One person remains hospitalised following a school bus crash on the East Coast yesterday. The bus, which had up to 40 people on board, was carrying schoolgirls from Turakina Māori Girls' College who were on their way to a National Secondary School Kapa Haka competition.
The bus carrying Turakina Māori Girls College left the road on the highway to Gisborne in the vicinity of Wharerāta Rd yesterday afternoon. 12 people were taken to hospital, but despite the shaky start, the girls have turned to focus on the task at hand, that is performing and competing at the National Secondary Schools Kapa Haka Competitions.
Some are still shaken by the accident that saw their bus leave the road, but staff, supporters, competition organisers and other schools have been quick to offer comfort and support.
Terehina Channing, Principal of Turakina Girls College says that the girls are in good spirits and are fine now. She went on to say that those whanau who are concerned need not worry as the Turakina girls are enjoying themselves.
Some of those involved in the accident were taken to hospital last night, and one student was also admitted this morning for further observation. Despite the less than ideal start to their week, they remain steadfast in their mission to compete.
At Gisborne Showground’s today, last minute preparations were underway in the performing arena for the competition starting tomorrow.
For the brave girls of Turakina, there's no time to dwell as they get back to business.
Turakina is scheduled to stand at 3pm tomorrow, the ninth out of 14 groups competing in Pool A.
Organiser Herewini Parata says, “Our students who are about to perform tomorrow are already champions, they are the Te Matatini equivalent for their age group.”
Together with the other 40 competing schools the girls attended the official welcome at Te Poho o Rawiri Marae this afternoon.
The schools were welcomed with a captivating pōhiri by the host region schools. Excitement was in the air with this week's event being the culmination of over 10 weeks of training.