Tira


Te Tira o Papanui
Mā te huruhuru, ka rere te manu  - Adorn the bird with feathers so it can fly

The tira system is intended to enhance wellbeing, support diversity and inclusion, within a culturally responsive manner, for all Akonga.

Developing a sense of belonging to Papanui High School, with an aim to increase student participation, learning and engagement in all things Papanui. Enabling students to find their turangawaewae, anchoring them to the environment, student and staff bodies, local community, both past and present.

Ngā Manu

Ngā Manu (birds) hold a significant place of importance for Maori. The birds of Papanui Bush hold significance as sources of kai, and feathers for cloaks. They acted as important messengers with their behaviours indicating weather, death and grief, and foretelling the future.

Whether as messengers, teachers or guardians, birds provide an opportunity to connect to our place in the world we navigate. Establishing these connections is a key way to build the sense of belonging the Tira system aims to develop.

Birds provide the opportunity to establish connections through numerous whakatauki and metaphor. 

The feathers can be viewed as all of us within a tira or school, including learners, teachers, whanau and community. When we all work together we provide the strength to fly.

Alternatively the feathers can be viewed as the skills and attributes we develop that provide us the strength to take flight.


Papanui Bush

The word Papanui has meaning as a stage in a tree, used as a seat by a bird snarer. Papanui Bush was once full of birds that were regularly snared by Maori. Recent community projects in our area demonstrate the bringing together of people to restore the ecosystem , cultural heritage and bring native birds back to the area. This demonstrates Manaakitanga, Kotahitanga  and Kaitiakitanga we wish to install as values for our akonga within Tira.


Te Tira Pīwakawaka

The nimble, sharp fantail is the smallest bird, the sentinel of the forest. The Piwakawaka is also identified as the messenger bringing news of death to people to allow them to prepare for an event.

Ahakoa he iti he pounamu
Although it is small it is pounamu (precious)

This can be likened to individuals, as a small part of our Tira, but all precious. Together providing strength.

The black and white colours of the pīwakawaka would be used to identify members of this Tira.

Te Tira Kōtare

The kingfisher perches silently and without movement. It is alert and waits until the right moment to attack its prey. This relates to being alert and aware of your instincts when they tell you to take action. The word kōtare sometimes referred to the elevated platform in a pā, used to watch for enemies. 

The yellow breast plumage of the kotare would be used to identify members of this Tira.

Te Tira Kererū 

The kererū was a valuable food source to Māori. The feather’s held a sense of status and were used for cloaks. They were also used to adorn Tahā huahua, food storage containers.

The large gape of the kererū  meant it was an important species for eating large fruits and then distributing seeds of native plants. 

The plumage of the kererū is predominantly green and white but has the unique attribute that it appears blue when reflecting light. The blue colour would be used to identify this Tira.

Te Tira Makomako

One of our most well known birds for its song .

He rite ki te kopara e ko nei te ata 

This refers to the singing of a bellbird at daybreak and is a way of complimenting a great speaker. 

The green plumage of the bellbird would be used to identify members of this Tira.


Te Tira Weka

The weka is admired for its feisty and bold personality. These are traits we desire in all akonga to Dare to Excel and Be Positive.  Weka were a source of food, perfume, oil to treat inflammations, feathers in clothing and for lures.

A saying about the Weka refers to whether the same mistake will be made twice. This comes from the bird being easily caught due to its inquisitive nature

Makere te weka i te māhanga e hoki anō?
Once a weka has escaped a snare, would it go back to it again?

his can be related to showing Integrity to learn from mistakes. The red legs, beak, and red eyes are the colours to represent this Tira.