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Plans to Reopen Tipene to Take a Major Step Forward

Plans to Reopen Tipene to Take a Major Step Forward

While St Stephen’s School (Tipene) closed almost twenty years ago, the aim of reopening the school has never strayed far from minds of many Oldboy’s, Parents, and former teachers. On Auckland Anniversary Weekend, the St Stephen’s Oldboy’s Association will be making a major announcement at the biennial reunion event at Kokohinau Marae, Te Teko, on January 26, 2018.

Joe Harawira, the Chair of the Oldboy’s Association, highlights the fact that considerable work has been undertaken to explore both the logistics of re-opening and what the overall focus of the school should be. This has happened since the closing in the year 2000.

“We have conducted an incredible amount of research and are at the point where we can now actively explore options for reopening the school. We are aware too, that there is little enthusiasm for a school which is rooted in the past. In this regard, our desire is to create a new school, based on contemporary needs which is also able to drive successful educational outcomes for Māori boys”

Nathan Durie, a member of the re-opening committee has had considerable success in this respect in his role as Principal of the highly regarded MANUKURA in Palmerston North.

“We have decided to focus our efforts on Māori boys not simply because of Tipene’s history as a Māori boys school but because this is an area of education which is in the greatest need of development.

To say that Māori boys are failing in education is an understatement. We must invest, innovate, and ensure that the current trends of underachievement are not allowed to continue – a new Tipene will be a major step forward and a potential game changer”

Former All Black Dallas Seymour was Head Prefect at Tipene in the mid-1980s and reflects positively on his time at the school.

“When I attended Tipene, there was a constant buzz around the school. It was an environment where success and achievement was normalized, where you aspired to be the best you could, and where you were supported to realise your dreams. A new Tipene wont dwell on the past, but will certainly maintain these tenants of excellence and success”

“As the saying goes – the proof is in the pudding. You just need to look at the number of OldBoys who are leaders of industry and education, law and justice, health, and politics. That is, the cultural, religious, social, and economic fabric of New Zealand and abroad. ”

Oldboys of the school include Te Ururoa Flavell, Hone Harawira, and Shane Jones as well as educationalist Sir Hirini Moko Mead, Professor Graham Smith and Judge Craig Coxhead.

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