I have learnt so much after my first six months at Hato Paora College, not only from school but from the everyday opportunities that have been given to me.
One of these was the opportunity to represent the Kura and express my words at the Manu Korero regionals. I represented our school in junior English and got second.
It was great standing on that stage with the tuakana and staff who had given me great support along the way having my back as I did my speech.
I have also had many other great times. From the team spirit of the annual rugby clash against Te Aute College, to performing the waiata of the Hahi Katorika world, the experiences have really opened me up and made me appreciate life more.
Many of these have also been in everyday living. Every day we start with karakia at chapel to hear the readings to prepare and give thanks for the day that is to come.
Everyone has a chance to step up, whether to lead the karakia or say the mihi. It’ll be my turn soon because that’s what Hato Paora is all about.
I really love being here; every student who comes here is valued as one of God’s gifts and welcomed by the tuakana of the college into the home they will learn to cherish and love.
Even though students come as individuals, they will leave as a brotherhood with a strong sense of community and loyalty in their hearts.
It is a small school, but ahakoa he iti he pounamu – despite being small, you are of great value. Hato Paora College is more than just a kura; it is a home, holding together the two proud communities of Maori culture and the Catholic Church as one.
I am so grateful for the opportunity my whanau have given me and I look forward to making the best of my time here.