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Whatu mauri marks start of construction at co-located colleges’ campus

A mauri stone was laid at Blenheim’s new co-located colleges’ campus this morning as contractors prepare for the first phase of construction on the site.

A whatu mauri ceremony was held before sunrise, with kaikarakia blessing the campus before site works begin.

Iwi spokesperson Peter Meihana said the whatu mauri represented a significant step in the building of the new school.

“Ceremonies such as we had this morning are extremely important. Our community get to see that a school is not just bricks and mortar. Things have become very real now,” said Peter Meihana.

A group of students from Bohally Intermediate, Marlborough Boys’ College and Marlborough Girls’ College selected the mauri stone from Te Hoiere/Pelorus River last year.

Marlborough Girls’ College Principal Mary-Jeanne Lynch said the whatu mauri was a significant milestone for the project Te Tātoru o Wairau.

“The whatu mauri was a significant and exciting milestone for Te Tātoru o Wairau. Along with iwi, it provided us the opportunity to reflect on those who have come before us and the possibilities ahead for our rangatahi,” Mary-Jeanne Lynch said.

Marlborough Boys’ College Principal John Kendal said that being a part of the mauri stone’s journey from Te Hoiere to its new home symbolised the important relationship the schools had with iwi, and the commitment of the schools to deliver strong outcomes for generations of ākonga.

“The whatu mauri was a good example of the project involving current students who were able to be part of the journey and lead the learning for their peers and teachers around whatu mauri tikanga,” John Kendal said.

Ministry of Education Hautū | Deputy Secretary Nancy Bell is delighted that this milestone is being marked.

Site works will begin soon on an artificial hockey turf on the south-western corner of the colleges’ campus, which has been commissioned by Marlborough District Council. Completion of the turf will enable site works to begin on the new intermediate campus at College Park, and on construction of buildings in the central section of the co-located colleges’ campus.

Te Tātoru o Wairau is a multi-year project to co-locate Marlborough Boys’ and Girls’ Colleges on a shared campus, and to relocate Bohally Intermediate School to a new campus at College Park. Following completion of the turf, the new campuses will be built in a staged programme of works that is expected to take around six years to complete. The schools will transition into new buildings as they become available over this time.

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