Former Te Rangi Aniwaniwa raukura (student) Irirangi Tawhara has been welcomed back to the Year 1-13 kura kaupapa Maori, as the new tumuaki (principal).

Her teaching speciality is hauora, sports and fitness, a kura-wide goal for students and staff.

Kaumatua and kuia from Ngati Kuri, Ngai Takoto and Ngati Kahu attended the welcoming assembly to support Mrs Tawhara,with board chair Trudy Brown saying it was fitting that the taumata was run by raukura and a senior student.

"It is a realisation of a dream for our kura to be run by an ex-student who already understands Te Aho Matua, the guiding philosophy of kura kaupapa Maori, and who knows the history of the rohe. Irirangi also knows the whanau of Te Rangi Aniwaniwa," she said.


Outgoing tumuaki whaea Hilda Halkyard-Harawira described Mrs Tawhara as a very principled, honest, reliable, fit young woman who would manage the kura well.

She will have her own style of leadership, and has steely determination when setting out to achieve specific goals," she said, "but will need the continued support of kura whanau.

The staff are excited, and have given total support in the continuation of strengthening Te Reo o Te Kainga in a modern day setting."

Te Kotiu, the kahui of Kura Kaupapa Maori principals in Tai Tokerau, had offered to support Mrs Tawhara in her new role over the next two years, as would Te Akatea and Tai Tokerau principals. A recent hui a tau of Te Runanga Nui had applauded the news of a raukura gaining the position of tumuaki.

Ms Brown added that Mrs Tawhara had a "good and fit" senior management team of tumu hapai (deputy principal) Kararaina Herbert, pouarahi wharekura Keringawai Evans Larkin, and Mrs Halkyard-Harawira, who would remain as part-time pouarahi wharekura for Te Wananga o Te Rangi Aniwaniwa.

"The kura is in good hands," she said.