School principal Rebecca Aitchison-Gill said it was a joy to have the playground completed and acknowledged those who played a role in its completion.
“God has blessed us with a beautiful day.”
She invited Noeline Mateariki on behalf of her husband the late Massey Mateariki, Robert Matheson representing the Education ministry and Tessa Vaetoru from the Ministry of Finance and Economics (MFEM) to do the honours of symbolically opening the playground.
In 2016 an audit team from MOE had deemed the schoolyards play area unsafe, so then began the journey for the school to replace the children’s outdoor recreation equipment.
Early in 2017 the school’s application for funding towards the installation of solar panels from the Government of India Grant was approved.
Unfortunately, at the time Te Aponga Uira was no longer permitting solar power into the grid, therefore the funds remained unused.
Later last year, due to the perseverance of Massey Mateariki, the school’s chairman at the time, the documents were rewritten, requesting the funds to be re directed towards the construction of a new playground.
The approval led to the liaison between Mateariki and Playground New Zealand who undertook its construction.
Noeline, Mateariki’s wife, spoke warmly of the persistence of her late husband in ensuring the project would be accomplished. She said she was pleased to see it come to fruition.
“He was very excited about this project. It has been a labour of love. This (playground) resembles strength, a symbol for our younger children.”
Following the blessing of the children’s playground, the school continued festivities with a gala.
The school would like to acknowledge the land owners, Youth With A Mission, Pastor Bobby and Poko Matapo, MFEM, the Ministry of Education, Noeline Mateariki, its committee, parents, children and all those who have lent their support.