Our History About Wairaka Is Ready To Share…

17 12 2010

We are very proud to announce that the ‘Room 17 Pepeha group’ have completed the valuable historical information for our school history. You may read more about Wairaka and some of her stories on this website: living heritage

If you have any questions, thoughts or opinions about this information please blog us, leave a comment, or just tell us what you think.

This is Mrs Karaka signing off. It has been a pleasure learning about Wairaka and her many stories.

To the staff and students of Owairaka: Be brave like Wairaka and stand up for what is right.

To my Room 17 students I will miss you, but do remember you are my last memory of Owairaka Primary School. You have taught me a lot about myself and have influenced my teaching career. Thank you.

To Te Whanau O Owairaka; my whanau, Ngaa mihi mahana ki a koutou mo o koutou tautoko e pa ana ki te kaupapa – te kaupapa nui ake, Te Reo. I sincerely thank the families who have been involved with the whanau for a long time, but also those who have shared a small, significant time with us. Without you the whanau would not have been so successful. We’ve had our ups and downs but we are fighters, just like our school tipuna, Wairaka.


The Whanau O Owairaka Lead The Way

15 12 2010

5.00 pm rolled around quickly as we (ngaa kootiro) – the girls bustled into Ngaa Ringa Awhina and ngaa tama (boys) assembled in Room 17. Our nerves took over, as we ran over the night’s performance.

Dresses check, head pieces check, ngaa poi double check. Mrs Karaka began with a karakia, as we always do, this is a daily occurance, a part of our routine in Room 17 and in our Te Reo classes each week. We were ready to take the stage.

Many eyes focused on our every movement. You could have cut the tension with a knife.

Rosie began with a powerful karanga of welcome, quickly followed by Anialla who I thought had forgotten her lines, but no she soldiered on, then it was Wendy’s turn, then mine. I bellowed out loudly, ‘Teenaa i whiua’ our kapa erupted into life, eyes doing pukana, the boys tongues flashing fiercely. Chills ran up my spine.

My voice soared and broke. I gave it my all. So much I had nothing left for my next song. Luckily Mrs Karaka was there in support. I heard her command us to, “Kia kaha! Be strong!” So we did. We gave it as much as we had left from our previous assembly experience. My tired voice ached as we sang each song/Waiata.

I believe Mrs Karaka was very proud of us and that she will always be a part of Te Whanau o Owairaka.

We will miss you Mrs Karaka so don’t forget us!

Shona F Year 6 2010

To all our Year 6 leavers, ‘Kia kaha, kia maia, KIA MATAARA!

The Owairaka Stars Shine at Rocket Park

8 12 2010


Karanga mai echoed through the hustle and bustle of our 2010 Eden/Albert festival. We inched forward and joined the manuhiri that waited for their cue. The daily procession was opened with a karakia, by a young male, Rapaea Henderson from Ngati Porou descent. Followed by a mihi of welcome then a chorus of voices to conclude.

Whanau(families) and friends came from all over Auckland to endulge in our festivities.

10.10 came around quickly for Te Whanau o Owairaka. We proudly took the stage as the loud speaker introduced us to the multitudes. One by one we turned to the waiting crowd, scanning for those who know us well.

I too, stood with my fantastic kapahaka. They trully shone on stage, the additional hairpieces worked a real treat.

Our beautiful voices fulled the over-flowing hall, people of every race, religion and belief sat in awe of the groups amazing performance.

The kapahaka girls sweet singing hypnotised the audience and the swinging poi dazzled them even more.

As for our boys, they put the ‘fear of God’ into the roaring audience as they rumbled and terrified all that witnessed their haka  Tika Tonu.

I believe our performance set the standard for the day.

Ngaa mihi mahana ki a koutou i haere ki ta matou taha, i whakarite ngaa kakahu haka, me tiaki ngaa tamariki ki te Rocket Park. Tenei te mihi ki koutou.

Thank you to all our fantastic parents, caregivers, and staff who gave their time to dress the children and transport them to and from Rocket Park. I can’t thank you enough.

To my tamariki, you continue to inspire me to teach haka, karanga, Te Reo Maori to all who want this taonga.

Ngaa mihi ki a koutou katoa mo tenei wa Kirihimete…. Kia tupato i tera wa, hei te awa, te one, te puna kaukau, ma runga waka – poti ranei. Ko tenei taku wa whakamutunga. Ka timata awau i te wahanga tuarua o te tau 2011, ki Te Kura a Rito o Newton.



Ka Kite koutou – Te Whanau o Owairaka – Te Kura o Owairaka

Reflecting the Owairaka Way – Going for Green Gold!

29 11 2010

Our reflection day began with a powerful welcome (powhiri) from Te Whanau o Owairaka and Room 17.

Our visitors were given detailed talks and tours around our fabulous grounds. A good time to ‘show off our goods’. To conclude our proceedings, the Enviro-thinkers group and the Pepeha team combined with Mrs Tregoweth, Mrs Karaka,  Ms Christainsen and the Enviro-schools advisors discussed, debated and came to the same conclusion that Owairaka should receive the “GREEN GOLD AWARD!”

We couldn’t control ourselves within minutes we had dispersed throughout the school telling them of our good fortune. We left our very happy teachers and advisors to their hugs, cries and excitement.

Monty F Year 6 & Elisapesi F Year 5 2010

Welcoming the visitors

Tuesday 21st fell upon us like a tonne of bricks. Mrs Karaka transformed into a military officer barking orders to her ready soldiers, us!

My scared voice broke into ‘Tena i whuia!’ I knew it was wrong but I went hard anyway. Staring down on the visitors like a hawk stalking it’s prey from the distance.

Our strong voices bellowed loudly fulling the entire assembly hall to the ceiling. Our time there was a blur. But I knew Mrs Karaka was so proud of us I even think she had tears in her eyes.

I was proud of us too. So proud that I would love to do it all over again. Maybe without all the growls.

Sara B year 5 2010.

Kathryn Stevens – Our Resident NZ Artist

1 11 2010

Current Exhibition
Denys Watkins, El-Dorado October 13, 2010 – November 6, 2010

TJ McNamara’s review of one of our amazing whanau parents:

There is vitality of a different, calmer sort in the elegant, rich, abstract work of  Kathryn Stevens at Whitespace. Her paintings have two levels.

The lower level is a regular grid with fields of colour between fine lines. Over this is imposed a grid of wider lines, again encompassing fields of colour. The two layers interact: the inner layer is static while the outer layer swings outwards, inwards or like a wave across the canvas in a wonderfully rhythmic and musical way.

Though these paintings move in space in many different ways, the individuality of each painting is founded in its colour harmony. Frame #3, which forces outward, has rich russet-reds and brown, whereas Canopy, which curves gently inwards, is a harmony of blue and pale green.

These delightful paintings are supplemented by a series of drawings that make precise dances of line in space.

Ngaa mihi ki a koe e te rangatira mo tenei kaupapa. The Whanau of Owairaka District Primary School think you are amazing and that you are an excellent example of a ‘You Can Do It’ parent.

Well done on your latest exhibition. We look forward to following you with your success stories!

Nga Ringa Awhina Fundraiser – We need your support!

24 10 2010


The Whanau o Owairaka will be fundraising to fix and restore our Nga Ringa Awhina.

A lot of support from the whanau is needed to ensure this be an on-going


COST: $10.00 per pizza


  • At this stage they have 5 great pizzas to choose from: BBQ Chicken, Spicy Italian, Hawaiian, BBQ Bacon and Vegetarian (All delicious – I’ve had samples – Large pizza bigger than other pizza outlets)

School of Business Ltd was founded in 2002 by Lion Nathan, and purchased in September 2006 by Mo Cooper, the previous Managing Director of the School.

One of our core businesses at SBL is Hospitality and as part of this programme we are wanting to develop the ‘Bad Dog Pizza’ fundraising brand as an opportunity for our students to play an active part toward community development whilst gaining practical experience.

The  main campus is located in Newmarket, Auckland and there are also two other Auckland Campuses located in, Manukau City and in Waitakere.

So whanau if you think you are able to help out – send / or fill out an ordering sheet.

There is a minimum of 5 pizza = $50.00. The business of hospitality receives $6.00 in every pizza, we receive $4.00. Which is a fantastic compromise.

Delivery will be Wednesdays – Pick up from Owairaka District Primary.

More information will be sent home this Thursday with students, let’s get started together!

Mau e mahi, Maku e mahi,  tatou katoa ka whiwhi i te matauranga teitei.

This Maori owned business supports the community!

Our first ordering date for 2010 is Wednesday 10th November.

Please ensure all your money is in on Tuesday 9th November to Mrs Karaka, Room 17.

Pick up date for your whanau is Wednesday 17th November at 3.15 from the tuck shop. Kia ora.

Hire our Hangi Cooker!

Sport or Social Gathering? Hungry whanau to feed? Fundraising for Community Groups?

Owairaka has a brand new super-duper hangi cooker that we are now hiring out to the community. Be the first to enjoy a hangi without all the extra back breaking work!
Jumbo Cooker (will cook for up to 200 people)
$150.00 hirage and $150.00 bond

Ring the office on 09 8465091 Ask for Matua Hamish  to book.

You won’t be disappointed!

Yummy Stickers

Healthy eating, healthy living! Crunch your way through “Yummy” Apple.

Collect the ‘cut out’ labels from the 2kg bags of apples or individual “Yummy” apple stickers (each 2kg bag ‘cut out’ is worth 10 stickers!). Purchase Yummy Apples at your nearest New World, Pak’n Save and participating Four Square stores. Collect the “Yummy” apple ‘cut out’ labels from 2kg bags and individual “Yummy” stickers for our school’s share of the $200,000 sports gear prize pool. The more you collect, the more sports gear we get.

But we have to be fast! Other school’s are taking on this fabulous incentive too.

Learn to speak Te Reo Maori – The Te Ataarangi way.

8 10 2010

Learn to speak Maori quickly in a safe, accepting environment.

Te Ataarangi is a method for adults to learn to speak Maori quickly and efficiently. A nationwide network means there is probably a group operating near you.

The system, which uses coloured rods and a large component of spoken language, was developed in the 1970s. Since then Te Ataarangi has become recognised as one of the most efficient methods for learning te reo Maori.

Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira

Te Kumeroa Ngoingoi  Pewhairangi


Te Ataarangi have joined forces with Te Wananga o Aotearoa and Te Wananga o Raukawa to provide various Te Reo Māori courses for 2010.

All courses continue to use Te Ataarangi methodology and teaching techniques.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa
National Certificate Reo Māori – Level 1-4
Two delivery modes:

Awatea: Full time option
Monday to Thursday 9am-3pm, Friday 9am-12.30pm
1 x 3 day noho marae

Available in the following areas: North Shore, South Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Wellington

Haeata: 2 x 3 hour evening classes per week
One full day class (Sat/Sun) per month
1 x 3 day noho marae

Available in the following areas:  North Shore, South Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Wellington

National Diploma Reo Māori – Level 5

Kōpura: Full time

Monday to Thursday 9am – 3pm, Friday 9am-12.30pm
1 x 3 day noho marae

Available in the following areas: North Shore, South Auckland, Hamilton

Please ring Te Ataarangi from inquiries: 0800 282272


Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora te reo Maori.

Wairaka our Ngati Awa Tupuna (Ancestor)

8 10 2010

E ngaa reo, i ngaa mana, i ngaa kararangaranga ki a kooutou i ako ki te kura tuatahi Owairaka, anei o taatou pepeha. He tohu aroha mo Wairaka.

Ko Owairaka te maunga

Ko Te Puna Wai-Inu-Roa o Wairaka te matapuna waiora.

Ko Wairaka te tupuna

Ko Nga Ringa Awhina te piringa

Ko Owairaka te kura

Anei matou, no Nga Hau e Wha, hei tauira.

Room 17 and Te Whanau o Owairaka are very pleased to share this taonga(gift) with te ao (the world). Room 17’s next assignment is to create waiata(songs) to help support the learning of our school tupuna(ancestor) Wairaka.

Our Wairaka Journey – Where to start?

27 09 2010

Wairaka – Who is she and why did she come to Owairaka/Mt Albert?

How does she connect to this area so far away from her papa kainga?

Over the last few weeks, Room 17 has listened, learned and participated in the research of our school tupuna (ancestor) Wairaka.

Here are some of our thoughts about her:

Wairaka is a Māori ancestor for the Mt Albert area of Auckland. She is known as one of the beautiful daughters of Toroa, chief of the Ngati Awa tribe and captain of the Maatatua waka (canoe). Wairaka is known throughout New Zealand because of her bravery. She is known as a strong leader for her people.

Wairaka is very strong and powerful because she is a leader. She is a leader that gives wise advise to her phenomenal people and as she took place as a leader, life in those strenuous days for her people became easier and happier.

One story of Wairaka’s bravery is when she saved the Mataatua waka and the Ngati Awa tribe, after their arrival to Aotearoa, New Zealand. With her mighty words she called to her ancestors praying, “Kia Whakatane au i ahau” Let me act like a man. She grabbed the paddle and advised the women to save themselves from death.

Touching the paddle in those days was very ‘tapu’ or sacred. But Wairaka knew it had to be done.
Wairaka was very brave and very important and that is why she has been known for a very long time. In our area, our school and our mountain are both called Owairaka meaning it belongs to or where she (Wairaka) lived.

Wairaka is an important, powerful woman. In these days, hardly any Māori people forget the interesting history of Wairaka. She is a rolemodel for all people and her memory continues to inspire us today. We will continue to learn and teach others about her fantastic endeavours and life at the time of the Great Migration to Aotearoa from Hawaiki.

Elisapesi Year 5

Owairaka Mountain today.

On our journey to discovering Wairaka’s great acts. We were lucky enough to have support from local kaumatua, Matua Tom Cassidy and Matua John Moses. Another significant expert, Matua Hau from Te Noho kotahitanga marae situated at Unitec was a huge help in getting us the correct information and facts for our soon to be released school pepeha.

Nga mihi hoki ki a Mr Abraham Karaka who also gave valuable input with helping in the selection of specific words we would eventually use in ‘our pepeha’.

Without all your support this project, but moreso this taonga would never have come into fruition. Tino pai rawa atu koutou me o koutou awhi me te aroha mo tenei mahi whakanui e pa ana ki a Wairaka.

We’ve been on trips, had interviews and researched to gather the appropriate facts needed in the sustainability of Wairaka and her history at our school.

But it’s not over yet!

Next goal to create Waiata(songs) to support the korero (talk) we have learned, then to teach it to our wider school community.

Please help us keep her memory and history alive for our future generations to come at Owairaka Primary school.


Researching our School’s Pepeha.

9 09 2010

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Room 17 will be undergoing a process of creating a Pepeha for our school. This will be our class enviro-project.

We had to find out what a Pepeha was and all the different actions we would need to do to get our pepeha completed.

Due to all the commitments we decided to create a smaller team, they were later called the Pepeha team, and together with Nicki our ICT guru they began forming, collating and planning a format that will one day be released on the Living heritage site for all.

We’ve had some ups and downs during this process. We have learned a lot and we are proud to say we are close to sharing our new, one of kind pepeha with our school.

Our greatest hope is to display the great pride we have for Wairaka whom our school is named after. We wish to keep her memory alive and we can do this by continuing to share her marvellous stories and endeavours to our new students and the world.

Please if you have any stories, or would like to add or help us get the right information – Please blog us – We look forward to hearing from you.

Nga mihi mahana ki a koutou Ko Matua John, Ko Matua Hau (ki Unitec), Ko Papa Hunia mo o koutou awhi me nga tautoko ki tenei kaupapa aroha mo Wairaka. Nana te tino take i whakatinanahia tenei pepeha. He pepeha aroha mana.

Nau te rourou, naku te rourou Ka ora nga korero e pa ana ki Wairaka.

No reira,

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.


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