Te Aute College

Te Aute College (Māori: Te Kura o Te Aute) is a school in the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand. It opened in 1854 with twelve pupils under Samuel Williams, an Anglican missionary, and nephew and son-in-law of Bishop William Williams. It has a strong Māori character.

Te Aute College
Te-Aute-College-Logo.png
Address
100 State Highway 2


4142

New Zealand
Coordinates39°49′38″S 176°38′04″E / 39.8273°S 176.6345°E / -39.8273; 176.6345Coordinates: 39°49′38″S 176°38′04″E / 39.8273°S 176.6345°E / -39.8273; 176.6345
Information
TypeState Integrated, Boys, Secondary
MottoWhakatangata Kia Kaha
Quit ye like men – be strong
Established1854
Ministry of Education Institution no.232
PrincipalShane Hiha
School roll86[2] (March 2021)
Socio-economic decile3G[1]
Websitewww.teaute.maori.nz

It was built on land provided by Ngai Te Whatuiapiti, a hapū of the Ngāti Kahungunu iwi. In 1857, a Deed of Gift transferred the land from Te Whatuiapiti to the Crown, with a request that it be granted to the Bishop of New Zealand and his successors.

HistoryEdit

EstablishmentEdit

Te Aute is situated within a valley of significant strategic importance to local hapū. The nearby Roto-a-Tara had been the key stronghold for Te Whatuiapiti during the Musket Wars, and was still a key settlement during the 1850s. From as early as 1840 the Anglican Bishop William Williams had established a mission station at Gisborne and was proselytizing actively among the East Coast tribes, and William Colenso had established a mission in Napier. Plans to establish a school for the local hapū were in motion from as early as 1851, when large blocks of Māori land in the region were acquired by the Crown. Then, when Colenso was dismissed from his mission in 1851, Williams' nephew Samuel Williams took up residence in the region, and began advancing the plan to establish a school. He met with Te Whatuiapiti representatives at Roto-a-Tara on 17 April 1853, accompanied by the Governor Sir George Grey, who provided the Crown's backing for the plan.[3] An agreement was made at that meeting for a school to be established at Te Aute, with the crown supplying 4000 acres of land and Te Whatuiapiti hapū gifting an additional 3397 acres. In recent decades, the original acquisition of the Crown's portion of land gifted for the school has been the subject of a Waitangi Tribunal claim, which is presently in the settlement process.[4]

Early historyEdit

After only five years in operation, a fire destroyed much of the college and forced its closure in 1859. Samuel Williams began fundraising for the reconstruction of the college, accumulating £700 by 1870 – in part thanks to financial assistance from an aunt, Catherine Heathcote.[5] Rebuilding began in 1871 and was completed in 1872.[6] The college was reopened in 1872 under John Reynolds as headmaster.[7][8] It began to grow steadily, with 24 Māori and 3 English boarders in attendance by 1874, and some day pupils.[6]

 
Te Aute College Chapel, designed by Charles Natusch

The college chapel was constructed in 1900, in a design by architect Charles Natusch.[9]

Between 1878 and 1912 Te Aute was led by headmaster John Thornton, who implemented a curriculum developed along the lines of an English grammar school. In 1883 the college was visited by James Henry Pope, the government-appointed inspector of native schools, and received praise for Thornton's curriculum. Pope described the standards reached at Te Aute in mathematics and science as 'equal to those of any secondary school in the country.'[10]

I tried from the very first to raise the standard of the school, and … conceived the idea of preparing Maori boys for the matriculation examination of the New Zealand University ... I saw that the time would come when the Maoris would wish to have their own doctors, their own lawyers, and their own clergymen, and I felt it was only just to the race to provide facilities for their doing so.

— John Thornton, Headmaster (1878–1912)[11]

By 1900 Te Aute was renowned for high academic standards and had become pre-eminent among Māori boarding colleges, as it was sending several boys onto university each year.

20th centuryEdit

In 1906 a Royal Commission of Inquiry was established to investigate the effectiveness of teaching at Te Aute and other Māori boarding colleges. George Hogben, the newly appointed inspector of native schools, recommended that the college discontinue instruction in Latin, euclidean geometry, and algebra, and increase agricultural and manual instruction. His view was that the most academically able students could be sent to ordinary secondary schools, and he predicted that eventually Te Aute would have no role to play in preparing boys for university.[11][12][13] Thornton defended the existing academic curriculum, arguing that Māori opinion favoured academic instruction and that Māori parents relied on Te Aute for academic rather than vocational education.[11] Ultimately the commission recommended that greater emphasis be placed on manual and technical instruction in agriculture, and the college's trustees complied under pressure from the Department of Education.[11] In the following years the college's attempted pivot toward vocational instruction began alienating academically gifted students, notably Golan Maaka. In 1922, Maaka became disillusioned with the heavy focus on agricultural instruction and the lack of Māori cultural studies at the college. He left Te Aute as a result and completed his schooling in Dannevirke instead.[14]

In 1918 the college was damaged significantly by fire again. This coincided with the impact of the 1918 influenza epidemic, ultimately forcing the college to close temporarily. Reconstruction planning began immediately, with college trustees opting for more modern brick buildings. While construction planning continued, the college reopened in 1919 under a new headmaster E. G. Loten. Loten was a proponent of agricultural education, and satisfied the Department of Education's wish for an agriculturally intensive curriculum.[15] On 9 September 1922 the foundation stone of the first new brick facility was laid by Churchill Julius, the Archbishop of New Zealand. It was named The Julius Wing and was opened in April 1923. Later that year, the foundation stone of the second brick facility was laid by the Governor General, The Viscount Jellicoe, and the building was named The Jellicoe Wing. The third and final brick facility was the largest – it contained the college library, its assembly hall and its administration offices – and was named after Governor General Sir Charles Fergusson, who laid its foundation stone in 1926 and officially opened it in 1927.[16]

On 3 February 1931, the college was severely damaged by the Hawke's Bay earthquake. No lives were lost, but the top storey of the Jellicoe and Julius wings were levelled, and the tower atop the Fergusson block collapsed. The buildings were repaired and reinforced, but the cost of £7,769 placed an enormous financial burden on the college.

On 27 November 1986, the house of Allen Williams was recognised as a Category I heritage building by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Williams was a nephew of Samuel Williams, and the house – known as The Cottage – is the last remaining residential building from the time of the college's foundation.[17]

In 1992 Hukarere Girls' College was closed, and many of its students were permitted to board at Te Aute instead. As a result, the college became co-educational, but later reverted to a boys' school when Hukarere was reopened in 1993.

Young Māori PartyEdit

 
Te Aute College playing school rugby in New Plymouth against New Plymouth Boys' High School in 1968

The Young Māori Party established in 1902, which was dedicated to improving the position of Māori, grew out of the Te Aute Students Association, started by former students of the college in 1897.[18] Old boys of Te Aute who were associated with the Young Māori Party include Rēweti Kōhere, Āpirana Ngata, Te Rangi Hīroa, Paraire Tomoana and Māui Pōmare.

GovernanceEdit

HeadmastersEdit

  • The Reverend Samuel Williams (1854–1859)[5]
  • John Reynolds (1872–1878)
  • John Thornton (1878–1912)
  • The Reverend J. A. McNickle (1912–1919)
  • E. G. Loten (1919–1950)
  • Richard Webb (1951–1966)
  • Noel Vickridge (1966–1973)
  • The Reverend Phillip Cherrington (1974–1976)
  • Awi Riddell (1977–1989)
  • Ngāhiwi Tangaere (1989–1994)
  • Brian Morris (1995)
  • Darrell Waiti (1996–2001)
  • Lennie Johns (2002–2003)
  • Wikitoria Osborne (acting) (2003–2004)
  • Tom Ratima (2004)
  • Tauira Takurua (2005–2008)
  • Darrell Waiti (2008)
  • Pripi McRoberts Blake (2009–2013)
  • Shane Hiha (2013–present)

FundingEdit

In 1973, the college was again hit by financial difficulties, but a direct appeal for assistance to the Prime Minister, Norman Kirk, secured Te Aute's future. In 1977 an agreement between Te Aute Trust Board and the Government resulted in Te Aute becoming a State Integrated School.

ScholarshipsEdit

Several scholarship funds have been set up since the college's establishment. In October 1877, Sir Douglas Maclean set up the Te Makarini Trust with an initial endowment of £3,000, which still provides annual scholarships to gifted students.[19] The fund was established in memory of Sir Donald McLean, an influential figure in Māori-settler relations in the mid-1800s and a prominent Hawke's Bay magistrate. In 1908, a legacy of £1,000 from the late Sir Walter Buller was gifted to the Te Aute Trustees for investment, the proceeds of which provided for a scholarship for many of the college's students over the following decades.[19]

Notable alumniEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  2. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  3. ^ Graham, J.P.H (2009). "Ngai Te Whatuiapiti and Mana Whenua". An examination of the contribution of Te Aute College to Māori Advancement (PDF) (PhD). Massey University. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  4. ^ Graham, J.P.H (2009). "Ngai Te Whatuiapiti and Mana Whenua". An examination of the contribution of Te Aute College to Māori Advancement (PDF) (PhD). Massey University. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Raising the Bar – Samuel Williams and Maori Education" (PDF). New Zealand Church Missionary Society. 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b Williams, William (1974). The Turanga Journals, 1840–1850. F. Porter (Ed) Wellington. p. 604.
  7. ^ Harvey-Williams, Nevil (March 2011). "The Williams Family in the 18th and 19th Centuries – Part 3". Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  8. ^ Woods, Sybil M. (1981). Samuel Williams of Te Aute. Pegasus Press.
  9. ^ Natusch, Guy Kingdon. "Natusch, Charles Tilleard". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  10. ^ Renwick, William. "Pope, James Henry". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d Barrington, John. "Thornton, John". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  12. ^ Roth, Herbert. "Hogben, George". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  13. ^ Jessica Hutchings and Jenny Lee-Morgan (editors) (2016). "Chapter 1, Reclaiming Māori education, by Ranginui Walker" (PDF). Decolonisation in Aotearoa: Education, research and practice. NZCER Press. ISBN 978-0-947509-17-0.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Graham, J.P.H (2009). "Loten comes to Te Aute College". An examination of the contribution of Te Aute College to Māori Advancement (PDF) (PhD). Massey University. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  15. ^ Graham, J.P.H (2009). "Loten comes to Te Aute College". An examination of the contribution of Te Aute College to Māori Advancement (PDF) (PhD). Massey University. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  16. ^ Graham, J.P.H (2009). "Rebuilding Te Aute College". An examination of the contribution of Te Aute College to Māori Advancement (PDF) (PhD). Massey University. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  17. ^ "The Cottage". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  18. ^ "Te Aute College – significant dates in the history of the school" (PDF). Te Aute College. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  19. ^ a b Ward, Alan. "McLean, Donald". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Peina Taituha – New Zealand". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  21. ^ Haami, Bradford. "Golan Haberfield Maaka". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  22. ^ Solomon Encyclopaedia