Westlake Whanau

Māori Excellence

Motto: ‘Kia Kaha Te Ora’ Virtute Experiamur - Let Courage Be Thy Test 


  1. Rangatiratanga- Leadership: Our boys lead by example with courage, commitment & comradeship. Our whānau guide & advise on achieving and enhancing kaupapa Māori at Westlake
  2. Whanaungatanga- Support: As leaders, our boys support each other and the school with respect, responsibility and recognition. Our whānau support Westlake students, staff and families toward the best learning environment from a Māori perspective. 
  3. Honoga- Engage and Encourage: Our boys engage and encourage excellence in Māori development. Our whānau engage & increase opportunities for Māori students and encourage Westlake as a wider community in strengthening these ties.

Whānau Executive: The Māori whānau Executive Group is made up of staff, parents and family of Māori students at Westlake Boys High School. We meet once a month to discuss events, issues and options for our boys. This group is open to anyone keen to participate. 

"Ko Rangitoto te maunga

Ko Pūpuke te roto

Ko Te Rakipaewhenua te whenua

Ko Ururoto te whanau"

No Hea Mātou? 

Derived from the origins of our name, being ‘West of Lake Pupuke’ we link to our location. While there are mountains on the North Shore, they are located more so in Devonport (Mt Victoria - Takarunga). On a national scale and in relation to the Māori mythological connections to Lake Pupuke, Rangitoto is a suitable landmark of identity and visually, an iconic inspiration of strength. 

Ko Wai Mātou? 

To reflect the diverse community that is Westlake Boys High School, we identify ‘Ururoto’ (Westlake) as ‘whanau’ (family), rather than iwi. Our school is made up of many iwi from all over the world. We want everyone to be able to encompass this pepeha (introduction) in identifying as a Westlaker.

Historically, Tainui, Ngai Tai, Te Kawerau, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Whātua and Ngāpuhi all have links to Te Rakipaewhenua (North Shore). This area was the scene of many inter-tribal conflicts, where iwi came, fought, settled and moved on. Stories can be found in different places on the Shore, but most specifically in Devonport and North Head where the monuments and museum sites can be learnt on history trails today. Today, the North Shore continues to remain an ever-changing landscape with the community made up of a diverse range of nationalities. 

This means that our role as tangata whenua (indigenous people), the tikanga (tradition) & kawa (protocol) are more dependant on the people than the place itself as tribal connections are many. In order to anchor our strength, our ideal is to align with other longstanding institutions in the area that are built on the same values.

 In our support to raise good, young men in the modern world, we would like to build a relationship with Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa Marae (RNZN Marae). The RCNZN’s Core Values are Courage, Commitment and Comradeship - inspirational in building a ‘brotherhood’. The kawa for whaikorero (speaking) on the RNZN Marae and subsequent RNZN hosted hui is Tau utuutu / Tu mai tu atu - the host and visitors speaking alternately. The host begins and ends the whaikorero. While people involved will change, these core elements will remain the same. 

Future plans are to build our own marae, but as an institution who shares history, families and values with Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa Marae, it would be ideal lean to them as a tuakana (older sibling) in our development and to the future. 

Key Identifiers: Mythology

Rangitoto is Māori for 'Bloody Sky', with the name coming from the full phrase Ngā Rangi-i-totongia-a Tama-tekapua ('The days of the bleeding of Tama-te-kapua'). Tama-te-kapua was the captain of the Arawa waka (canoe)and was badly wounded on the island, at a (lost) battle with the Tainui iwi (tribe) at Islington Bay.

A Māori myth surrounding the lake tells of a tupua couple, children of the fire gods. After quarrelling and cursing Mahuika, the fire-goddess, their home on the mainland was destroyed by Mataoho, the god of earthquakes and eruptions, on Mahuika's behalf. Lake Pupuke resulted from the destruction, while Rangitoto Island rose from the sea as their exile. The mists surrounding Rangitoto at certain times are considered the tears of the tupua couple for their former home.

WW01 - The Whānau Form Group

Become a part of the Māori Class of Excellence. A brotherhood of achievement, this class is for students who want to join with others to develop their potential and share experiences in development. Members must abide by the guiding values of courage, commitment and comradeship. This is a place where both recognition and reprimand comes from a combined network of teachers, whānau and peers.

Each member agrees to a bilingual environment in form class, where tikanga Māori is important. Morning sessions will include karakia, kōrero and waiata at the start of each week where boys are delegated to lead. Beyond that, weekly wero (challenges) are set in a test of excellence to build individual and team points each term. 

Achievement within this group is recognised by awards, trips and special taonga contributed through the whānau executive. As a sign of the brotherhood, each member receives a taonga to wear as part of the uniform. 

In growing leaders, a Māori Prefect shall be nominated to attend & report on progress to the whānau executive monthly meeting. Understanding governance is key and a WW01 student committee may be developed if required. 

The Whānau Executive Team

As a whanau, we align with the school charter under the principles of Ako (Learning & Teaching), Whanaungatanga (Family-based ideals), Tangata Whenuatanga (Identity), Manaakitanga (Support) and Wānanga (Discussion and Development). 

Our key role is to support the school in kaupapa Māori and advocate for development. This team is open to all families & staff willing to support and our monthly hui are run by long-standing chairman and parent, Whetu Konia. 

The Executive Team is divided into working groups to concentrate on different areas. While our boys' success is key, we believe our contribution to Westlake is also important. A future goal is the building of a marae at the school to establish a strong base of identity for all students of Westlake. 

We nominate a member of our team to the school Board of Trustees as a representative on behalf of and for Māori whānau and the wider community. 

We have key kaupapa we help to support and are open to ideas of further development and opportunities for our boys. If there are any issues, whereby you require support from the Māori whanau, we are here to help.

For more information, or if you would like to join, please contact Clare Nasey.