3 February 2021


Twice a year we formally welcome new staff and students with a pōwhiri. We do this at the start of the year and at the start of Term 3.

Because we are a kura/school and because we want our tamariki/children to be fully involved in everything we do here, our pōwhiri are led by our older students. For us, this welcome ceremony is an important learning opportunity for all of our children, and an important leadership opportunity for our seniors. This means that we don't usually expect our manuhiri/guests to speak, as our older boys take on the whaikorero/speech roles for both the manuhiri and kura. If we have manuhiri that want to speak for themselves, of course we can accommodate this. Our older girls will karanga for both manuhiri and our kura.

Due to our building work being underway (yay) we'll be holding pōwhiri on the basketball court this year. At our first pōwhiri tomorrow, we'll also be blessing our school building site immediately after the pōwhiri.

Here's how it will run:

  1. The school will gather at the playground end of the court.

  2. Manuhiri, that's all of the new children and their whānau and those who have not previously been formally welcomed as well as new staff, will gather in the shade of our outdoor classroom (outside Room 4). We are welcoming into the school community representatives from TBIG and Naylor Love who are building our new school. These people are now very important in our school community!

  3. At 2.15 Senior girls will begin to Karanga (call)

  4. The manuhiri will walk past the sand pit, around the end of Room 1 and onto the courts. There will be some seats set out for the manuhiri to sit on.

  5. Senior boys will give speeches in te reo Māori, and each will be followed by a waiata/song.

  6. Kura - whaikorero 1; waiata = Tu Tira Mai Ngā Iwi

  7. Manuhiri - whaikorero; waiata = te Aroha

  8. Kura - whaikorero 2; waiata = Ridgway kura

  9. Principal speech

  10. At this point we would usually hongi to signal the end of the pōwhiri and symbolise the coming together of tangata whenua (people of this place or us the school community) and the manuhiri, however we will not be doing this during Covid Alert Level 1.

  11. We would also usually go to morning tea or fruit break at this point and invite parents to the staff room. Tomorrow we have biscuits to give to everyone, but will share these out following the blessing.

The blessing part of our ceremony will roll on from the end of the pōwhiri.

  1. Our senior boys will lead the school around to the main entrance to the site which is opposite the Mornington Dairy.

  2. Once the whole school is gathered there, we will say our school karakia together and then enter the site.

  3. We'll sing Whakataka Te Hau as we walk one circuit around the site, following the path indicated by safety fencing. As we come back into the main school grounds, everyone can take a biscuit and children will return to their classrooms. Most likely it will be time to go home by then.

We encourage all parents to join us for both the pōwhiri and the blessing, especially if your child has recently started with us.


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