Stars Shine at Matariki Celebration


Matariki is a special occasion in the New Zealand calendar which marks the start of the Māori New Year. Signified by the Matariki cluster of stars reappearing in our night sky, this is a time to reflect on the past year, celebrate the present, and plan for the year ahead. 

On Wednesday 30 June, Nayland College held our very first Matariki Māori and Pasifika Awards Evening.

Our Hui Taurima Leaders came up with the concept during a trip to visit Wellington University and further developed the criteria and logistics for the awards evening during a recent camp at Te Haeata in Te Aumiti.

The students wanted to celebrate the success of both Māori and Pasifika students and to recognise those students who are achieving academically, consistently do their best, contribute to the life of the school, for leadership, and performance (Kapa Haka, Sport, Visual and Performing arts).

The students also wanted to welcome all whānau who wanted to support award winners and provide a delicious kai. We had large numbers of whanau support the evening with some students having up to ten family members come to support and celebrate with them. The kai was outstanding with an eight-metre-long grazing table with kaimoana, fried bread, and scrumptious salads and desserts.

Image by: Nayland College

A feature of the celebration was the leadership of Tiaki Sharp who was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and Juahna Hura and Maggie Goomes who were the award readers, and Maggie Goomes and Canon Hedley who interviewed Tupuria King prior to the evening. The Hui Taurima leaders have been outstanding and have contributed so much to the life of the school and the wider community over the years.

Image by: Nayland College

We were also lucky enough to have Nicola Smith as our guest speaker on the night. Nicola is a Director and Producer who has worked on Television shows such as ‘Origins’, ‘Waka Warriors’, ‘Home, Land, and Sea.’

Image by: Nayland College

Before joining the media world Nicola was a front line police officer who served in Auckland Central from 1997 – 2005 and Rotorua 2005– 2006. Nicola is often called on by production companies, both internationally and domestically, to assist on projects involving Police investigations, criminal activity and police protocols.

The Humāra (Horticulture Module) collected harakeke and weaved putiputi/flowers for the leadership award winners and the class also created packets of Kowhai seeds for award winners. This was a lovely gesture of support from the students in this exciting new module.

Image by: Nayland College

The Teacher Led innovation Team also shared their journey from the three day Year 9 Hui Taurima, the Hui Taurima Leadership programme, through to designing units of work and modules such as the Waka Ama and Wayfinding and Humāra modules.

The Visual Art Department ran an art exhibition (led by Diana Maskill) on the night supported by the Technology Learning Area. The theme of the exhibition was ‘Kaitiakitanga’, and there were beautiful paintings, prints, sculptures and light boxes and lanterns on display. Vicki Smith, artist and Mel McColgan, ecologist supported the exhibition through working with classes and teachers.

Image by: Nayland College

Pūaha Te Tai Kapa Haka group supported the Mihi Whakatau with a waiata and performed mōteatea and haka later on in the evening. Pūaha Te Tai exemplified celebration of success with their stunning performance.

Image by: Nayland College

A special thank you to our Hui Taurima Leaders for their leadership in both the awards concept, and logistics of the night and to our Teacher Led innovation Team for all of their work in supporting our first Maori and Pasifika Awards celebration. 

By Jane Townsend