Feb 21, 2013


Students from Umawera School welcoming us for the first time into their school with a Powhiri.
“Haeremai” was the call the families and I heard as we were welcomed into Umawera School for the first time.  Also a first for them was their Powhiri, what a fantastic job the girls did and also the rest of the students once we were inside.  The tamariki did a fantastic job with their allocated duties for the afternoon and had all their waiata well practiced.  To wrap up the Powhiri the visitors each gave each of the tamariki a hongi, which was quite new to the young and old alike in most cases
Umawera School held their launch on the 31st of January 2013 at 12:15 pm.  The visitors then retired to the staff room for the most indulgent lunch I have seen at one of these events in a long time.  After that it was down to business and I explained the CiH programme, who we are, what we do and what is expected during their involvement.  I found out at this time that Umawera is unable to get basic Broadband connections due to inadequate phone cabling.  They still have the option of our Dial Up subsidized connection but some of the families who own their own farming business have laptops that are connected via satellite.  This gives me an idea for the Internet NZ funding application which was due to be submitted any day.  Since, discussion with the Trust and Laurence Zwimpfer were held and an application for Terrestrial Satellite connections was submitted to Internet NZ for their consideration for funding.  We eagerly await the outcome of this application.  Dave Harrison has been fantastic as analysing the criteria and making sure we tick all the boxes in this area.
Christine Gilmore, Principal of the school has been extremely supportive of the programme and because of her enthusiasm we had interest from more than the 14 allocated families.  We have taken their families up to 19, the school is using a few of their own PC’s in the POD to cater for these extra (that have the correct programs etc that we require for the programme).  We are glad that we can afford to support those extra families.  Ange Leahy is doing a great job with the training, although a little nervous to begin with has found her footing and the classes are off at great knots.
The graduation for this group has been arranged for the 16th of April at 12:30 pm, invitations have been sent and arrangements are already being made.  Di Daniels will be attending this event with me.
Christine kindly agreed to host the Come to your Census campaign at the school allowing the community to come into the school from Monday to Friday until Census day between 7:30 and 5 pm.  Her generosity is greatly appreciated.
Mangonui School had their launch on the 11th of February at 10:30 am.  We had another successful turnout with morning tea provided.  Thank you to Evan Wood the tutor and Dave Sedcole for making the arrangements for this event and being prepared.  Evan had all his training material typed, printed and ready to go.  After addressing everyone about the CiH programme, Evan took over with the protocols and ethics he wishes to enforce in his classroom with the schedule of topics to be covered.  They jumped straight into their training on the day.  Because Mangonui have been allocated a large group of families of 21, Evan will be taking three classes each Monday from 9 – 11 am, 1 – 3 pm and 5 – 7 pm.
Evan has also kindly offered his time between classes to supervise the Come to your Census Campaign within the school.
After discussions with Dave and Evan they have also agreed to host the Stepping UP project at the school most probably in Term 2 this year when the CiH training has been completed.  Because of this they will keep all 7 of the PC’s provided in the POD for CiH.  I have let those that were interested in Stepping UP from Taipa know that this will be available to them soon.
I am really looking forward to their graduation on the 15th of April 2013 at 12:30 pm.  We have several prestigious guests taking time out of their busy schedules to attend including Mike Sabin (MP), Bronwyn Hunt (Councillor), Adele Gardner (Trustee) and Di Daniels (Computers in Homes National Coordinator).
Any spare moment this month has been dedicated to getting Come to your Census sites on-board in the Far North.  So far we have 10 confirmed sites including Kohukohu School, Totara North School, Umawera School, Mangonui School, Kaitaia Library, Kaeo Library, Kaikohe Procter Library, Kaikohe Library, Paihia Library and Kawakawa Library.
I am in discussion with several at the moment including schools, community libraries and SeniorNet.  Unfortunately there have been several who are unable to take part for various reasons such as other commitments and workload.
It already feels like we are well on our way to graduations for Term 1 so keep up the good work team!

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