Kia ora e te whanau
Welcome back to term 3! This term promises to be jam packed with sports finals, tournaments, curriculum trips and many other community events. It will be a busy time for our students, so it is important to monitor the time spent at home catching up on study and homework to ensure they do not fall behind on their school work which must come first.
Sports is an integral part of the holistic education here at St Peter’s College. We strive to nurture and educate the whole child and by providing opportunities to participate and compete in many teams we believe we are preparing our young people for life. Representing the school is more than just playing a sport, children learn a sense of pride, respect, discipline and a camaraderie with their peers that helps build up a strong school culture. Sometimes our students are invited to play in teams away from the school, sometimes our students are even offered spots in other schools to play in their teams because they are seen as better. I am deeply proud of our students who commit to wearing our school crest on their chest when they go out to play and represent. Our students are a community who want to play together and live our values out on the field, court and turf with pride. I would like to thank the many coaches, managers and committee members who support our teams. These are the adults in our community that continue the seamless Catholic values in their coaching and leadership that we also work so hard to instil in the classroom. It is a partnership that ensures our students can be the best they can be in all areas.
I hope you have been enjoying watching the Olympic games on TV at the moment. Despite the pandemic, we are so lucky to be witnessing some excellent examples of what can happen when you work hard towards your goals, and it has been impressive to see so many teenagers compete in this year’s games. The International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are committed to building a better world through sport. They aim to ensure that the spirit of fair play prevails, and to act against any form of discrimination that affects the Olympic movement. They also encourage and support the development of sport for all. It is good to compete. When we take part in sports at school, regional or national level, or even just in competition among friends, it is important to remember the ethos of the very first Olympic Games of Ancient Greece: to follow the rules and to compete fairly without cheating. The Bible also reflects this by telling us “anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.” (2 Timothy 2.5).
Thank you to all of you who shared your views on the proposed amendment to our uniform policy on students getting Ta Moko or or other cultural tattoo’s like Pe’a. Over 150 students responded, 40 staff and 23 parents with the overwhelming majority of you being in favour of students being able to display their culture in this way. Consultation also took place at the Board level and with the local runaka, and after much research and dialogue we will be adding the following to our uniform policy:
The St Peter's College uniform policy will allow for students who wish to have visible (partially or fully) traditional cultural tattoo Ta Moko, Pe'a etc whilst at school, to do so, however all cultural tattoos must comply and adhere to established cultural values and tikanga. St Peter's have engaged Mana Whenua (Hokonui Runanga), student, staff, and community voice to establish what this tikanga will be for our school, and any student wishing to have such a tattoo, will need to satisfy the below pre-conditions.
1. A student will need to establish lineage or whakapapa back to a known Hapu or Iwi.
2. A student must have the permission of both caregivers.
3. A student will also require the permission of their Koro, or person acting in that capacity. This elder will need to be able to grant permission on behalf of their Hapu or Iwi (or be able to seek such permission from the appropriate person), for the use of the design and placement of the tattoo by the student. This is to ensure Hapu or Iwi ownership of designs have been protected. Where the tattoo artist or other person has developed their own design, permission must still be gained in the same way.
4. A meeting will be held involving the student, caregivers, and Principal to discuss the features and the whakapapa that the Ta Moko represent.
Where one or more of these conditions cannot be met, in extenuating circumstances an application may made to the Principal and BOT who will consult Mana Whenua Tikanga.
Failure to comply with this policy will result in the student being required to cover up the tattoo or tattoos while wearing the school uniform and/or representing the school in any sporting or cultural events and activities. If the student refuses to cover up this refusal will result in disciplinary actions including stand down and/or suspension to the Board of Trustees.
Mana Whenua stress that Ta Moko should only be considered for those students at the end of a journey of cultural self-discovery as they represent a whakapapa and connection that needs to be established and well considered.
We will also be amending the same uniform policy to reflect our stance that all students may wear the girls or boys uniform depending on their preference and comfort.
We pray that our dealings with others will always be accompanied by respect and fairness.
Having ambition is important, but in our desire to be the fastest, highest and strongest,
Let us not forget that true success cannot be achieved at the expense of others.
Charity Fulfils the Law