Hero photograph
Photo by Matt White

Celebrating Pasifika Success

Matt White —

Our Pasifika community gathered together to celebrate Pasifika culture, language and our students' achievements at our annual Fiafia night on December 1st. Mr White's farewell speech follows:

Tēnā koutou, talofa lava, ni sa bula vinaka, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, kia orana and warm pasifika greetings

The greatest band in the world S Club 7 sing 'There ain’t no party like a S Club Party' but we know there ain’t no party like a Pasifika party. No one comes together to celebrate better than you do and no one supports each other better than you do whether it be 123 spike, Polyfest or preparing for tonight’s celebration. 

Remember to be loud and proud as you are all unique and beautiful people whose collective spirit and support of each other is a lesson that the rest of the world could learn from. Being involved with our Pasifika community, especially Polyfest has been a highlight of my teaching career but seeing you welcome and supporting each other is more important.

It has been a privilege and absolute pleasure to work with you. Thank you to the Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership team for including Pasifika culture as a priority, the staff for their pastoral and academic support, Mrs Julie Kleinpaste for her mahi making events like tonight a success and our wider community UC, Ara, SPACPAC, Te Ora Hou. MOE and many more for their ongoing support.

Te maata i taau ka oronga ko te maata rai ia i taau ka rauka.

The more you give the more you receive. If you give a lot you will receive a lot.

Waimairi-iri Burnside is a special place. The harder you work in class and the more you give to the school the more you will receive and the greater the school will be too.

The Pasifika achievement and service awards:

Our top Pasifika Achievement students are Melody Ripley and Emily Smith.

Melody has gained L1 NCEA at Excellence, L2 NCEA at merit and this year has already gained L3 NCEA at merit with 18 merit and 33 excellence credits and a total 102 credits prior to external exams. She is also a Pasifika leader, a Year 9 student support leader, a member of our Polyfest group, a passionate sports person including being the NZ Junior Disc Golf champion.

Emily has achieved L1 and L2 NCEA at Excellence and has achieved 8 merit and 39 excellence credits this far. Emily is passionate about volleyball and netball, being a representative for Canterbury in both as well as the New Zealand youth volleyball team in 2018. She was a Year 10 prefect in 2020. Emily has been awarded the Pacifica Peoples Scholarship for Otago University.

The Contribution to the Pasifika Community award goes to a student who has been a Pasifika leader for the past two years, has been a member of our Polyfest group for three years and a key person in encouraging more students especially males to join, he has balanced his commitments at Ara and school to have also gained 102 L3 credits this year and is best known for his support of younger students at school and in the community. The contribution to the Pasifika community goes to Laiman Tuilagi.