A Whangārei boys academy, based on the values of the 28th Māori Battalion, has celebrated its 10th intake in front of more than 800 people at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
The military-style academy, hosted by Whangārei kura 'Te Kāpehu Whetū', takes in 20 boys a year, providing training in leadership and tikanga Māori alongside their normal studies.
Luke Aekins, chief cadre at the Leadership Academy 'A' Company explained the two-week selection process and what is involved when having a new intake.
"What they get is a really concentrated kaupapa of what the academy is about. They get pushed through their paces - both mentally and physically - they learn to work in a team," Luke says.