History and Mythology of Houses

To help put the above into a practical context we have established four Houses. Each is related to our history and mythology. They are;

Te Ake Tārewa  (Mountain, colour – Green) Tārewa

Te Ake Tārewa is the original name of the Tararua ranges.  It derives its name through the deeds of the ancestor, Maui Pōtiki-a-Tarahanga.  It was Maui who hauled up Te Ikaroa-a-Maui, the Great Fish of Maui, in what is now known as The North Island.  It was upon the Tararua Ranges that his canoe became grounded when Maui and his brothers hauled up the fish, hence the name, ‘Te Ake Tārewa’ meaning, ‘To be suspended above’.  Rangitukutuku was the name of the fishing rod that Maui utilised to haul up the fish, and is utilised as the metaphor for realising aspirations and achievements.  With the hauling up of Te Ake Tārewa, Maui realised his aspiration of affirming himself and his people to the precious resource and land and the many environs cherished by mankind.

Te Pae-o-Whaitiri ( Meteor, colour – Yellow) Whaitiri

Te Pae-o-Whaitiri is a name synonymous with the ancestor, Haunui-a-Nanaia.  Haunui-a-Nanaia is an ancestor who is famous for naming various landmarks and tributaries along the western and southern parts of the North Island, including the rivers from Whanganui to Waikanae.  Haunui-a-Nanaia was being guided by a deity, Rongomai, who was in the form of a meteor.  It was during this journey that Haunui-a-Nanaia came into the Kāpiti-Horowhenua region.  While Rongomai was travelling above the ridge of the Tararua ranges, its flight path was quite low causing a myriad of lightning events upon the spine of the ranges.  As a result of this event, Haunui-a-Nanaia named the Tararua ranges ‘Te Pae-o-Whaitiri’, meaning, ‘The Summit-of-Lightning’.  As a result, this range became reknown for this lightning event, and how the lightning struck upon the summit would symbolise the possibilities that may occur in the future.

Maungakōtukutuku ( Kotuku –( White Heron, colour – White) kōtukutuku

Maungakōtukutuku is a peak and valley which overlooks the Ōtaihanga and Paraparaumu region.  It is an important landmark of this area.  Its name derives from the importance of the Kōtuku, or White Heron, to the region.  The Kōtuku is rarely seen, and its feathers are very precious, being utilised for regalia adornments for people of chief-like status.  The Maungakōtukutuku and Wharemauku streams flow from the Maungakōtukutuku valley.  It is the following lament that connections are made to some of these environs:

Piki kōtuku ai te riu o Tararua

Ki Wharemauku

Parati ai ahau, auē

As I ascend like a white heron through the Tararua valley

To Wharemauku stream

In which I splash about, alas

Te Wai-o-Rongomai ( Ocean/water, colour- Blue)

Te Wai-o-Rongomai is a name symbolic of the journey of the ancestor, Haunui-a-Nanaia.  While Haunui-a-Nanaia was following the flight path of the deity, Rongomai, it was while Rongomai had taken the form of a meteor that it travelled over the Paraparaumu beach front.  Rongomai’s meteor dust was cast upon the land, caressing the sea waters along the Paraparaumu beach.  As a result of the tapu of Rongomai, this made the ocean waters of the Paraparaumu beach front tapu, or sacred, as well.  Therefore, the Paraparaumu beach ocean waters were utilised for certain rites, in particular rites of passage.  Birthing rites, naming rites, and marriage rites were certain ceremonies symbolic of this tapu.  These rites can be seen as a metaphor for the rites of passage that are the journey traversed by all people.


House Structure

House Patron

Mr Craig Steed

House Management

Ms Helen Benson


House Kaiako 

Te Ake Tārewa  (Tārewa)  (Mountain, colour – Green) – Morgan Blance

Te Pae-o-Whaitiri  (Whaitiri)     ( Meteor, colour – Yellow) – Nikki de Villiers

Maungakōtukutuku  (Kōtukutuku) (White Heron, colour – White) – tbc

Te Wai -o-Rongomai (Rongomai) (Ocean/water, colour- Blue) – Clare Shill


House Captains 

Te Ake Tārewa  (Tārewa)  (Mountain, colour – Green) – 

Te Pae-o-Whaitiri  (Whaitiri)     ( Meteor, colour – Yellow) – 

Maungakōtukutuku  (Kōtukutuku) (White Heron, colour – White) – 

Te Wai -o-Rongomai (Rongomai) (Ocean/water, colour- Blue) –