A group of fifty six senior students from Hato Paora College, the largest Māori boys boarding school in New Zealand, head towards Te Tai Tokerau today.
The purpose of the trip is to give whānau who live in the far north the opportunity to connect with the school as some find it difficult to visit their sons regularly.
Acting Principal Sean Bristow says, “Our job is to champion education in a Te Ao Maori setting. Maintaining the connection with whānau is central to that whakaaro”.
Whānau support has always played a key role in keeping the school afloat. However, Mr. Bristow says that this trip is also a great opportunity to promote the college to the people of the North, to prepare the students for the rugby season that is fast approaching and to prep the haka team for the National Secondary School Kapa Haka Competition set to take place this July.
Bristow says tours like this are important, “these young men are a large part of a positive future for our people. We are building a community of men we can be proud of, who are educated, steeped in Te Ao Māori, who will care for each other, their whānau, and iwi”.
The group will spend two nights at Te Mahurehure Marae in Auckland and are set to perform at the Auckland Museum on Wednesday morning, followed by a rugby game against Marcellin College for the First and Second XV teams.
They will then carry on through to Te Tai Tokerau.