At Aquinas, we focus on building whanaungatanga — a sense of belonging — for all students.
The embedding of Mātauranga Māori — Māori knowledge — including traditions, values, concepts, philosophies, world views and understandings, is a priority at Aquinas College. The taonga that is our college whare, Te Taumata, is used by all of our students and staff in various ways.
Our kapa haka rōpu continues to develop and work towards their aspirations of competing at a regional level. House waiata and haka competitions are other opportunities for students to support Te Ao Māori kaupapa. The whole school celebrates Matariki and Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori. Ngā Manu Kōrero speech competitions celebrate and promote the use of Te Reo Māori and Kaupapa Māori.
Aquinas is committed to celebrating the language, culture and identity of our Pasifika students.
We embrace Pasifika Language Weeks as an opportunity to expose all students to the richness of Pasifika culture. Activities and competitions are held to learn about each language. Our Cook Island Language Week included carving and coconut husking demonstrations from a master carver and lessons on preparing Cook Island cuisine.
Pasifika students at Aquinas have participated in the IBA AIGA programme run by the BOP Youth Development Trust. It gives Pasifika rangatahi the chance to celebrate their culture, meet educational and personal goals, and get fit at the same time. Students spend time with inspirational Pasifika mentors, which last year included local artist Mr G. He shared his life story with students, including his struggles and strategies to overcome them and achieve his goals.
There are also numerous opportunities throughout the year to participate and explore future pathway options like the Pasifika aviation expo and the Pasifika speech competition.
Our Pasifika traditions and languages are often celebrated at Mass.