The atmosphere at events and sports matches at Rotorua Boys' High School will go to a new level thanks to terraces unveiled today.
The terraces replace the old stands, which were no longer fit for purpose, and can fit about 1,000 people.
As well as serving a functional purpose, the terraces are rich with the mana and whakapapa of all the young men who have been and will go to the school.
The terraces themselves represent young men climbing to the highest levels of knowledge while at Raukura, in preparation for their journey in the world.
A carved archway at the top, by master carver and Raukura old boy Robert Rika, pays tribute to Te Arawa's descendants and legends, past and future.
The terraces were unveiled in a ceremony held this morning and Rotorua Boys' High School principal Chris Grinter said it was a special moment.
"It's always great when a long-term project comes to fruition," he said.
"It's a special day for this school and a place that I know the school will use in a wide range of ways to honour special events."
While the terraces face the school's main rugby pitch, where the first XV play home games, it will be used for much more than viewing sport, Grinter said.
"One of the real drivers for this project was the fact that we can only get half our school into the assembly hall. So we look at this new venue as a place, albeit on a fine day, where we can get the whole school together."
Grinter said two to three years ago the school became aware that the old grandstand had structural issues.
"We looked at what we could do about it. That field seated area is important for a number of school events throughout the year.
"It evolved from that. I turned to an old boy in Mark Bishop (of Bishop Architecture) and asked what he could design that would fit 1,000 students."
Bishop designed the terraces alongside Rika and Rotorua's C H Builders, which employ a number of Raukura old boys, got to work on the construction.
Grinter said it was important for the venue to have meaning.
"We have a number of areas around the school with significant narratives. We're building those narratives because we think that's the way we make school more relevant and engaging for our young men."
The story of the terraces
Ngā Pae a Kahukura
Ko ngā tūāpapa nei he mea mau i ngā kōrero tuku iho e hāngai ana ki a Te Arawa.
Ko 'Kahukura' tētahi Atua o te mātauranga, ā, ko 'Ngā Pae' ērā ka pikitia kia tae ki te karamatamatatanga o ngā taumata.
Ki te whenumi i ērā whakamahuki, ko te tikanga o te ingoa nei he tīaroaro ki ngā tamatāne o Raukura i a rātou i konei, kei te ngana ki te piki ki ngā taumata ikeike o te mātauranga.
Ka mutu, ko aua mātauranga ka āwhina i ā tātou Tāne Raukura, i a ia ka puta ki te ao.
Ko Rangitihi, kei te taha mauī, nāna ka puta ko Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru o Te Arawa, ā, e mau nā i a ia ko ngā hononga o Te Arawa.
A Ihenga, kei te taha matau, he kaitaunahanaha whenua, nāna ngā ingoa whenua maha i tapa.
He tohu ia mō te āhuatanga o te tokomaha ka tae mai ki tēnei kura, he rāwaho, arā, nō waho atu o Te Arawa rohe, nō tāwāhi rānei.
Ko te tekoteko kei te tihi, ko Hātūpatu.
He pākiki, he whakangārahu, he pakepake, he whakaohooho tāna mahi. A Kurangaituku, kei raro iho, he haurua wahine, he haurua manu.
Ko ngā maihi ōna parirau. E mōhiotia whānuitia ana ngā kōrero mō te hopukanga a Hātūpatu e Kurangaituku, waihoki, te oraititanga a Hātūpatu i a Kurangaituku.
Ko te poutama kei ngā arapiki, ka whakaatu i te kakenga o ngā ākonga ki ōna taumata, ā, kei ngā maihi ko te rauru, he whakamānawa ki te inamata engari he titiro hoki ki te anamata.
These terraces capture rich kōrero tuku iho that pertains to Te Arawa.
'Kahukura' is a deity associated with knowledge and 'Ngā Pae' refers to the levels in reaching the pinnacle.
This meaning aligns with the analogy of our young men climbing to the highest levels of knowledge while here at Raukura, in preparation for their journey in the world.
Rangitihi, located to the left, from whom came Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru o Te Arawa, captures the connection to those of Te Arawa descent while Ihenga, located to the right, is an explorer who traversed the land and named many signicant places in Te Arawa and beyond, representing those who have come from areas throughout Aotearoa and beyond.
The tekoteko at the apex of the terraces is a representation of Hātūpatu. He was inquisitive, strategic, persistent and motivated.
Kurangaituku, half woman and half bird, is just beneath him, with her wings represented in the maihi. Hātūpatu was captured by Kurangaituku before his narrow escape.
The poutama design in the stairs depict the steps taken to get to the summit whilst the maihi with the rauru design pays homage to the past but looks to the future.
Nāku, nā Robert Rika (RBHS 1988 - 1991).