Tag Archives: Rawene School

Masterchef brings smiles to Te Kura o Waima

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Current Masterchef winners Kasey & Karena visited schools around Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) this week bringing excited smiles and igniting the belief that kids from small towns can ‘dream big too’.

Their schedule included a morning at Northland College where their mother Atarangi taught and attended, a visit to Rawene School where Karena’s namesake is the new Principal, and then on to Waima  where mum Atarangi was raised and  went to school.

At Waima the small entourage were met by an ‘all tamariki’ powhiri as the senior students of Waima School took the lead in welcoming the celebrities and their whanau onto the school. The opportunity was used practice putting into place the tikanga (traditions) of their hapu (sub tribe) Te Mahurehure. Young Elyse Williams called their guests on with her first ever karanga (traditional call) after which fellow student Cornelius Fakahua led those gathered in karakia (prayer). Mustering up the courage, young Caleb Thompson delivered his mihi (welcome speech) and the whole school sang with gusto in support.

Excitement in the children was evident as they heard how Kasey and Karena started their educational journey at a small school just like theirs and recounted the series of events that led them to success on the television show Masterchef NZ.  Mother Atarangi shared stories from her childhood about what the school looked like when she lived there and went to school in Waima. Tales of rope swings along the line of pine trees by the river would have made today’s health & safety guru’s cringe but the more Mrs Te Awa-Bird shared, the more  students began to picture the life of a student at Waima School in a time gone by. 

The Masterchef winners were gifted some Waima School apparel and some ‘school values’ wrist bands when they arrived and were farewelled with a gift of some peruperu (small potatoes) that students Nevayah & Moana had dug out of the school gardens that morning. The hope being that the authentic ingredient might inspire more of the culinary excellence the two ladies are renowned for. When asked what they were having for dinner tonight the response was “we’re having a boil-up made for us” which brought forward giggles from  children for whom that is standard fare.

The visit illustrated how celebrities with small town beginnings can bring a sense of wonder and excitement to students who otherwise may not have the courage to dream of bigger beginnings to a life of expression and achievement. In one visit these two exceptional young women have flared the flame of hope in so many children throughout the Hokianga.

Thank you Kasey, Karena, and family for taking the time to visit us in Te Tai Tokerau (Northland).




Kapahaka a success at Waima!

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Students from throughout the Hokianga had the chance to show case their talent at the  South Hokianga Kapahaka Festival on Fridaythe 29th of November, 2013 at Waima School.

The annual event began with a traditional haka powhiri to welcome participant schools and visitors. Kaumatua Taite Renata and Eparaima Hauraki were on hand to give welcoming speeches and to introduce the name of the ‘manu-aute’ or ‘traditional maori kite’ that Waima School families had made to symbolise the aspiring dreams of the children of Hokianga.

Master of Ceremonies, Levi Bristow, kept the crowds entertained in between the eight performances of the day giving away spot prizes and showing great knowledge of local lore and genealogy which linked each school to the next.

Festival co-ordinator Dallas Williams said it was an opportunity for the schools of South Hokianga to come together and celebrate the talents of their children and traditions of their past.

“It really is inspiring to see such beauty and poise coming from our tamariki here in the Hokianga, we have a lot to be proud of, all of us. Kapahaka is more than just performance it is about continuing on the traditions of our past and highlighting that our culture is alive and well”.

On the day stand out choreography, poi, and harmony from Kura Hokianga and the haka from Waima School set a benchmark for the year but throughout the day families watched on proudly as the children from every school bravely took the stage to perform.

The symbolism of the traditional maori kite ‘Te Manu-a-Rangi’ was continued at the close of the day when participant schools were gifted framed artworks that contained an albatross feather to remind them of their part to play in supporting the dreams and aspirations of their students. Young Isla Jean Appelhof Butler from Opononi who had stunned the crowd earlier with her solo performance, fittingly finished the day off when she accepted the hand-over of the festival on behalf of Opononi School who will be the hosts in 2014. In a moving gesture students from Waima and Opononi challenged each other while Whaea Claire Papuni led a karanga or traditional call and MC Levi Bristow prayed a blessing over the exchange.

Acknowledgement must go to all of the participant schools -TKKM Hokianga, Horeke School, Rawene School, Opononi Area School and Waima School for their outstanding performances on the day and to host school Waima for a well organised and produced festival which was enjoyed by all. Nau mai haere mai koutou katoa ki te Kura Takiwa o Opononi I te tau 2014. Welcome one and all to Opononi Area School in 2014.


Cross Country Craze

The children of the Hokianga went against the ‘PC’ tide to have some good old fashioned fun in the mud at the annual Hokianga Cross Country at Waima Kura this week. With the hangi down and the weather looking unpredictable all week the staff at Waima Kura decided to push ahead with the event advising other schools to ask their students to bring a change of clothes, paving the way for children to have a load of fun in the mud. A fine spell in the weather got race organisers going, getting all the runners off on the course that had been altered that morning to take out the usual creek crossings which were a ‘tad risky’ given the amount of rain leading into the event.

When all the participants  had made it back the resulting ‘mud spots’ on the field were too appealing to resist and it didn’t take long before many of the children were enjoying some decent mud slides. Parents looked on and visualised an intimidating pile of washing to get through that evening but even the most serious parents relented in the end acknowledging the sheer enjoyment that so many of the children were having ‘playing in the mud’. No doubt there will be lots of memories to write about when all the students from the various schools get back to school the next morning and teachers seek to harness that ‘inquiry’ side of learning and development.


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