The history of Waima is as ancient as the majestic mountains that dominate the surrounding landscape. It was told; that when the Polynesian explorer-Kupe arrived in the Hokianga Harbour and explored the upper reaches of the Taheke River, he found a valley that stirred memories of his home in Tahiti, and as a reminder he named it Waima Tuhirangi.
Towering above the valley floor the 670m peak of Te Paa o Uewhati, named after Uewhati- a grandson of the mighty Ngapuhi originator, Rahiri – who made the mountain his home after a difference of opinion with his family; surveys a land that is still home to its original occupants; who since the disastrous battle at Moremonui – ‘Te Kai a te Karoro’– in 1806, have been known as Te Mahurehure; which described the manner in which they returned home – literally in ones and twos.
The once fortified Okahu Paa; stands silent, where once was heard the cries of war, replaced now by the joyful chatter of the Tui and the Fantail. High above the mountain Whakatere, the Kaaiaia (bush hawk) soars before plummeting towards the land of Manawakaaiaia below.
From its source in the mountains; the stream – Kauaiti, has been witness to life in the valley for a long time. It has seen the epochal changes of Okahumatamoemoe; from bush covered hill to fortified paa, from ancient schools of learning to part of a modern day cemetery. Downstream, Kauaiti passes in front of the Waima School before joining with the larger river – Waima Tuhirangi, as they weave their way down the valley.
This has been the vista surrounding Waima School since it was relocated here from its original site at the ‘Mission Oak ‘ in 1881.
Many great men and women have stood in the shadows of our history reflecting on our proud past and contemplating the positive future – let that tradition continue.
– excerpt from the Waima School Charter