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Puawānanga students celebrate their success

As the academic year draws to a close, like other schools across Wairarapa, the Puawānanga-Wairarapa Young Parents programme has hosted a celebration of its students’ success.

During 2023, 21 students moved through Mākoura College-based Puawānanga, eight of whom received awards or recognition for their hard work throughout the year.

In their studies, Puawānanga students work towards three key goals: Whāia Te Tika [doing what is right], Whāia Te Pono [wisdom through learning], and Whāia Te Aroha [care for self, others, and community].

Tahlia Reiri, Jade Kelly-Ranger, Clarissa Wilson, Shelby Winter, Ruby Wishart, and Jayda Loveday all received Whāia Te Tika awards.

Tahlia Reiri, Wikitoria Rimene, Clarissa Wilson, Shelby Winter, and Ruby Wishart were awarded a Whāia Te Pono prize.

Tahlia Reiri, Wikitoria Rimene and Shelby Winter were all recipients of a Whāia Te Aroha award, while Clarissa Wilson and Ruby Wishart were also recognised for their attendance.

The esteemed Kia Manawanui Award, which is given to students who have not only shown aptitude in their studies but have displayed resilience, determination, and empathy towards their peers, was also presented at the celebrations.

The recipient of this year’s Kia Manawanui award was Tahlia Reiri, who has been a student at Puawānanga for three years and achieved NCEA levels one, two, three and 40 credits at level four.

In a speech given at the celebrations, Puawānanga manager Prue Harawira-Smith defined Kia Manawanui as a way of being.

“[It] embodies the way we want to ‘be’; caring and supportive of others, and courage in our approach and attitude to life,” she said.

“Embracing Kia Manawanui means being willing to have a go, take on new opportunities, new activities, and new learning.”

Reiri was described as “shy by nature” but willing to step outside her comfort zone.

“She is brave of heart and will now give things a go that three years ago were just about impossible,” Harawira-Smith said.

“Tahlia has a strong sense of whānau and is able to balance the demands of school with her dedication to them.”

Reiri will start studying for her Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching in 2024.

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