Why are they changing?
As a school we did some research into the actions of Grey, Bledisloe, Marsden, Hobson and Carruth throughout history and some of these events included acts of deception, land loss, slavery, and death leading to a massive loss of Māori identity. Due to these names carrying these negative moments in history for the people of Aotearoa, the students and teachers feel that they no longer have a connection to who those individuals are. The current whānau names have served their time in history and will not be lost or forgotten. These names continue to be embedded in today’s society nationwide.
However, with the movement into the new school we believe it is now time to make a change to the WBHS Whānau names for the future. Names that are more representative of our current direction in supporting our students.
Why these names?
The new Whānau names have been chosen because they are reflective of the direction WBHS is moving to be more inclusive of Māori culture and also to positively influence the growth of our students. Visually the new school has been designed to include the cultural narrative of Whangārei. Mangopare, Poutama, Niho Taniwha, Unaunahi and Kaokao are common patterns used within whakairo, kowhaiwhai and raranga, and these patterns hold values and attributes that are universal to all members of WBHS and clearly link to the current school values. Their meanings encapsulate the development we desire for our students.
On arrival at WBHS, each boy is assigned to a whānau group. Within each Whānau there are up to twelve vertical form groups or classes, each with its own whānau teacher. A very hotly contested Inter-Whānau competition takes place throughout the year. Swimming, Athletics, Basketball, Indoor Hockey, 7-aside Rugby, Cross-country, Music, Speeches, Inter-whānau Quiz, Singing, Tennis, Haka and Academic endeavour all contribute to the overall points for each whānau.
Kaokao represents the shape of the arm when you embrace someone and the shape of the ribs. It symbolises protection.
The pattern represents the teeth of a taniwha symbolising strength, unity and resilence.
Unaunahi represents fish scales symbolising abundance of food, safety and health.
The Mangopare represents the hammerhead shark symbolising strength, agility and tenacity.
The poutama symbolises the atua climbing to the heavens to attain the baskets of knowledge. Symbolises growth and striving for improvement.