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Tipene reports on 2025 vision

Tipene | St Stephen’s school is now on track to reopen in 2025, with two new head teachers at its helm, and a Board focused on building aspirations and encouraging excellence in the historic Anglican school’s Māori-led educational environment.
• Couple look to extend their legacy in Māori education

Anglican Taonga News  |  20 Jun 2024  |

Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau, Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu shared exciting new developments at Tipene | St Stephen’s with General Synod this May, as he moved a motion to reappoint Board members for the Auckland Anglican Māori boy’s high school set to reopen next year.

Bishop Kito explained how for the 23 years since Tipene closed in 2001, Te Hīnota Whānui has heard reports about the school’s work to reset for its future, a future that next year will become a new day-to-day reality. 

“Today is a momentous day, because today we have a report which speaks about life now happening in the school, and from now on, every time you meet as the General Synod you will be hearing about the new life and hope we have reached as a Board and as a community.”

Newly appointed Tipene and Wikitoria principals Nathan Durie and Yvette McCausland shared the Board’s vision for the school with Synod, and explained how that vision of focusing on excellence and rigour, manaakitanga and aroha had already captured many parents’ attention. Since the Board announced its plans for St Stephen’s school to reopen in 2025 with an initial cohort of 30 students, they had already received applications for 120 students. 

Nathan Durie explained that how out of the 950K Māori that live in Aotearoa, only a small number suffer from the statistics that drive the negative views rangatahi Māori face in their educational paths. He believes young Māori represent an extraordinary pool of talent ready to be nurtured, to not only benefit their own lives, but also their people and the country as a whole.

“Why is it so significant to repeat that message of whanaunga who are in a pōhara (miserable) state... we should recognise the importance of forecasting the brilliant ability of our people, so that we can live in a world designed for all of us... (focusing on) their ability to be aspirational in their endeavours is something that we should continue to strive for.” 

He shared the aspirational message that Tipene will bring to their students. 

“High performance and learning is something that's really important – from a cultural perspective, from an academic perspective, and from a sports perspective.”

He also emphasised that the students will learn within the context of their Māoritanga and the school’s pou of wairuatanga shaped by its foundations in Te Hāhi Mihingare, which Tipene will privilege and acknowledge as being significant in their journey. 

Mr Durie spoke too about the need to provide spaces that support Māori boys, who too often get left on the periphery of education – even more so than their female peers.

“The voice of Māori boys is important, and education is crucial in that space – to ensure that our voice is educated, is wholesome and is valued.”

Mr Durie also spoke of sharing Tipene’s style of learning and living together with non-Māori boys. 

“Tipene is not designed for Māori only, it has always been open to the people of our whanaunga from the Pacific and to all of the races of this country. And I think we want to make that point really clear. But what we also recognize, is that what's good for Māori is good for everybody, because it's about being embraced, about being connected, about being collective.”

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