Our History

Wakaaranga School was opened on 17 th July, 1976 by the then Minister of Education Rt Hon L.W. Gandar. During the school’s 43-year history, there have only been 5 principals.


The story of Wakaaranga begins with the school’s name ...

Initially called Waka aranga, and then amended to Wakaaranga in later years under the guidance of local iwi, the school name translates to ‘the resting place of the canoe’.

Historically, the Wakaaranga Creek, situated 200m from rear school boundary, was an open waterway which ran to the base of Pigeon Mountain. The creek was predominantly used by local iwi to access the kumara patches at Tahuna Torea. The waka were paddled up the creek to the base of Pigeon Mountain where the Pa was, ‘to rest’ so they would not float away on the tide.

The waka continues to be part of our school logo and signifies the vehicle that we use to travel in on our learning journey. In order to progress in our learning journeys we must correctly use the 6 paddles in order to propel our learning forward.

  1. Foundation Skills
    Literacy and numeracy skills in place

  2. Learning experiences
    Students learning needs addressed and competencies developed

  3. Reflective Learners
    Students learning how to learn

  4. Cultural Diversity
    A curriculum that reflect our cultural diversity

  5. Future Pathways
    Students being prepared for the future

  6. Personal Best
    Student striving to achieve their personal best

The significance of the three Norfolk Pines

Approximately 180 years ago several hundred Norfolk Pines were brought to Auckland by Governor Grey from Norfolk Island. The trees were planted throughout Auckland including in the reserve opposite Wakaaranga School, (originally called Hyde Park Farm). The original Hyde Park homestead (although renovated and altered) still stands opposite the school on Butley Drive along with 2 of the original pines.

These Norfolk pines have been incorporated into our school logo and are symbolic of our 3 three school values – Respect, Responsibility and Reflection. In the logo a ‘W’ can be seen where the 3 pines touch each other. ‘W’ for Wakaaranga.