A fresh start

31 Jan 2020

Good traditions, well maintained. The tradition of the mihi whakatau, with its karanga, haka, whaikōrero, waiata, karakia and hongi, is a wonderful way to celebrate the coming together of our whole school community and mark the start of the new year.

Warm and welcoming, kaikaranga Tihi Puanaki called the manuhiri – our new staff and students – to the Quad. A resounding haka rang out as the guests assembled and Bishop Richard Wallace stepped forward to deliver a whaikōrero on behalf of the manu whenua, before the school sang “Ka Waiata”.

Dr Mike Field responded and the new students and staff sang “Te Aroha”, then Executive Principal Garth Wynne welcomed them to the College community. “We’re so happy that you have chosen us, and we hope College will be a source of inspiration for you.”

After the waiata “He Honore”, Rev. Bosco Peters said a karakia to conclude the ceremony. Representatives of both groups came together to hongi, a symbol of unity as the two groups merge and become whānau, while the Chapel Choir sang “Whakamanawa Ki Te Atua”.

Everyone then moved to the Assembly Hall for the first Chapel service of 2020. Bosco chose the theme of repentance for his address, the process of reviewing your actions, accompanied by a commitment to change for the better. “The word ‘repent’ is about changing your mind, changing your heart, making a fresh start – and it’s the perfect way to start our new school year together.”

Whether new to College or back for more, Bosco reminded everyone to think about their place in and how they can influence our community. “We are part of Christ’s College, part of Christ’s whanau, we have accepted the call ... [and] we need to take ownership of our own behaviour and do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.”

At the conclusion of the service the congregation shared some kai in the Dining Hall, before heading to their classrooms to begin the serious but inspiring work of teaching and learning.