What to expect at the Whakatau

At the start of each term, our school holds a mihi whakatau, which is a traditional Māori welcome, which means to settle. This is our way of welcoming new students and staff, along with their families, into the te kura Onewhero, Red Beach School community. You are very welcome to bring extended family plus anyone who is important to your child as they begin their learning journey at kura/school. 

 What to expect at our whakatau:  

  • The manuhiri (visitors) will gather at the reception then someone will lead you into the whakatau.  
  • The manuhiri (visitors) will be led in by a Karanga, ceremonial call, at our whakatau. 
  • The tangata whenua (hosts) will be seated facing the manuhiri (visitors) to welcome you.  
  • A mihi (welcome speech) will be made by a representative of the school. Then the Kapa haka  and staff will stand and sing a waiata (song) to support the speaker’s message.  (There may be other speakers; a waiata will follow each speech. Kapa haka and Staff will sit down.)  
  • A representative from the manuhiri (visitors) will respond, then the group will stand and sing to support the speaker, a waiata. The group will sit down.   
  • The last speaker will then be from the school.    
  • Hariru – the hosts and new families involved will have the opportunity to shake hands, hongi (nose to nose), kiss, or do the 'Red Beach Wave'. 
  • Red Beach School will offer a simple morning tea or kai for parents to share.   Children will go back to class at this point.  This concludes the whakatau and signifies the coming together of the visitors and the Red Beach School community.