Special badging of cadets ceremony held in Whangarei

By Heeni Brown

A special ceremony for youth known as the badging of new cadets into its Leadership Academy of A Company was held today in Whangarei.

Te Kāpehu Whetū Principal Dr Nathan Mathews says it's a ceremony very similar to a military parade where cadets are presented to their whānau and are officially given the academy-pin to wear.

A haka was performed for those who passed away on the battlefield, and those who fought for the Māori Battalion.

Dr Nathan Mathews says, “That's the best thing about having an academy, you get to acknowledge and commemorate those soldiers who fought in the world wars, for what, as an example for our young men today.”

It's a celebration of these young men's efforts, with the hope they will hold leadership roles in days to come.

“The ceremony is an introduction for new members into the Company A Academy, so the academy has been around for six years now but this year is the first time it will be in conjunction with Te Kāpehu Whetū,” says Mathew.

There are 110 students in this charter school and some hope they'll be in the same shoes as their seniors soon.

Te Hurinui Retimana says, “I spoke to Staff Luke and he said it would be fine for me to join the academy next year.”

Te Ohomauri Henare has entered the academy for the first time, and today wears the medals of his great grandfather Sir James Henare.  It's a very proud moment for the family.

Waimahana Henare says, “I'm so happy my brother has entered the academy because he's a direct descendant of Sir James Henare.”

Tomorrow Te Kāpehu Whetū will be spending their Anzac Day launching their new waka tētē, a traditional waka Dr Mathews says will help towards understanding Māori traditions and celestial navigation.