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.

The Ministry of Education at the beginning of 2020 when they received the education building briefs from Hawera High School and Hawera Intermediate recognised that they both needed major building works. A period of community consultation led by the Ministry of Education started in 2020 and continued into 2021. This consultation focused on the community having their say on the future schooling provisions for Hawera. The Minister of Education, Hon Chris Hipkins announced in November 2021 that both Hawera High School and Hawera Intermediate were due to be closed and a new Year 7-15 school would be opened.

The Establishment Board of Trustees were appointed on the 21 December 2021 and were given eleven months to get the ‘Hawera New School’ ready for students and staff for the beginning of 2023. Establishment Board of Trustee members were:


  • Will Edwards (Presiding Member)
  • Cheryl Luke-Maraki (Deputy Presiding Member)
  • Dinah King (Ngāruahine representative)
  • Hauraki Erb (Ngāti Ruanui representative)
  • Neryda Sullivan
  • Ross Dunlop (co-opted)
  • Te Kiri King (co-opted)
  • Diana Reid (co-opted)


Our school name, Te Paepae o Aotea, was gifted to us by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui and Te Korowai o Ngāruahine on the 24 June 2022 as part of Matariki celebrations. 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.

The foundation leadership at Te Paepae o Aotea:

  • Rachel Williams – Tumuaki
  • Mahaki Akauola – Leader of Learning – Senior Pastoral
  • Pauline Hurley – Leader of Learning – Senior Curriculum
  • Susan Hopkins – Leader of Learning – Junior Pastoral
  • Kylie Surgenor – Leader of Learning – Junior 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.

Rachel Williams - Tumuaki

Learn more about our story