Petone Central School's refurbished Nga Rito classrooms blessed

Pupils wait with Waiwhetu elder Kura Moeahu for the start of a ceremony to bless revamped Petone Central School classrooms.
Simon Edwards

Pupils wait with Waiwhetu elder Kura Moeahu for the start of a ceremony to bless revamped Petone Central School classrooms.

 

It was an early and chilly start this morning for the pupils of Nga Rito, Petone Central School's te reo Maori immersion unit.

The 46 years 1-8 pupils, and many of their parents, gathered in the darkness at 5.30am for a traditional dawn blessing of their refurbished classroom block.

Past and present pupils of Petone Central touch the walls of the revamped classroom block during a dawn blessing ceremony.
Simon Edwards

Past and present pupils of Petone Central touch the walls of the revamped classroom block during a dawn blessing ceremony.

Waiwhetu elder Kura Moeahu and school kaumatua Neville Baker led a Te Ati Awa delegation that performed a karanga and karakia, and the pupils responded with a waiata.

Moeahu urged the pupils and parents to put their "positive energy" into the blessing and responses because the rededication of the building was about putting people's aroha and warmth into it, in preparation for its purpose in the years ahead.

"For the tamariki that come through this building this morning...they can look back years later and say 'I remember that.  It was a very special morning'."

Waiwhetu elder Kura Moeahu leads Matua Monty and others from Te Atiawa involved in karakia and the karanga at a dawn ...
Simon Edwards

Waiwhetu elder Kura Moeahu leads Matua Monty and others from Te Atiawa involved in karakia and the karanga at a dawn opening of revamped Petone Central School classrooms.

Shannon Dryden, team leader of Nga Rito (the name refers to the little sprouts on harakeke/flax plants), said refurbishment of the four teaching spaces was first talked about five years ago.

Principal Trina Bennett said the modernising of the block saw it gutted inside and out, with new carpet laid, and gas head pumps installed.   The work was paid for from the school's property budget and the next projects involve landscaping, and spouting improvements on other buildings at the "87 pupils and growing" school.

"This refurbishment is starting us off on the right foot.  It's special for the kids to move forward in a fresh new building."

The upgrade, and the Thursday morning ceremony and communty shared breakfast, was made possible with help from Pak 'N Save Petone, Ryman Healthcare Petone, Te Wharewaka o Poneke, Jason Fox of the Port Nicholson Trust, the Hairy Barber and Caii Michelle & Associates.

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 - Hutt News

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