News Centre

New Staff and Students Welcomed and Opening Mass Celebrated via Livestream

Marina Jones

Our annual Sancta Maria College pōwhiri and Opening Mass were done differently this year!

Instead of the whole school being present, new staff and students were welcomed to the school through a reduced physical presence and via a Livestream video feed.

We were unable to give our new staff and students the typical warm Sancta Maria greeting due to Covid 19 Red Light limitations, but we successfully worked around them.

Only our Year 7 students and homeroom teachers, new students, new staff, head prefects and Kapa Haka were present at our pōwhiri, which was held outdoors in the C Block courtyard in the heart of our school.

The karanga, led by Kapa Haka leaders Aloyze Tafu and Marina Jones, kicked off the pōwhiri with a powerful sound. The Kapa Haka group and Mr Bacon led a stirring haka pōwhiri. This reverberated throughout the campus, uniting the students throughout classes.

Our new staff and students walked with pride before being presented with pepeha and remarks from Mr Bacon and Mr Rimamate as tangata whenua, followed by a waiata led by Kapa Haka and the Senior Leadership team. Mr. Adams, our new Sports Coordinator, replied on behalf of the new students and staff as manuwhiri by leading a waiata and sharing his pepeha.

Following the pōwhiri, two students from each homeroom, prefects, and senior leadership met in our school auditorium to celebrate the start of a new school year, while the rest of the students and staff celebrated via livestream from the comfort of their own classrooms. Father Kevin, our celebrant, was giving his final mass at Sancta Maria College, so it was a really poignant ceremony.

Mr Gibbs, Miss Maddison, Miss Oliver, and our prefects led the magnificent singing, which left a joyful impression on those who attended Mass. Father Kevin was joined by our Special Character deputy Head Girl, Lavinia Shaba during the homily, and they acted out a classic story highlighting the importance of our 2022 School Value, Aroha.

A haka led by Mr Bacon and Mr Rimamate, as well as a Kapa Haka, was performed at the close of the service to show our school’s gratitude and respect for Father Kevin.

A special thanks to our Kapa Haka group, prefects, Father Kevin, Mrs. Oliver, Mr. Gibbs, Senior leadership, Mr. Rimamate, Mr. Adams and all other students involved for making this a special and wonderful occasion.

To our new students and staff, we would once again like to welcome you to Sancta Maria College and wish all the best in your journey here.