By Marion Brinsley | Posted: Wednesday November 20, 2013
Kia orana! Talofa! Malo e lelei! Bonjour! Aloha! This group is open to all students with Pacifica heritage and interest. We have met regularly throughout the year to share in one anothers cultures and company.
In the first term we enjoyed a particular focus on Tonga with a presentation from Malakai Maamaloa and Nina Ahokovi. At the end of the term Kaitu Penaia returned to meet with us and share his journey of determination and commitment in his pathway to study Dentistry at Otago University. Kaitu was part of the inaugural Pacific Islands Student Community Group that also initiated the After School Homework Programme. In Term 2 Jarod Penaia, a past student, returned to speak to us about his career journey since leaving school, and in the 3rd term we went on a visit to the Pacific Island Centre at Otago University. At the PI Centre we enjoyed a generous lunch, met many PI students from all over NZ who are now studying at Otago Uni and learned about their pathway to university, the degrees they are studying and their aspirations for the future. After that we went to visit Hocken Library and discovered not only how we could access the Library’s resources for research and visit it for exhibitions but we also got to explore behind the scenes and the tremendous work that goes on in acquiring, compiling and caring for our NZ history. A huge thank you to the Otago University’s Pacific Island Centre for this enjoyable and valuable experience.
We have also continued to work with our Maori Student ohana (whanau) to develop ideas and initiatives in the school such as our Homework Club and Year 9 Mentor Programme. We are also delighted in the return of Pacific Island Performing Arts with the PI Pearls.