Howick College opens new door to community

Principal Iva Ropati (left); director of Community Development Jennifer Roshan and the presiding member of the Howick College board, Roger Gribble.

Howick College has officially opened its newly completed and much-anticipated Community Development Office

The Kawanga whare, a formal pre-dawn ceremony to bless and open the new building, was led by tangata whenua, Te Kei o te waka o Tainui on Thursday.

Staff were joined by the Howick College board, senior leadership team and student leaders, along with representatives from the Howick Local Board and Kahui Ako Leaders for the Howick Coast and Waipaparoa, to celebrate the event.

Since its inception in 2018, the vision for the Community Development Office has been to continue to build and strengthen Howick College’s relationship with its wider community, Principal Iva Ropati said.

“When we established the Community Development Office, which subsequently led to the appointment of a team of dedicated staff, we had only one goal in mind – our mahi is to support the young people in our kura,” Ropati said.

A key focus for the Community Development Office is bridging the gap between the school and members of the community who have a vested interest and, since incorporating the International Department at the end of last year, that the vision now extends well beyond the front doorstep.

“Our aspiration is to reach out to our community both near and far, creating and maintaining positive connections with every individual in our wider school whanau, whether they be domestic or international, past or present, to bring them back to this land, that is Aotearoa, and back to this place, that is Howick College,” said Director of Community Development/International, Jennifer Roshan.

Roshan is excited about the future of the new office. “When the community sees the great things we do for our students, the differences we are making to our children’s lives, they will be motivated to support Howick College, in advocacy and in philanthropy, to enable the school to provide additional resources and a better environment that will enhance teaching and learning as we look toward the future,” Roshan said.