Te Puna o Wairaka

What is Te Puna o Wairaka?

Te Puna o Wairaka, also known as “Puna”, is the Māori Unit here at Mount Albert Grammar School.

To put it simply, Te Puna o Wairaka is a whānau home base for our Māori students at MAGS. It is a safe environment within which our students are able to practice tikanga Māori (customs and traditions), as well as strengthen their knowledge of te reo through various kaupapa such as karakia, whakawhanaungatanga, pōhiri and kapa haka.

This is in addition to their learning within the Reo Māori and Reo Rangatira courses in the Māori Department.

It consists of two form classes: PNPAL and PNWAL. These are considered ‘vertical’ form classes, meaning they consist of both male and female students from Year 9 – 13.

Expectations of our Puna students:

While our main objective as kaitiaki (or guardians) of Puna is to support our students so that they can experience success as Māori within a mainstream context, we also have high expectations of our students. They are expected to uphold the following key principles:

– Manaakitanga; caring for one another

– Whaikoha; respecting all, including themselves

– Tino rangatiratanga; self-determination and pride in their language, customs and culture

In order for a student to become a member of TPoW, they must:

– Express interest on the MAGS application form (new students)

– Once accepted into MAGS, go through an interview process; this includes their immediate whānau and the staff of Puna

– They must be of Māori descent

– It is also compulsory for all Year 9 and 10 Puna students to study te reo Māori

– Students can apply to join Puna at any year level and at any stage throughout the year


If students are successful in gaining entry into Puna, it will then become their primary form class. In addition, during Y9 and 10, they will also have an ‘attached form class’ or mainstream form class that they will go to for inter-form competitions and group study/tutorials for assessments.

There are currently two Puna classrooms catering for 79 students in the unit, which continues to grow each year.

If you have any questions please contact us at the email addresses listed below.

We look forward to welcoming you to Te Puna o Wairaka!


Ngā mihi nui,

Whāea Waimirirangi Paul (PNPAL)               
Head of Te Puna o Wairaka

[email protected]

Matua Peter Walters (PNWAL)
Kaiako – Te Puna o Wairaka

[email protected]


Kapa Haka 2019

In possibly their best ever performance, MAGS’ Kapa Haka group placed sixth in Division 1 in 2019.
After the cancellation of the last day of Polyfest due to the Christchurch shootings, the rescheduled competition was renamed Te Pou Herenga o Kia Aroha and held on April 6.
Due to the postponement, this year’s campaign consisted of nine weeks’ worth of training, including Tuesday and Wednesday practices from 3.45pm-9pm, all-day Waitangi Day and six live-ins from 6.30pm Friday through to 1pm on Sunday.
Seventy two students trialled for the group; 50 made the performing team and 15 were reserves.
HoF Te Puna o Wairaka Waimirirangi Paul said, “Overall, we placed sixth out of 13 groups in Division 1, and roughly 52 groups across all three divisions at the competition. We were only five points away from fifth place. This is the best overall aggregate placing MAGS has received, to my knowledge.
“Overall, the comments received from the judges were very positive and some even implied that they thought we would qualify for nationals. However, such is the fate of a competition this tight! The students, wider whānau and us, the tutors, were all extremely proud and happy with the outcome and look forward to next year’s campaign.”
Earlier in the year, MAGS’ Kapa Haka instructors Waimirirangi Paul and Peter Walters became national champions.
Whaea Miri and Matua Peter not only teach Kapa Haka but also take part themselves with their West Auckland-based team, Ngā Tūmanako.
At Te Matatini (the biennial national kapa haka championships) in Wellington in late February, Ngā Tūmanako were crowned Toa Whakaihuwaka (champions) after competing against 46 other teams from all over the country over four days. Their winning performance focused on the revitalisation of te reo.