Next year will mark the 150th anniversary of one of Aotearoa's longest-running Māori boarding schools, St Josephs Māori Girls' College.
The school has chosen Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori to launch their online pre-registration form for those who wish to attend the 150th jubilee celebrations on the 6-8 October 2017.
Established in 1867, the Napier-based St Josephs Māori Girls' College has produced some of the most well-known Māori figures including the first president of the Māori Women's Welfare League Dame Whina Cooper and member of the Māori Language Commission, Dame Katerina Te Heikōkō Mataira.
Advocating and supporting the Māori language has been at the forefront of the school since its inception. Today, the Māori language is compulsory at the school and although it is now a second language for many of the students, they continue to be supported to develop their language skills and are excelling.
Just recently speakers who competed in the regional Ngā Manu Kōrero Competition gained first place in three out of four sections.
Jubilee Committee Chairperson and past-pupil Julie Tangaere says Māori language and culture has always been recognised as an integral part of the school. "We are proud of the contribution our girls have made to the Māori language and culture. We are looking forward to honouring our school and celebrating this special milestone together in 2017."
St Joseph Māori Girls' College will celebrate Māori Language Week with their annual kapa haka Festival to be held in Napier this weekend.
The pre-registration forms for the jubilee are now available and can be accessed via the school's website.