Te Ara o Rāroa is named in recognition of the Māori tracks and pathways that were used by Māori of the many iwi that traversed through the Northern Suburbs to a range of sites in and around Wellington. It is intended to provide a pathway for our school community to ensure we are always striving to exceed our obligations and responsibilities under Te Tiriti O Waitangi and ensure we are providing an educational environment, where Māori can achieve educational success as Māori. The school is developing a document to support Tikanga and we wish to acknowledge the mahi of all those, who have previously contributed to Kaupapa Māori at Rāroa Intermediate who have provided the foundation for this to stand on.
After arriving in Wellington in 1841, George Mexted bought a farm of 10 acres in 1844 which was based around where the McDonalds and Mobil are today. He sold that to buy a much bigger plot of land. 108 acres of farmland and bush were purchased in 1854 that including the land where Rāroa Intermediate is now. The land spanned across and up to Broadmeadows and right down to Ngauranga Gorge.
George named his farm Rānui which translates to mean ‘great sun’ or ‘midday sun’. It was this name that evolved into the area Rāroa. The translation means ‘long sun’ or ‘long day’ which is related to the sun beaming on the farm for a long time during the day. Long day is actually a positive meaning of all-day sun rather than that of how we may refer to a ‘long day’!
Rāroa Normal Intermediate School has achieved a unique place for itself since its establishment in 1971. It has a roll of 690 students, representing over 25 nationalities with 71% European (including 65% NZE), 6% Maori, 7% Chinese, 5% Indian (18% total Asian), and 3% Pasifika. The roll is expected to grow significantly over the next few years and with this, changing demographics as Rāroa means “long day” Since it opened there have been a number of additions to the property.