Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Greetings to you all

By Tracy O'Brien | Posted: Monday September 10, 2018

Te wiki o te reo Māori. This week is Māori language week.

Today we had a special assembly to congratulate two of our students on their national sporting achievements. 

Firstly, Jayden Apuwai Bishop Year 11 will represent New Zealand and compete at the World Junior Boys' Curling Championships in Helsinki, Finland next January. Curling is a sport that Kavanagh has had some great success in recent years and is an outstanding achievement for Jayden.

Erika Fairweather, Year 10, has been on the radar for swimming for some time with a number of national titles already under her belt. Her inclusion by the NZ Olympic Committee in NZ's swim team at the Youth Olympics this year is an incredible feat. The Youth Olympics is for 14-18-year olds and began in 2010 in Singapore. Erika will join a distinguished team of athletes and head to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

For both students, we wish you Godspeed and every success.

Tonight our Kapa Haka roopu and our famous Pasifika Vibes perform at the Edgar Centre as part of Polyfest 2018. Congratulations to all of our students on their hard work and to our staff that have been in full prep mode. Our kapa haka group will also be donning their new uniforms that look magnificent.

On Māori language week: Every year the debate comes around about whether or not Te Reo Māori should be compulsory in schools. My view is there is a definite place for Te Reo instruction and tikanga (traditional Māori customs and practices) in school. After all, it's just good holistic education and does prepare students for a range of situations they may find themselves in the workplace or their future lives in general. It can't just be an All Blacks haka now and then. However, we have to tread carefully as to what extent we make it compulsory. Human beings generally don't respond well to compulsion and forcing students into advanced language courses, for example, would be counter-productive and do more harm than good. A best practice model should be aimed at for all schools with aspirations of what skills and knowledge students should acquire from say years 5 to 9 with the government funding to support its delivery. After that schools should have provision for those students that wish to go further and by all means should be given every encouragement and support to do so. Compulsion? "Ae, kahore." (Yeah nah).