Tēnā Koutou e te whanau

Te Paepae o Aotea will be a school of approximately 1100 students opening at the start of the 2023 school year. We are a co-educational state school catering for students for Year 7-15. Te Paepae o Aotea was formed in response to the closure of Hāwera High School and Hāwera Intermediate at the end of the 2022 school year.

Our school name, Te Paepae o Aotea, was gifted to us by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui and Te Korowai o Ngāruahine. Alongside our name we were also gifted a whakatauākī and logo. There are two major components to our name, Paepae and Aotea and the condensed meaning is as follows: We are all on the learning journey of Aotea, as the people of South Taranaki, realising our full potential. 

Our whakatauākī: ‘Kia eke atu ki Taupaenui o te tangata’ challenges us to instill in our students the tools to help them achieve their full potential, in the pursuits they and their whānau deem important.

Our cultural narrative is the foundation that we use to unpack elements of Mātauranga Māori. Te Ao Māori is prioritised across the curriculum.

Our eight Guiding Principles are interwoven into the teaching and learning at Te Paepae o Aotea; Culturally Inclusive; Personalised Learning Journey; Social, Physical and Emotional Curriculum; Authentic Connections; Future-focused Curriculum; Expert Teaching; Community Contribution; Striving for Excellence.

A school wide culturally responsive pedagogy builds a family-like context, in which restorative practice promotes a healthy community and maintains authentic relationships.

Ngā mihi

Rachel Williams - Tumuaki


Te Paepae o Aotea is a state co-educational school for Year 7 – 15 students based in Hāwera, South Taranaki.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui and Te Korowai o Ngāruahine have gifted the name of our school informed by the aspirations of our community. It is intended that the name will be clearly South Taranaki, be inclusive and relevant to the whole community, and reflect our history and ambitions for the future.

There are two major components to the name. In summary:


Paepae refers to people who fill formal roles during pōwhiri including kaikaranga and kaikōrero. ‘Paepae’ represents the contest of ideas, mana enhancement, search for commonalities, the lifelong pursuit of improvement and excellence. ‘Paepae’ in this context is used as a metaphor for school, a place of learning. This connects with the ‘Aotea’ and journey narratives, but also to the terms ‘pae tata’ (near horizons or short-term goals) and ‘paetawhiti’ (distant horizons or long-term goals).


Aotea While the name ‘Aotea’ refers to the origins of local iwi, it is an invitation to all students, staff, whānau and community to explore their own origins and history, and thus their identity. It is anticipated that a secure local identity will provide a sound foundation for life’s journey whether that will unfold locally, in other parts of Aotearoa or beyond. It conveys courage, adventure, strength, persistence, and the pursuit of knowledge.

South Taranaki people reaching their full potential.


Taupaenui is drawn from the pure (purification karakia) ‘Te Hā Oranganui’ composed by Huirangi Waikerepuru in 1998. Te Hā Oranganui was first recited at the rising of the sun each day during a series of wānanga led by Huirangi in 1998 at Taiporohenui Marae. Simply expressed, Taupaenui refers to the attainment of human potential.

Our school will succeed if it instills in students the tools to help them achieve their potential, in the pursuits they and their whānau deem as important. The addition of ‘o te tangata’ is an explicit statement that this whakatauākī is for all members of the school community, not only students. Whānau, community and staff will not only support students to reach their potential but challenge ourselves to do the same.

We are all on the learning journey of Aotea as the people of South Taranaki, realising our full potential

‘Kia eke atu ki Taupaenui o te tangata’ –  “People reaching their full potential”



The elliptical form that encompasses the whole design. This is representative of Puanga and an understanding of Taranaki specific knowledge; Aotea knowledge. Representative of the wrap around care students will receive at Te Paepae o Aotea.

Te ara ā Taw'aki​

Taw’aki features in Taranaki korero regarding the ascension to gather the three baskets of knowledge. The symmetry represents the cohesion of cultures working together. The concept of partnership, participation and protection of te Tiriti ō Waitangi.


Mirrored to represent strength, kaha, mana of the school as a whole. Facing each other on the paepae, this represents the two iwi affiliated with the ingoa.


The mangopare are a contemporary representation of awa that flow around Taranaki, also depicting the Mangopare that journeyed along with Aotea waka.

Maunga Taranaki

The single peak is the view of our maunga from Te Hāwera. This represents the strength to overcome challenges and new beginnings.



ORANGE is taken from the narrative of how Te Hāwera was named, reminiscent of burnt embers.

Navy Blue

NAVY BLUE is associated with awa, confidence, intelligence, stability and unity.

Bright Blue

BRIGHT BLUE depicts the blue super giant Puanga. It is attention grabbing, bright, adventurous and courageous.


Visionary and Adventurous
Commited to Equitable Access and Outcomes
Caring in and for our Enviroment
Growing Good Leaders and Great People
Valued in our Community


Knowing and respecting all students, and their culture is important to us.

We use our name and our whakatauākī to teach our local history.  Local Tikanga and Te Reo are integrated across the curriculum. Respectful citizens are key members in our community.

A family-like context underpins everything we do at Te Paepae o Aotea. Students are guided through a learning programme that supports their hauora/wellbeing. Students will become independent and resilient.

Physical wellbeing through sport and regular activity promotes achievement.

Excellence and personal achievements are celebrated and shared with the learning community. Each term, Open Days celebrate learning inquiries and whānau are welcome into classes to share the learning journey.

All students are expected to get involved with extracurricular activities within the school or in the community through sport, culture, and/or the arts.

In the Junior School students will complete at least one community project each year. Students will link their Community Contribution project to a minimum of 3 curriculum areas e.g. math, science, technology.

Students learning programmes include content from a mixed number of curriculum areas. Students plan their learning programmes and have choice. Students are encouraged to investigate areas of interest - this encourages innovation and growth mindsets. Students become lifelong learners. Level 2 NCEA is a minimum expectation for school leavers.

Relationships are vital for both the academic achievement and the wellbeing of all our students. Reducing transitions allow students, whānau and teachers to build authentic relationships. Teachers develop a deep understanding of students and their learning, and this is documented in their ILP (Individual Learning Programmes).

Students at Te Paepae o Aotea have an Individual Learning Programme. Students frequently plan, track, and review their journal, alongside their teacher and whānau.

Students cover the full curriculum. Specialist teachers deliver the learning and access to labs/spaces are available. Research and professional development promote best practise teaching.