New book traces 150-year history of Te Kura o Hato Hohepa Te Kamura

By Stefan Dimitrof

A new pukapuka by Malcom Mullholland honours the 150-year legacy of St. Joseph's Māori Girls' College, Hato Hohepa.

The book examines the institution's journey including problems such as the Napier earthquake, inadequate finance, and racial, gender and religious intolerance.

Mulholland (Ngāti Kahungunu), an author and senior researcher at Massey University's Te Pūtahiatoi school of Māori studies, said the book’s conception came about purely by chance.

“I’m good friends with tumuaki Georgina Kingi's son, Professor Te Kani Kingi, who reached out and said that they had just celebrated their 150 years at St Jo’s and it would be really good to capture the history and the contribution that the school has made.”

Mulholland said through his research he found two things that stood out. One was the use of terms such as ‘full-blood,’ ‘half-caste’ and ‘quarter-caste’ for each of the earlier students, which he found confronting.

The second thing he found during his research was the high number of strong women leaders St Joseph's had produced over the years.

“St Jo’s has never ever slipped from wanting girls to achieve at the highest level they can.”

Mulholland said that the students, staff and alumni are very proud of the book.

“Hopefully someone reading it will have some insight into the journey that St Joesph’s has been through as well as a wider insight into Māori education.”