Regional | Manurewa

Te Pūtahi o Manurewa ready to welcome their new students

Te Pūtahi o Manurewa has officially opened the doors to its new kura, fulfilling a dream more than two decades in the making.

For 20 years Te Kura Kaupapa Māori and Te Wharekura o Manurewa have operated as separate entities on different sites, but will finally be combined - a milestone which was celebrated this morning with itsopening.

The principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori ā Rohe o Mangere Lucy Te Moana says this is an occasion long awaited by whānau and the community as a whole.

“Kua roa te wā mō tēnei kura kia tū motuhake me ō rātou whare hou. I te tau 2005, 06 rānei i haere mai a Rangi McLean mā ki te kura, ki te pātai atu mēnā ka tū mātou hei tuakana mō rātou. I whakaae te poari i tērā wā, kāre ko Manurewa anake, ko Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Piripono hoki tētahi. Engari ko te rerekētanga he kura tuatahi tā Piripono, ko te wharekura o Manurewa kāre he kura tuatahi. Inaiānei, i tēnei rangi kua piri ngā kura e rua.”

It has been a long time coming for this school to have their own site and new school. Back in 2005 or 2006, Rangi McLean and others came to the school to ask whether we can be their senior school. The board at the time agreed and wasn’t just Manurewa alone at the time, also having Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Piripono. But the difference is Piripono had their own Primary school and Te Wharekura o Manurewa didn’t. Now both schools are together.

The school was initially conceptualized in 1998 alongside Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Manurewa looking to find a place for its tamariki to transition into further Māori-led education beyond primary school years.

Now in 2024, new doors opening for anew school could mean new students.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Manurewa principal Daphine Mika says now the doors are open to the kura, she is hopeful the community will catch on.

“He nui ake ngā tamariki i te kura kaupapa ki te wharekura. Engari i te rongohanga o te hapori kei te tū tēnei kura, kua kuhu mai ngā tauira mai i ngā kura katoa o Manurewa ki te kuhu mai ki te wharekura. 60 ā mātou tamariki i te tīmatanga o tēnei tau, ā, kua tae atu ki te 90. 20 ngā tamariki e tatari ana kia tae mai ki tēnei wāhi ki te whakauru.”

(There are far more kids in our primary education than our secondary. But when the community hears about the establishment of this school, students from all over Manurewa will come and enrol for the secondary school. We had 60 kids at the start of the year, now we’re reaching 90. We also have 20 kids on the waiting list to enrol here also.)

Today’s opening ceremony was celebrated by many schools and families from right across South Auckland, as well as faces in Parliament who were disappointed in the lack of government presence.

Manurewa Labour MP Arena Williams was in attendance and addressed the Prime Minister urging him to pay more mind and attention to the needs of Māori in the education system.

“This new kura represents the hopes and dreams of rangatahi Māori in Auckland and in South Auckland. I’m so proud to be here today celebrating it with the 500 students that came along with their families, teachers to be apart of a big step forward for Māori excellence in education.”

“When Māori rangatahi are thriving and their hopes and aspirations are recognised in the education system, all New Zealanders do better. I need the Prime Minister to understand that. So today I am calling him out. Come to Manurewa see the aspirations of our rangatahi Māori, see how proud their families are of this amazing new kura.”

Te Pāti Māori MP for Manurewa Takutai Tarsh Kemp also stressed the distaste she has for the government’s lack of attendance.

“It’s extremely disappointing to see that there doesn’t seem to be any support here and we should hold the government to task for that because, we’re in recess and this is the time where ministers and the government get to come out and into communities.

“If you really want to know what’s at the heart and soul of a community you come out to occasions like this.”