Our Name

The Story Behind Our Name

Te Paepae o Aotea is a state co-educational school for Year 7 – 15 students based in Hāwera, South Taranaki.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui and Te Korowai o Ngāruahine have gifted the name of our school informed by the aspirations of our community. It is intended that the name will be clearly South Taranaki, be inclusive and relevant to the whole community, and reflect our history and ambitions for the future.

There are two major components to the name. In summary:


Aotea While the name ‘Aotea’ refers to the origins of local iwi, it is an invitation to all students, staff, whānau and community to explore their own origins and history, and thus their identity. It is anticipated that a secure local identity will provide a sound foundation for life’s journey whether that will unfold locally, in other parts of Aotearoa or beyond. It conveys courage, adventure, strength, persistence, and the pursuit of knowledge. South Taranaki people reaching their full potential.


Taupaenui is drawn from the pure (purification karakia) ‘Te Hā Oranganui’ composed by Huirangi Waikerepuru in 1998. Te Hā Oranganui was first recited at the rising of the sun each day during a series of wānanga led by Huirangi in 1998 at Taiporohenui Marae. Simply expressed, Taupaenui refers to the attainment of human potential. Our school will succeed if it instills in students the tools to help them achieve their potential, in the pursuits they and their whānau deem as important. The addition of ‘o te tangata’ is an explicit statement that this whakatauākī is for all members of the school community, not only students. Whānau, community and staff will not only support students to reach their potential but challenge ourselves to do the same.


Paepae refers to people who fill formal roles during pōwhiri including kaikaranga and kaikōrero. ‘Paepae’ represents the contest of ideas, mana enhancement, search for commonalities, the lifelong pursuit of improvement and excellence. ‘Paepae’ in this context is used as a metaphor for school, a place of learning. This connects with the ‘Aotea’ and journey narratives, but also to the terms ‘pae tata’ (near horizons or short-term goals) and ‘paetawhiti’ (distant horizons or long-term goals).

We are all on the learning journey of Aotea as the people of South Taranaki, realising our full potential

‘Kia eke atu ki Taupaenui o te tangata’ – “People reaching their full potential”

Discover Our Logo


The elliptical form that encompasses the whole design. This is representative of Puanga and an understanding of Taranaki specific knowledge; Aotea knowledge. Representative of the wrap around care students will receive at Te Paepae o Aotea.

Te ara ā Taw'aki​

Taw’aki features in Taranaki korero regarding the ascension to gather the three baskets of knowledge. The symmetry represents the cohesion of cultures working together. The concept of partnership, participation and protection of te Tiriti ō Waitangi.


Mirrored to represent strength, kaha, mana of the school as a whole. Facing each other on the paepae, this represents the two iwi affiliated with the ingoa.


The mangopare are a contemporary representation of awa that flow around Taranaki, also depicting the Mangopare that journeyed along with Aotea waka.

Maunga Taranaki

The single peak is the view of our maunga from Te Hāwera. This represents the strength to overcome challenges and new beginnings.