New principal breathes life into old chapel

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Despite Hukarere Girls College having a small roll of 88 pupils, there still remains plenty of life at the school.

Former student and new principal, Lelie Pearcey, is passionate about growing the school's roll to its capacity of 120 and seeing her students excel.

She believes, “Hukarere still has some life in it. We're all here, our girls are skilled, and we're paving a pathway towards success for our young people.”

Breathing life into the chapel, Te Manawa o Hukarere, is also of paramount importance.

But a lack of funds to re-erect it has seen it stored in shipping crates for a decade.

In 2003, the school moved premises from Matahourua to the current site in Eskdale.

Only a fraction of the $800,000 needed to rebuild the chapel has been raised, but Ms Pearcey is seeking funds to restore it.

She says, “It's going to involve a lot of work, but it's still very much a desire, and it's perhaps something we'll look at next year. We have not forgotten about our chapel.”

With Ms Pearcey at the helm and a new board of 11 trustees governing the school, the school has a re-energised outlook for its future.