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Old Ngunguru School PDF Print
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Articles - Heritage
Written by Lesley, Ko Tenei te Wahi / This is the Place   
Monday, 04 May 2009

Ngunguru School in 1970 (Crump residence in background)

According to the Ngunguru School Centennial booklet, two Maori chiefs, Paratene te Manu and Henare Te Moananui, were the beginning of Ngunguru School.

As known by every current pupil of Ngunguru School, in 1869 Paratene Te Manu, on behalf of the Te Waiariki and Ngatiwai people, gifted the property on which Ngunguru school stands for the education of both Maori and Pakeha children. The school was erected originally as a Church Missionary Society project in 1869. Teaching started a year later.

Paratene Te Manu was very interested in what went on in the classroom, and was often found sitting in on lessons. He apparently would finger and sort the beads on the counting frame, and trace words on the blackboard with his finger. Our local children have a lot to be grateful to him for.

In 1890 Ngunguru School was constituted a public school. Ngunguru was then a timber settlement, and progressed on to also exporting coal from Kiripaka. In the 1920s, when my Dad attended Ngunguru School with his brother and sisters, it was not uncommon to see a dozen or more scows in the river, picking up coal and timber.

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