This morning saw MAGS achieve a massive milestone with a dawn blessing of the Nairn Building and associated Te Puna Wānanga.
Matua Hare Paniora and Hohepa Renata conducted the blessing with the support of Te Puna o Wairaka staff and students.
Staff, students and guests were led through the three-storey building as the tapu was lifted.
The Nairn Building, named after MAGS’ third Headmaster Murray Nairn (1954-1969), will be the new home of the Social Sciences Department as well as housing a revamped Library and being a base for Te Puna o Wairaka.
It will not only provide MAGS with state-of-the-art teaching facilities but also mean some prefab classrooms can be removed to claw back space for sports fields.
Mr Drumm, in his speech, paid tribute to the work of ASC Architects and project managers Southbase Construction as well as Damien Strogen, of the Ministry of Education, who have supported the project all the way.
He added, “The vision and support from our Board of Trustees and our Runanga, chaired by Whaea Tui Gallagher, has been critical throughout the build. And on behalf of our staff and our students, thank you for your focus on the continual improvement of our school.
“We talk a lot about ‘Tradition and Change’ here at MAGS – and in many ways this building exemplifies those very values of our school. Murray Nairn was credited with leading a comprehensive building programme during his time at MAGS. On his retirement, he boasted that MAGS now had no more prefabs – and that students could all housed in permanent classrooms!
“I think he would love this new building carrying his name. But I’m also sure Murray Nairn would be fascinated with our new whare carrying pride of place out the front of his building. There would have not been too many Grammar schools in the 1950s with a whare wānanga! Yet the Te Puna Wānanga represents the MAGS of today. It reflects the modern, inclusive community we are.
“These two spaces – sitting comfortably together in partnership – speak to our community about what we value so dearly in our school – tradition and change!”