A lesson in connection

By Victoria White

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Raureka School student Benjamin Clifton and Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell hongi during the MP's visit to the school's community hub yesterday. Photo / Duncan Brown
Raureka School student Benjamin Clifton and Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell hongi during the MP's visit to the school's community hub yesterday. Photo / Duncan Brown

A Hastings school impressed the Maori Party co-leader yesterday with their community-led initiatives.

Yesterday Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule were treated to afternoon tea at Raureka School, and a tour of the school's community hub.

Last night, Mr Flavell said he was "absolutely impressed" by community-led initiatives which were delivering real results for whanau.

"The school has embraced its community through culture and identity," he said.

Raureka School principal Greg Riceman said yesterday was "a chance for the minister to come and look at our school, and what we're trying to achieve."

A collaboration between the school, Hastings District Council, and Housing New Zealand has seen a community hub develop at the school over the past 18 months.

Work done by the school, and Raureka Community Development co-ordinators Mandy Sharpe and Sharnita Raheke has seen the development of community gardens, a community toolbox, and a vacant Housing New Zealand site become a community playground.

When asked how he felt about the impression the hub had left on Mr Flavell, Mr Riceman said they were very pleased.

"For us, it's really fantastic. With our community hub, the reason why it seems to be so effective is because it has the backing of the community. Everyone is involved and that makes such a difference because it's ours, it's not just one person going in."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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