Twentieth Anniversary of Mana Montessori

In 1989 a group of parents from the Mana area were driving up and down to Paraparaumu every day so that their children could attend a Montessori pre-school there.  They began working together to set up a local Montessori school.  Many hours of work followed which involved locating suitable premises for the school, obtaining Montessori equipment, securing the services of a trained Montessori teacher and sponsoring her emigration to New Zealand from the Philippines, and fundraising to cover these and other establishment costs.

Mana Montessori opened on 21 May 1990.  For over eight and a half years the school operated in the St. James’ Church Hall in Spinnaker Drive, Whitby, in premises it had to share with other church and community groups.  The fundraising and hours of hard work continued, until at last the school was in a position to build its own two-classroom building on land leased from the Porirua City Council in Albatross Close, Whitby.  The new building was officially opened in January 1999.  The greater space has allowed us to offer a greater range of classes and times and to serve many more children and families from throughout the Porirua Basin.

To celebrate twenty years of Montessori education at this school, a special celebration was held before the annual Open Day and Wheelathon, Sausage Sizzle and Cake Stall on Saturday 6 March 2010. The Anniversary celebration started at 12.00pm and all current pupils and families were invited to be present.  The Mayor of Porirua Jenny Brash and local MPs the Hon. Winnie Laban and Hekia Parata attended, as well as lots of past pupils, parents, committee members and staff members.  There was a cake cutting, a tree planting, and our current pupils sang a few items to entertain our guests.  The classrooms were open for viewing and the Wheelathon, Sausage Sizzle and Cake Stall followed later in the afternoon.