In 2021 Tauranga Girls’ College sees the start of a new era. A change in the house structure was seen as the ideal opportunity to revisit our current house names, and decide who or what now inspires our young wahine. All students and staff were encouraged to bring forth their ideas and the whole kura voted.
An amazing array of different house suggestions were submitted and we were all excited to learn that Mahnoor Qadri and Annabel Robinson had the winning submission. Mahnoor and Annabel explain why they entered and how they chose their winning houses.
“Our inspiration for entering the competition was that we wanted to see the diversity of our school, and our school’s identity better reflected within the houses here. We wanted TGC’s students to be able to identify with the houses, be inspired by them, strengthen house spirit, and encourage our students to be the best that they can be. We wanted the qualities of our house patrons to be qualities that we would hope TGC students aim to reflect, it was also important to keep Batten and Mansfield to not only acknowledge what these amazing women did in their fields but also to keep hold of a part of TGC history”
The TGC Houses for 2021 are:
Katherine Mansfield: an influential modernist New Zealand author in the early 20th century. Many of her most significant works were produced in the last years of her life, while battling tuberculosis. She spent time in her young adulthood travelling and living amongst a variety of people from all backgrounds, learning from her experiences and taking inspiration from lives different from her own. This included spending time in the Ureweras in 1907, with local iwi. To hold on to a piece of TGC tradition and history, we chose not only to keep Mansfield as a house, but it will also remain our Yellow house.
Jean Batten: born here in the Bay of Plenty in 1909, famous for her extraordinary talents in aviation. Batten made several record-breaking solo flights across the world, and became an international heroine. She was often referred to as ‘Rotorua’s daughter' and in the 1930’s the then chief of Te Arawa, Mita Taupopoki, presented her with a cloak and declared her Hine o te Rangi - Daughter of the Skies. She was known for her determination, and resourcefulness, and used these qualities to follow her ambitions in a male dominated profession. She always maintained an element of glamour and was nicknamed ‘the Garbo of the skies”, Batten actually visited Tauranga Girls’ College in the 1950s. She inspired generations of women who desired to chase their dreams. Batten house will be Blue.
Kate Sheppard: was a prominent member of the New Zealand suffrage movement. Passionate about learning, she is known for her extensive knowledge on the arts, sciences and Law. Sheppard was an advocate for the welfare of women and children, and she led a determined campaign to ensure all women of New Zealand gained the right to vote. She inspired thousands of women all over the world to join in this fight and in 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. Sheppard house will be Purple.
Whina Cooper of Te Rārawa: became a national symbol for land rights and social justice for Māori. She was a passionate kuia, who was given the title Te Whaea o te Motu or "Mother of the Nation" for her widespread influence. Whina was the foundation president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, and dedicated her life to racial harmony. In 1975 Whina Cooper led a hikoi of 5000 protestors from Northland all the way down to Parliament in Wellington, which spanned 1000km, when she was 79 years old too! Whina house will be Green.
Te Auetu Harata Hall of Ngāti Ranginui: born at Huria Marae in the 1850s. Having strong family links to the land that TGC now stands on, she would display great bravery as she accompanied her mother Matatu to Pukehinahina to aid dying soldiers, in the wake of the battle in 1864. We continue to learn about the story of this compassionate young wāhine whose descendants have attended Tauranga Girls’ College, and still do today. We look forward to sharing more with you in the future, as we work with family and iwi, to gain an insight into her life. Te Auetu house will be Red.