Our Principal's 2018 reflections

Principal Pete Jones - Prize Giving Speech 2018

Happy, Confident and Proud”

Ko Emirates Boeing 777 toku waka

Ko  Cadair Idris te maunga

Ko Te Irish Sea te moana

Ko Mersey te awa

Ko Anfield te marae

Ko The Kop te hapū

Ko Liverpool FC te iwi

Ko Justine taku hoa rangatira

Ko Billy Sam & Joe aku tama

Ko Matua Pete Jones taku ingoa

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

It is again an honour to be standing here before you as the happy, proud and confident Principal of Manurewa High School welcoming you all to our 2018 Y13 prizegiving. Happy that we have been able to offer you so many opportunities at Manurewa High School. Proud of all your many fantastic achievements. Confident that our school will continue on its journey from good to great thanks to hard mahi of so many caring and passionate people. People of all ages and backgrounds, strong in their cultural identity, who live our values of respect, excellence, whanaungatanga and akoranga every day.

I want to start with our value of RESPECT by acknowledging Edyn Rubena-Misilisi, one of our students who sadly passed away in November.  I shared precious moments with many of our staff and students who were there to support Edyn and her family over her last few days. The aroha and whanaungatanga everybody showed is what makes our school such a special place.

Edyn epitomised our vision of Piki atu ki te rangi, Aim high, strive for excellence. She was an outstanding student who fully involved herself in the life of our school and truly lived our values. As well as being a hard-working and high achieving scholar, she played saxophone in our award winning band Mit Eldnar, was part of our creative MakerSpace team and an active member of our Environmental Council. Edyn was always generous with her time and was always thinking of other people.

Thank you for the time we were able to share with you, thank you for being such a wonderful person. You have been a real credit to the values and support given to you by your parents and whaanau. We will all miss you, rest in peace.

I also want to acknowledge Matua Bobby Clark and our ex teacher Herbie Kowhai who sadly passed away this year.

On a more positive note I have a message from Amelaine who only 2 weeks ago was in a coma fighting for her life in ICU following a severe asthma attack and virus but thankfully woke up and is now on the road to recovery. REWA hard, too hard!

Throughout this year have been many more examples of our students, staff and alumni striving for and achieving EXCELLENCE. Some of my particular highlights have been;

  • Our Future Problem Solvers; John Chen, Okesene Fatu, Aimee Lew and Aaron Lew placing 13th in the world finals senior division in America
  • John Chen accepted into Rotary National Science and Technology Forum 2019
  • Two gold awards at Culinary Competitions - Isabella Vaikai won NSSCC at the MIT regional Culinary fare, awarded $2000 and City and Guilds scholarship. Isabella Vaikai and Elizabeth Malaki won gold at the National Culinary Competition
  • Our Visual Arts exhibition ‘Unrehearsed’ on display at the Nathan Homestead
  • Girls Waka Ama Team competed in Australia, Gold in both the 500m and 1000m beating an Australia Worlds Team to dominate the J19 category
  • Open Boys Basketball Team won the Counties Manukau A Grade Championships and were undefeated in their Regular Season.
  • Junior Pua – Rugby League 1st XIII - Member of the NZ Warriors’ U20, NZ U18, selected for the NZ Secondary Schools Tournament Team and a standout performer at the NZSS Nationals plus Auckland Rugby League player of the year
  • Boys First and Second XV winning the CM competition
  • Mit Eldnar national winners of the Smokefree Tangata Beats and Rockquest bands category
  • REWA AllStars – 2nd place at Street Dance Competition 2018, MegaSchools division to viral on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, to cast in the latest Air NZ Safety Video and now successfully fundraising to attend the Worlds Hip Hop Competition in America 2019!
  • The performance of HOME at the Queen Street Theatre
  • Future Problem Solving - 25th FPS national finals, 2nd place for senior individual GIPs - Aaron Liu, 3rd place for senior individual GIPs - Aimee Liu ,2nd place for Community Problem Solving with an invitation to attend international finals in Boston next year - The Locker Project
  • The Outlook for Someday film challenge finalist - ‘All for One Lockers Project’ by Yashna Kumar
  • Ed Hendrikse, Whaanau Leader and teacher of Social Sciences – bestowed a Matai (chief title), travelled to Samoa to receive this in an official ceremony
  • Jenny White – teacher of English – achieved Masters in Creative Writing
  • Allister Salivao – teacher of Dance -  with crew Prestige placed 4th at worlds Hip Hop Championships
  • Nikki our amazing breakfast and lunch club co-ordinator who has fed most of us here and was recently invited to appear on MKR in recognition of her work for our kura
  • Piki atu ki te Rangi dinner – opportunity to show respect for our partners and alumni and immerse them in the spirit of what makes our kura unique. John and Leonie Hynds were acknowledged and presented gifts in recognition of their many years of support to our school.
  • Matua Ted & Uenuku for their gift of the incredible carvings on our Whare

I know you understand that our sign at the front gate 'Together we Achieve' represents our value of WHANAUNGATANGA. I want to take this opportunity again to thank all our whaanau who support us; mums, dads, caregivers, grandparents, partners, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends – never underestimate the value of your aroha and support. I would also like to acknowledge and thank our Board of Trustees for their governance and guidance, especially Steve Smith our Chairperson who to date has given 15 years of service and leadership to our school. Thank you again to our business community and alumni who regularly come in to help us, particularly our ever growing list of key partners: ANZ, ARA, ASB, AUT, Cyclone, EY, Hynds, Inder Lynch, Little Giant, Nestle Cook for Life, Supe Diversity Institute, SW Scaffolding, The Mindlab, The Southern Initiative, The University of Auckland Business School, Vodafone and Young Enterprise.

Also a special mention to Andrew Patterson who has been mentoring a group of our boys Osai, Bruce, Dwight & Iavana since they were at MI and right through high school. And a huge thanks to our HG & HB Amber & Sonatane for truly demonstrating what servant leadership looks like this year. Finally thank you to our teachers, support staff and Senior Leadership Team who all work so hard to support you. We are blessed to have so many dedicated and passionate people who spend so much time helping you to find and REWAlise your passions and go on to make positive steps beyond school. If you haven’t already make sure you say thank you to the people who have made a difference for you. 

To all our leavers, students, staff and whaanau, we wish you every success in the future. Wherever your ara takes you, rest assured you will always be part of our Manurewa High School whaanau and welcome back anytime. In fact we really want you to keep in touch, visit and share your knowledge and experiences as you move forward in your life.

Your final year has been full of akoranga that is ubiquitous, dynamic, co-dependent and co-lead by our entire school community. Akoranga that has been taking place anytime, any space, any place. A year full of happy, confident and proud people of all ages and backgrounds, another year of smashing those negative stereotypes, a year that represents all that is Manurewa High School. Make sure you take that positive next step and find your place in the world knowing that we will always be here if you need us. In the words of Michelle Johansson, “ Be visionary. Be contrary. Be revolutionary. Dream big. They say never forget who you are and where you come from. I say, never forget where you are and who you come from. Pay back and pay forward. Be the change they want to see in the world.”

“Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, Ki te kapuia e kore e whati”

“Alone we can be broken, Standing together we are invincible”

I hope you enjoy your prizegiving, show respect and whanaungatanga for everyone who receives an award today. Be happy, confident and REWAproud, too proud!

Finally I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.

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