Te Āhuru Mōwai Opens on Mokoia Campus

Kharma Verity and Ngairo Baker unveil the new name for Rotorua School for Young Parents - Te Āhuru Mōwai.

Monday, 22 Feb 2021

Providing a safe haven for teenage parents and their babies is at the core of the Te Āhuru Mōwai. 

The Rotorua School for Young Parents officially opened its new premises at Rotorua’s Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and unveiled a new name, Te Āhuru Mōwai. 

Teacher in charge Anahera Katipa spoke at the opening and explained that the new name represented the safe space that the school offered young parents.

“Āhuru Mōwai is the birthing waters in the placenta and is a safe space for the baby. The school is the safe haven for the parent. We are their Āhuru Mōwai.”

The name was a result of “thoughtful community consultation” and was used last year as part of a clothing design project.  

Anahera says she is proud to be part of the school’s 20-year history and was grateful to now be established at the Toi Ohomai Mokoia Campus. 

She said the school had the support of like-minded services wrapped around it, which strived to provide support and guidance to the school and its students. 

“Everyone really cares about the future of these parents and their babies. 

“We are especially grateful to Toi Ohomai for embracing us. We have felt welcome here from the beginning. 

“Thanks also to the Ministry of Education for the refurbished buildings, our students really do deserve the best and we are looking forward to making this new space our own.” 

Rotorua School for Young Parents was established at Rotorua Girls High School (RGHS) 20 years ago but was most recently operating from a facility on Sunset Road, with RGHS remaining the parent school.  

The school is open to anyone under 20 who has a child in their care and wants to complete their secondary schooling, offering courses to gain them NCEA levels one to three.  

Toi Ohomai Executive Director Tiriti Partnerships Huia Haeta says the relocation of Te Āhuru Mōwai to the Institute’s Mokoia Campus is an exciting development and recognition of a valued and growing relationship. 

“We applaud the amazing work Te Āhuru Mōwai does and has done for more than 20 years, in supporting our young parents to complete their secondary education. 

“The stories of success shared at the opening by those involved with the kura were inspiring and a testament to their commitment and determination. Many of the students that graduate from Te Āhuru Mōwai pathway into Toi Ohomai programmes, so we see having the school on campus as strengthening our ability to respond to the needs and aspirations of our communities.”

She says the opening of Te Āhuru Mōwai is the culmination of months of hard work by many individuals and groups.

“We acknowledge their efforts to bring this kaupapa to fruition and wish our young people the best for a successful year.”

Former student Kharma Verity and new student Ngairo Baker were on hand to unveil the new name.

Kharma is currently in the third year of her teaching degree at Waikato University and Ngairo is starting with the School for Young Parents this year. 

"The School for Young Parents was really important to me," she says. 

“Whatever you need, they will help you get there. For me, they really helped me gain my independence.” 

Ngairo is excited to see where this year takes her. 

“I’m hoping to build my confidence and get some direction.”