Toby Hunia by

Staff News

Kaiako Māori retires after seventeen years

Kaore te Kumara e Kōrero mō tōna reka

Waiho ma te tangata e mihi.

[A person should not talk about how well he has done.

Leave it to someone else to sing his praises.]

Toby Hunia has been a speaker of his native language since his early days, following in the traditions of his tupuna (grandparents) and matua (parents). After a number of years as a fully qualified panel beater, he responded to the call for speakers of Te Reo to train to become Te Reo Maori teachers and attended a one-year course at Aranui High School before studying at Christchurch Teachers’ College where he obtained his Diploma in Teaching. This was followed by his Te Hoaka Pounamu: Graduate Diploma in Te Reo Maori and Bi-Lingual & Immersion Teaching.

He taught at Riccarton HS for nearly two years before joining the Shirley BHS staff in 1998, developing the strength of the Maori Culture group, supervising many powhiri and haka celebrations.

Highlights of his time have been the official opening in March 2006 by Prime Minister Helen Clarke of the whare ‘Te Oraka’ where the whole school performed the School Haka. The whare had been built in the Waka Courtyard on what had been the school’s original soccer pitch. Carvings on the whare representing Ngai Tahu whakapapa were prepared by Master Carver George Edwards and included a kotuku – symbol of good fortune.

As Toby Hunia explains, ‘Ngai Tahu knew Oraka as a lagoon in the Shirley area and this was probably linked to Horseshoe Lake. It had been a traditional mahika kai or food gathering area.’

Another highlight has been the success of Maori students in external competitions:

Alan Rask won the Rawhiti Ihaka Trophy in the junior section of the Regional Nga Manu Korero-a-Rohe Competition in 2001 and took second place in the National Nga Manu Korero at Hopuhopu, Kirikiriroa (Hamilton). Alan also led our Kapa Haka group (joined with Avonside GHS and Mairehau HS under the name ‘Nga Pumanawa’ to first place in the regional Secondary Schools Kapa Haka Competition before being unceremoniously disqualified for having unregistered students in the group - a major disappointment.

Jordan Lee, Rangomai Hokianga, Kabe Harding, Teina Anderson, Hunia Marsh, Qeyloux Hakaria and Cheney Poole have all represented Shirely BHS in the Regional Nga Manu Korero-a-Rohe Competition.

A further highlight was Shirley BHS hosting of the Regional Nga Manu Korero-a-Rohe Competition with Marian College in June 2007.

Diane Burke

Diane started here in 2001 working as a teacher aide. When Christine Ritani, who ran the English Resource Room left in 2008, Dianne also assumed her responsibilities. ‘Lady Di’ as she affectionately became known discharged her duties with singular efficiency. She also has a gentle authority about her that helped ensure that teachers returned textbooks and her knowledge and expertise in the area of literacy has been appreciated by everyone she has worked with. Di has signalled an intention to work in the future as a marriage celebrant and we all wish her well in this next phase of her life. Di leaves the English Department as its longest serving member and will be remembered, I’m sure, for her caring and compassionate nature.

Anne Silverwood

Ms Anne Silverwood, formerly the International Director at Catholic Cathedral College, joined the Shirley BHS staff in 2004 as an assistant ESOL teacher working with five staff and some sixty fee-paying and permanent resident students. She also taught a Year 9 French class, and was appointed HOD ESOL in 2008. These were busy times since the School also hosted touring parties from Toho and Akaminami High Schools in Japan and from Buyeo and Munchang in South Korea.

In 2012, partly as a result of the earthquakes as well as the international financial turmoil, the numbers of fee-paying students declined. The following year, she ‘retired’ from full-time teaching to work with Mr Wright in the Shirley BHS Library while also teaching ESOL to several junior boys then returned to the ESOL Department in 2015 as a teacher and administrator.

We wish Ms Silverwood well in her retirement in 2016.

Emily Derham

Mrs Emily Derham, previously IT Services Co-ordinator at Global PC replaced Mrs Lorraine Pacey in Term 2 as the Gateway Co-ordinator. Emily is married to SBHS Old Boy Paul Derham who was a New Zealand Under-18 Hockey rep.  After being with us for six months Emily and her family have decided to make the move to Central Otago. We wish them all well in their next adventure.