A new dawn
June 22 was a day many in Te Tauihu will never forget. Under starry skies about 250 people gathered at dawn to welcome Te Pā Wānanga into the light. The new kaupapa Māori school unit based at Blenheim’s Omaka Marae has been championed by Marae General Manager and Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Cultural Advisor Kiley Nepia and his wife Donna since 2013. With representatives from iwi right across Te Waipounamu as well as local and central government representatives, rangatahi and some very proud parents there to support them, a shared dream was realised. "This is a significant and historic day," said Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Trust chairman Brendon Wilson. "This is a vision that has long been held, and it's a credit to the tenacity of Kiley (Nepia) and his family that we are standing here today. Finally, our tamariki can be educated within a Māori context.” Classes are due to begin in Term 4.