On the 19th of June 1891 at 7pm a meeting was held in Mr Langford’s house for the purpose of electing a school committee for the Pongakawa School District. There were people at that meeting whose names are still recognised today as having a huge impact on the schools development, Benner, Elliot, Billing and Langford to mention just a few.
On 2nd of February 1892 the school opened with 18 students in attendance. They were taught in a single school building which remained largely unchanged until some 35 years later in 1927 when a second classroom was added.
Pongakawa School throughout its history has been a central focus for the community, not just a school of high quality and regard, but also as a centre for many social gatherings of varying kinds. It is a school steeped in tradition and values where the “kiwi can do” attitude has thrived and flourished.
There have been many successful and famous New Zealanders who spent time gaining their early education at Pongakawa before moving on to make their mark on the world. It is a measure of the importance of this that these people are still remembered today not only on an honours board, but also in various publications and in school based ceremonies and celebrations.
Pongakawa retains the same ethos which drove the early dreams and vision of those first few years and the children of Pongakawa School still gain the same excellence in education delivered in an innovative and child centred way. The focus on literacy and numeracy along with sporting musical and cultural endeavours ensure children are well prepared for their years ahead. With attractive buildings and grounds and a high degree of modern technology the school is well positioned to continue its success
More information on the history of the school and Pongakawa Community is contained in:
Early Pongakawa, J.N.Blaymires, 1952.
Seventy Five Years Later – A History of Pongakawa School, J.N.Blaymires, 1967.
100 and Counting – Pongakawa School , Cedric Blaymires, 1993.
Away I Went – An Autobiography of Sydney James Hastie, Sydney James Hastie, 1999
Born to Fly, Vernon Benner, 2000
Most Recent Publication:
125 Years and Still Counting … – Frances Patete and Joanne Black, 2017 (This book is available for purchase from the school $30.00)
Photo Courtesy: Sarah O’Dea 2006.