Kuranui College held its annual Sports Prize giving on Friday. Sport leader Kyle Loader welcomed and introduced guest speakers AJ Manley and Matt Henderson from Greytown’s Strength Nation Ltd. The personal trainers spoke to the Kuranui students about the reasons for opening a new gym in the town and how it has attracted increasing numbers of new members in its first few months.
Sports Prizegiving, 2pm, 23 October
Arts Prizegiving, 7pm, 28 October
Senior Prizegiving, 7pm, 4 November
Junior Prizegiving, 9:30am, 11 December
5 November Study Leave begins for selected students
9 November NCEA External Assessments begin
Bledisloe College was one of the initial ideas for the name of South Wairarapa’s newest college, as was Tararua College, but that had been taken by a new North Wairarapa college in Pahiatua. Today we know this college as Kuranui.
Opened in 1960, the new secondary school was given its name by Papawai resident Mrs Mariama ‘Minnie’ Morris.
Minnie was a direct descendant of Chief Pirika Po of the Ngati Moe tribe who were the original settlers of Papawai Pa and was the granddaughter of Rangatira Hoani Rangitakaiwaho, and daughter of Hare Charles Rangitakaiwaho and Keri Lorns. She spent all her life in Papawai and Greytown and was married to William ‘Tiny’ Morris.
Minnie was a well-respected leader and beloved kuia of the Papawai Pa community, and her knowledge of the history and folklore of Maori in the Wairarapa was keenly sought after. She nominated Kuranui as it meant ‘Large School of Learning’.
Last week, Minnie’s grandchildren, John Morris and Elizabeth Parlakchief, and daughter-in-law Barbara Morris, presented a framed photograph of Minnie to Kuranui. The photograph had been organised by the Greytown Community Heritage Trust. Trust Chair Malcolm Sutherland was a foundation pupil at the school in 1960.
“She would have been very proud. Naming Kuranui was a great thing for all of our family,” explained Parlakchief. “I have wonderful memories of Greytown and Papawai and I was here at the opening of the college, but as a very little girl. It’s really lovely to be able to come back and share this with the college.”
Kuranui students and staff hosted a special assembly and powhiri to welcome Minnie’s whanau and members of the Greytown Community Heritage Trust to the college. Local Kaumatua Paora Ammunsen acknowledged the work the Trust had done to highlight Minnie’s historic contribution to the college.
Ammunsen also encouraged continued collaboration between Papawai and Kuranui, quoting the epitaph on the headstone of Hoani Rangitakiwaho, which is located at Papawai Marae: “E matahi ana, E Mataara, let’s work together and be diligent.”
Nikita Cunningham-Lamb on ‘Tironui Casino’s Gold’, Piper Marshall riding ‘Suede’ and Lucy Marshall competing on ‘Minty Cooper’ recently represented Kuranui College at the Farmland’s Solway College Dressage annual interschool competition, held at the Solway Showgrounds.
The team braved the cold and rain, and despite the weather, competed admirally against an excellent turnout from local schools and colleges, as well as riders who had travelled from further afield throughout the Lower North Island.
Overcoming relatively inexperienced ponies, the team were placed a credible overall fourth in their junior section which was a great outcome. Piper was also placed third in the 12A class with a score of 73.636%, a personal best. The girls are looking forward to returning to the competition next year.
Kuranui College student Rhian Dunlop has moved out of the classroom and into the workshop as part of a Government Youth Guarantee initiative, spending the last three terms training as a motor mechanic at Eastwood Motor Group in Masterton.
The Gateway Programme provides an opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience in a particular career by showing them what happens during a typical day on the job. The Year 12 student entered into a three-way partnership with the college and Eastwood Motor Group last February.
Stu McClean, Service Manager at Eastwood Motor Group, believes it was Rhian’s bright and bubbly personality, and her ‘can do attitude’, that led to a full welcome and acceptance by his mainly male automotive engineering team.
“Rhian was a pleasure to have working here,” he explained. “She has a great positive attitude, gives anything a go and is not afraid to roll sleeves up and get stuck in.”
Rhian was obvously keen to prove that girls are just as good as the boys when it came to motor vehicle maintenance, but it was much more important for her to sample the type of work to see if it was what she wanted to do.
“It was a great learning experience,” said Rhian. “More people should give it a go because I found out working as a mechanic wasn’t quite the right thing for me, and I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t given it a try.”
“The staff at Eastwood Motor Group were great to be around and work with, they were very supporting and lovely people and taught me about being in the workplace,” she added.
The college had also enrolled Rhian on the MITO Startup Programme. This has enabled her to gain the National Certificate in Motor Industry (Foundation Skills). This will be extremely useful working with farm machinery when she takes up a place at Lincoln University, at the Telford Campus, next year to study for a Certificate in Agriculture.