Hear Our Story
Our history tells us that originally our school was the home of a local chieftain and his wife – Te Hine Awhinanui. She was known everywhere for her hospitality and her great courage and strength when looking after the people who were brought to her. There were gardens of kumara, which she also made. Ferns were planted in a clearing where the school is now built. The garden was on a slope that faced north, the sun warmed the ground in the spring and summer. The gardens ensured there was always food through the winter, and there were kumara storage pits, always with plenty of food for all the people Te Hine Awhinanui cared for.
A large wharenui was built where the school gate now is. It was long and wide with a paepae where the people could warm themselves after bathing in Te Awa Iti, the stream.
The wharenui was large for all the people to sleep in. Because the meeting house was large and wide it was called Maraeroa to signify the place where many people came to stay and to be healed by Te Hine Awhinanui.
Over time the bush was cut down and the stream became polluted. Te Hine Awhinanui left and all her family began to live at Taupo, now called Plimmerton.
The story about Te Awhinanui and Maraeroa was not forgotten, and when the government arranged for houses to be built at Cannons Creek a group of wise people decided to build a new meeting house and call it Maraeroa in honour of Te Hine Awhinanui.
We try to make sure all the people in the school are cared for and that the manaakitanga is strong for all the people in our neighbourhood, and for any strangers who gather here.
The story of Te Hine Awhinanui was learnt from Ngati Toa, and told by Mr Matenga Baker an Ariki of Ngati Raukawa.