It’s a new era in education in the Far North with the opening of the new Te Wānanga o Aotearoa campus in Kaikohe.
Te Taiurungi Jim Mather and dignitaries including the Right Honorable Winston Peters and Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis were among kaimahi and many from within the community for the opening of the new campus.<
The re-opening in the town’s former hotel represents an ongoing commitment by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to provide the people of Kaikohe and Te Tai Tokerau with greater educational pathways.
Te Ihu Hoe Whakatere Matiu Payne said the new site was a great opportunity for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to consolidate its commitment to the people of Kaikohe.
“Over the past two years there has been a growth in programmes alongside the building of our new whare,” he said.
“We have a lot more community and marae-based programmes happening as well. It shows a really big commitment not only to educational outcomes but to the local economy.”
One of the big initiatives at TWoA Kaikohe is a weekly homework centre that will provide academic and student support for secondary school students.
There will also be further vocational training opportunities on offer for secondary school students in sports, arts and tourism.
He said the new facilities had resulted in a noticeable boost in morale among kaimahi in Kaikohe."This development is significant for Kaikohe. Our tauira (students) will enjoy improved facilities and support, which will enable them to achieve greater levels of success," said Matiu.
“And that’s a good thing. Happy staff means happy tauira.”
Te Ihu Aukaha Whakahaere Tanya Turuwhenua said class sizes at the new Kaikohe site were “very generous” and had advanced technologically from the old campus.
“All of the classes are zoom-enabled which means our teachers can use this as a teaching aid.”
“As an example, it also means our Youth Guarantee classes can have online competitions against other YG classes in Auckland or Whangarei.”
Like all re-established TWoA sites, the Kaikohe campus features rohe-specific artworks that detail ngā uara (the values) of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
“The kohekohe tree is represented in the uara on the walls and in the glass frosting,” said Tania.
“The artwork represents our local rākau, local manu and some of the whakaaro from the staff who are from here. This was a pā tawhito (ancient pā site) so there is a symbol in one of the uara that represents that history and all of the staff here had input into that artwork.”