Teacher Trainees Celebration

On Tuesday 24th August we held a special assembly at 11am.

Our regular teacher trainees from the University of Auckland have been working on a cooperative task as part of their training. They decided as a group to create a Maori Guardian figure to watch over our Envirogarden.

They researched, in consultation with our school leader in things Maori, Whaea Kura Tuhura, a legend about Panuku - a garden guardian.

The Opanuku Stream runs through Henderson Valley, “Opanuku” meaning “The Place of Panuku” and previously name of the whole of the valley area from the head of the stream to the Wai pareira or Henderson Creek. The story of the naming of the area is as follows:-
A Turehu, called Nihotupu, lived in a cave named at the base of the Ruotewhenua hill in Waiatarua (located in dense bush off Opanuku Rd). On a food gathering expedition to Te Henga (Bethells), Nihotupu came across the gardens of a Maruiwi chief named Panuku. Nihotupu took gourds he found growing there and upon discovering Panuku's wife Parekura working in the gardens, kidnapped her. Parekura was understandably unwilling, and made the clever decision to leave a trail in the hopes that Panuku would be able to find her. It worked, Panuku spotted the white feathers plucked discreetly from her clothing and tracked Nihotupu and Parekura back to his cave at Ruotewhenua, Panuku arrived and challenged Nihotupu to a fight, he agreed. Nihotupu lost and paid for his mistake with his life, the couple were reunited.

The teacher trainees re-enacted this legend at our assembly for the children and then gifted the fabulous figure - 'Panuku' - to the school as a taonga.