philosophy of their great leaders, Te Whiti and Tohu whose legacy, a message of peace lives on today.  This kaupapa is a purpose which we share too and hold on to tightly.
The new whānau and children are greeted next and warmly welcomed.  I note that we are all now woven together.  We are part of the whariki or mat, each of us a thread.  The whariki is not fully woven yet, but we weave on and we weave together.  
Above and below are woven together, as is what is inside us and that which is outside of us.  And, we are woven together as a whānau, the Whānau of Whetūkairangi.