150 years for St Joseph’s Māori Girls

Next year will mark the 150th anniversary of Hawke’s Bay’s St Josephs Māori Girls’ College. The school is unique in that it is the only specifically Catholic, Māori school for girls in the world.

The school has chosen Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori to launch their online pre-registration form for those who wish to attend the 150th jubilee celebrations on the 6-8 October 2017.

Established in 1867 by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Mission and the Māori Missioner, Fr Reigner SM started a little boarding school for Māori girls at first called St Joseph’s Providence, which was opened on 10 October with twenty pupils.

Advocating and supporting the Māori language has been at the forefront of the school since its inception. Today, the Māori language is compulsory at the school.

Although Māori is now a second language for many of the students, they continue to be supported to develop their language skills and are excelling.

Past pupils include the first president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, Dame Whina Cooper, and member of the Māori Language Commission, Dame Katerina Te Heikōkō Mataira.

The school community’s spirit of advocacy and support for the girls and their culture has enabled generations of young Māori women to thrive academically and take pride in their heritage.

St Joseph’s is the only remaining Māori girls’ boarding school in New Zealand.

The Presbyterian Turakina Maori Girl’s College closed at the beginning of this year, while the Anglican Queen Victoria School closed in 2001.


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News category: New Zealand.