A music video featuring Rotorua school students is proving an internet hit with more than 160,000 people viewing it online.

The official video for the song, Rotorua a great place to learn, was released on October 12 by its creators, Nga Pumanawa e Waru, a Rotorua education trust that is tasked with increasing student learning opportunities.

Since then, it has had nearly 9000 views on YouTube. A video of lead singers from Rotorua Boys' High School performing the song at their inter-house competition has attracted more than 110,000 views on Facebook and a video on Facebook of champion kapa haka group Raukura from Rotorua Boys' High School and Rotorua Girls' High School has attracted 44,000 views.

The video features 12 schools and shows off Rotorua's education opportunities.


Written by the trust's community engagement facilitator Russell Harrison, the song is sung by Rotorua Boys' High School students Rehua Selwyn, Kihoro Hohepa, Te Hae Clayton and Arapeta Paea, with support from the other schools.

Mr Harrison spent 12 weeks teaching the song to students at each of the 12 schools that responded to the invitation to be involved.

Segments were filmed at each school and the video was put together professionally and launched on YouTube.

Nga Pumanawa e Waru director of engagement Mercia Dawn-Yates said the song was written to capture many key principles that led to Rotorua being a great place to learn.

"We have great schools here and are noticing a collective change, shifting from an entrenched 'Tomorrow's Schools' model, which was competitive to a more collaborative one that sees the learner's community of schools working together.

"We also have a high Maori learner population that is evident in our Rotorua schools, with some of our mainstream schools' rolls being over 90 per cent Maori. We also wanted to express the importance of this journey being inclusive of our learners, their parents, whanau, hapu, iwi and community. Parent and whanau involvement in their children's learning is the key to long-lived learner engagement and retention at school."

She said it had been pleasing to see how the song had taken off among the schools and their whanau and friends.

"We've already had schools take on the waiata and integrate it as part of their inter-house choral competition, which is where we managed to find the extraordinary talent of the young men who are the lead vocals."


She said the power of social media had largely been responsible for the immediate attraction that hit when the official video was posted on YouTube.

"This is a waiata for all of our community and one that will hopefully resonate with everyone who is proud to be from our beautiful city and home of Rotorua. We hope you enjoy it."