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Whanau Whanui Make a Huge Difference at Hato Paora
27 August, 2003

Coolio Chills with the Boys

2003 has been a big year for the Whanau Whanui at Hato Paora College.
Earlier this year, the Whanau Whanui decided against holding the Gala Day at the College and, instead, moved the entire event to the Pascal Street Stadium in Palmerston North.
What's more, they hosted a Hip Hop Concert - selling $30 tickets for payers to see the likes of Nesian Mystik, Deceptikonz, Ill Semantics, singers ADEze, and K-Lee, performing with the Hato Paora College Senior A's.
Hato Paora was also host to international rap artist, Coolio in May of this year, thanks to Whanau Whanui involvement.
One of the movers and shakers behind the scenes has been, Selwyn Ponga-Davis, Chairman of the Hato Paora Whänau Whänui. From the Whanganui river (Te Ati Haunui a Paparangi), Ponga Davis is a former Military Police officer who now works for the YMCA in Palmerston North His focus with the young people is using outdoor education to help the youth change their ways. He lives with his partner and four children in Marton. 

AT v K-Lee
Old Boy Atawhai Tibble with K-Lee at the Paora Rocks Concert

While not an Old Boy of Hato Paora (he went to Whanganui Boys High School), it was the College values and the whänau feel that attracted Davis and his partner when they decided to send their son to the College. His role as Chairman of the Whänau Whänui and Manager of the First XV means that his involvement with the College is a big part of his life and his whänau life his younger sons are water boys for the team and although they are only 10 and 11, they both want to go to the College now!


The Whänau Whänui have been involved in fundraising for the school for a long time, but their role seems to be more than just finding money. They have a brochure that outlines their vision to strive in the effort to work along side Hato Paora College to enhance our young Mäori men to be leaders of tomorrow and their whakatauki reads Ko tau rourou, ko taku rourou, ka ora ai te kura which translates as Through your efforts and my efforts, the school will prosper.


In addition they clearly see their role as targeting and resourcing the needs within Hato Paora College in respect to the Academic, Sporting and Cultural requirements of students.. and finding ways to meet those needs.


Selwyn Ponga Davis sees the Whänau Whänui as more than just a fundraising body they are in the process of establishing themselves as a legal entity and they have a 5 year Strategic Plan that will see the röpu being more active and visible than the past. A principal goal is to give College Old Boys a reason to be involved now. Other initiatives have been designed simply to lift the profile of the school in the Manawatu region and to present the College in a positive light. 


Kia Kaha Koutou e Selwyn ma. Whaia te tika.


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To contact Selwyn Ponga-Davis, phone him on (027) 295 0124.