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Resilience and success at Makoura


The Times-Age wants to celebrate the success of Wairarapa’s secondary school students in a year where covid-19 threw learners yet more curveballs. Today, Makoura College provides TOM TAYLOR with a breakdown of its students’ triumphs in 2021.

Principal Marion Harvey said she believes in the value of each student at Makoura.

“I have high expectations of staff and students,” she said.

“My commitment is that by working together, students will achieve their potential – academic, cultural, and sporting – and set their direction for a successful life.”

Harvey said Makoura was a school where each and every student was known as an individual and where their achievement mattered.

“We are committed to providing the highest quality teaching and learning that enables dreams to become a reality,” she said.

“Our staff is a team of dedicated professionals focused on the success and aspirations of all our learners.”

The Makoura College motto was Kia Manawanui: “be of a courageous and compassionate heart”.

The school’s vision was to grow tika, pono, and aroha through learning. Whaia te Tika meant making the right choices about what one did and said; Whaia te Pono involved developing a wise understanding of people and the world; and Whaia te Aroha meant demonstrating concern and support for others.

Harvey’s highlights of 2021 mirrored the school’s values.

She said Makoura’s involvement in the Ka Ora, Ka Ako free lunch programme helped create a shared experience within the school and acknowledged Trust House, who had the contract to provide the lunches.

Another initiative that supported students’ transition to college life was Makoura’s Year 9 programme, which revolved around a learning hub and homeroom.

“We have very strong links to the community across a wide range of curriculum areas,” Harvey said.

“Our outdoor education programme has seen significant growth, and the Military Services Academy continues to promote leadership and excellence with students.”


Harvey said Makoura’s awards had been tweaked from the traditional titles to reflect the unique nature of New Zealand.

“We have moved away from the Latin names as we feel that as New Zealanders, we should have our own flavour,” Harvey said.

“Hence the Maori terms – Teina Matatau [Dux] and Tuakana Matatau [Proxime Accessit].”

Harvey summed up the year as one where students had thrived in the face of adversity.

“It’s been a great year despite the challenges again of lockdown. Students and staff have again shown their resilience.”

Makoura College Award Recipients

Tuakana Matatau [Dux]: Dream Vitale

Kalameli Brown.

Teina Matatau [Proxime Accessit]: Kalameli Brown

Gateway Student of the Year: Saber Wain

Don Miller Contribution to Sport: Vyktah Tamihana

UCOL Accomplishment Award: Dom Phillips

Prime Minister’s Vocational Excellence Award: Amelia Lovett

Service Academy Award of Distinction: Lewis Dellabarca

Flight of the Conchords Scholarship [cultural]: Summer-Jade Vitale

Toko Winiata Award [sports]: Parananihia Tamakehu and Feresia Manesa-Anae

Kia Manawanui [general excellence]: Mataio Kelly and Kalameli Brown


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