Merivale School gave principal Jan Tinetti a fond farewell today.

The school community said goodbye to the newly-elected Labour MP with songs, speeches, gifts and a passionate haka.

Acting principal Losaria Harimate-McGruer said students handmade cards for "Whaea Jan" and wrote her letters to wish her well.

The speeches included messages from the school board, New Zealand Education Institute, Merivale Community Centre and surrounding schools. Later there was a sausage sizzle for the kids and an afternoon tea for the staff.


"The kids loved it. She had lots of her past colleagues here as well, and former students. It was awesome, a really good day," Harimate-McGruer said.

Tinetti, who was principal at the decile one school for more than 11 years, said the students - past and present - who sang and played music at the farewell did an amazing job.

She said she managed to hold herself together right up until the end, when the whole school took part in performing the Maunganui haka for her.

"The passion they put into that haka - that's when my tears started to flow."

While she was excited about the things to come and the opportunities she would have in Parliament, she said it was hard to think of there being an "end" to her time at Merivale.

Tinetti will be sworn in as an MP on Tuesday, along with Bay of Plenty-based Labour MP Angie Warren-Clark. Both were scheduled to give their maiden speeches in the house on November 16.