Te Puea Herangi
Te Puea Herangi was a Maori leader of great national renown, much respected by Maori and Pakeha alike.
She is the perfect role model for our students since her life was a shining example of what can be achieved by one person in a time of adversity, employing qualities of great leadership, hard work, cultural strength, courage, compassion, creativity, discipline, determination, education, vision, and practicality, all qualities she cultivated within herself and made full use of all her life for the benefit of her people.Of high-ranking Tainui descent, she was born in 1883 beside Pirongia mountain, whose wild slopes and rugged peaks are visible from our school. Known as "Princess Te Puea" by many, she never personally liked the title, since she believed the term "Princess" to be of European cultural significance only and therefore of little relevance to her life of struggle on behalf of Maori in New Zealand.
There is a very large and arresting portrait of Te Puea Herangi on the wall in the school hall. She is shown as a young woman with intense dark eyes gazing strongly from the painting. Her powerful visual presence in our school helps to remind us of her many qualities and holds her influence strongly over us.
Te Puea died in1952 at Turangawaewae, the marae she had founded herself at Ngaruawahia.