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Te Waka


Te Waka is a unique, educational, life skills programme, which provides Year 10 students with an overarching focus and purpose.

The programme brings together strands that already exist at the College – The Duke of Edinburgh Award, Health Education, Outdoor Education and Tikanga Māori – with a powerful life skills programme known as The Rite Journey.

Te Waka is an enriching experience, which exposes students to new experiences and situations, and encourages them to grow, discover who they are, and who they can be.

We have exceptional staff trained in delivering the Te Waka programme at its highest level. Full engagement and participation of the programme is expected so students can fulfil the requirements to achieve their Te Waka badge.

Students have described our Te Waka programme as empowering, stimulating and transformational. Parents of Year 10 students frequently comment on the significant growth their child experiences during this time.

The Rite Journey

This programme reinvents the traditional process of a rite of passage to assist in transforming adolescents from dependency to responsibility. It is designed to link the hearts and minds of our Year 10 students with ‘Rites of Passage’ ceremonies, class discussion and self-reflection. With increasing pressure from media, technology, changing family dynamics and questionable role models, the transition from child to young adult isn’t always smooth. Lack of self-esteem and the inability to cope with increasing demands makes it a confusing time. Often students aren’t aware why they are struggling and may lack the skills to navigate through this period.

"The Rite Journey is designed to link the hearts and minds of our Year 10 students with rites of passage ceremonies, class discussion and self-reflection".
Te Waka Programme co-lead

Welcoming a New Age

The dawn service, or Calling Ceremony, is one of the first events of the programme. The special ceremony begins at 5.30am with the raising of the College flag and a solo piper as the entire Year 10 group of students farewell their childhood, and begin their journey into adolescence.

Another event the students celebrate is the Departure Ceremony. The essence of this ceremony is for staff to receive the parents’ blessing to support and work with their child throughout the year. The ceremony also involves the sharing of special childhood memories and provides an opportunity for the students to thank their parents for all that they have done for them.

The Te Waka programme is designed to link the hearts and minds of Year 10 students with rites of passage ceremonies, class discussion and self-reflection. It reinvents the traditional processes of rites of passage to assist in transforming the adolescent from dependency to responsibility.