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Ripeka Kaipuke, a teacher and educator for 40 years, has inspired thousands of tauira and work colleagues to “be the very best”.

The newly appointed Head of Educational Programmes and Delivery - Te Aukaha Ako for Te Kei expects and delivers nothing less.

“Second-rate is not good enough when building a better future for our people through education,” she says.

An advocate for the promotion of best practice and continuous quality improvement strategies, Ripeka is committed to developing the potential in our future leaders.

She says the growing of education opportunities has been a lifelong passion and whānau affair. 

Her mother Mokopuna (nee) Karena was a primary school teacher while her dad Maurice Te Kahu taught his young daughter about tikanga as they tended his massive kai gardens at Raupunga where she was born and raised.

Husband Wiremu is a teacher at St Peter’s College in Papaiōea.

Her children Wiremu, Patrina and Reece and mokopuna Tyla and Toni continue to be her greatest motivation to grow education opportunities.  

This year Ripeka will complete her Masters of Indigenous Studies with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

The accomplished weaver is also working on personal and community kete and korowai projects.                  

Ripeka will continue to be based at Papaiōea where she has been the regional academic manager for the past five years.

She was the regional operations manager at Papaiōea from 2007 to 2008.

Prior to life at the wānanga, she was Te Aroha Noa Community Services executive officer in Papaiōea, Hippy co-ordinator (Home Interaction Programme for Parents), Kimiora Community School director at Hastings and Te Kura o Takaro principal, also in Papaiōea.

She was also the deputy principal and a senior teacher for special needs. 

Ripeka won an education scholarship while at Raupanga Primary School which supported her secondary schooling at Turakina Māori Girls’ College.

To find out more about what courses are available in Papaiōea click here.

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Published On: 30 June 2015

Article By: Alice Te Puni

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