Melody sales@mangawhaifocus.co.nz 021454814
Nadia n.lewis@xtra.co.nz 021677978
Reporting: Julia news@mangawhaifocus.co.nz 0274641673
 Accounts: Richard info@mangawhaifocus.co.nz 021678358



New gateway connects school, community



4 MF-MBSwaharoa1-277A long-time collaborative vision sparked four years ago between Mangawhai Beach School (MBS) and local iwi has finally come to fruition.

Members of Ngtai Whatua, students, teachers and parents gathered to bless the opening of the schools new waharoa [gateway] on February 7 with powhiri and song – the ‘first of its calibre’ in the Kaipara District being a full waharoa.

“A waharoa is place where we enter together as visitors and by the time we walk through to the other side, we are whanau,” Ngtai Whatua’s kaumatua, Pene Hita, says.

MBS principal Aaron Kemp says during the last four years of the waharoa’s creative process, the school has developed a strong relationship with the local iwi.

“Our vision was to provide a kura [school] where our local tamariki [children] were proud of belonging to which is grounded in whanaungatanga [belonging],” he says. “Hence the vision of building a waharoa to welcome all new students, teachers and whanau to our school.”

Beautifully carved and painted, the waharoa embodies the bond between the Kaipara, Mangawhai and the school.

“The emblem of Mangawhai, the stingray, is on one pillar with smaller fish representing the Kaipara Harbour on the pole diagonally opposite them, symbolising the connection between the east and west waters,” Hita says. “Parents of children at the school are represented on another pole with children on the other, welcoming all visitors with a smile.”

4 MF-MBSwaharoa3 (1)-624Carved spirals curling up and down the columns portrays the connection of earth and sky, a reminder to remain grounded to earth through education while also retaining a spiritual connection. The Maihi [roof eaves] signifies the inclusion of all student’s cultures and a painted blue waka on the path leading through the waharoa, illustrates the history and flow of waters from the Kaipara to Mangawhai.

Kemp says the waharoa combines the vision and values of the school with the essence of Turangawaewae [sense of identity and independence connected to a home base] helping to provide a place of belonging for local whanau.

“It is important that our students have a strong sense of their individual cultures and of themselves,” he says. “On a marae, it is often claimed that it is not what is said that matters but how people are looked after. It is our strong belief that the action of building our waharoa shows the respect that we have for our local iwi, their knowledge, experience and support of our school. We are excited with this first stage, the building of the school's waharoa.”



BOND: Student and kai karanga (caller) Georgia Penjueli, welcomes Ngtai Whatua onto the school grounds.

BOND: Principal Aaron Kemp leads the students in a waiata.

The Mangawhai Focus is the only 'Mangawhai' community Newspaper and is the paper of choice within the local area.

For more information on distribution and circulation please 
click here



Contact Us





facebook   twitter   174855-378


Sales: 021 454814
Editorial: 027 4641673
Office: 021 678357