Atawhai lies at the heart of the Sacred Heart community. Originally bought by the Sisters of the Mission, this old villa was completely remodelled in 2006 and opened at a dawn ceremony on Waitangi Day 2007. It is our whare runanga and a place of mana and wairua.
Atawhai is rich in meaning. The carvings on the entrance symbolise mana wahine. The top carving is called Mareikura - an angel of noble standing. The carving on the left side is called Hinepurotu (Our Lady) representing Te Whakapono (Faith), Te Tumanako (Hope), Te Rangimarie (Peace). The carving on the right side is called Hineraukatauri, another angel of status known for her beautiful singing voice. The tohunga whakairo (expert carver) was Riki Manuel of Ngati Porou.
Students often come to Atawhai for its friendly and warm atmosphere. Atawhai houses Te Reo Maori classes and is sometimes used for Kapa Haka practices. Maori Achieve meetings are held at Atawhai with different groups of students involved each term. The kitchen is often used for preparing shared lunches for manuhiri (visitors) and Religious Studies department meetings.
Ko te reo Maori te poutokomanawa o te Maoritanga. Ko Atawhai te whare hiki i te ihi, te mana me te wairua mo nga akonga Maori me nga akonga katoa.
Sacred Heart College is committed to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and to our bicultural heritage. Tawai Frost is our kuia and teacher of Te Reo Maori. She has served the school since 1995 and her wisdom is greatly appreciated.
Nau mai haere mai koutou katoa ki te whare nei. He whare ahi kaa.
Blessing of Atawhai by Archbishop John Dew
Waitangi Day, 2007