Moturoa School

Te Kura o Moturoa - Established 1923

‘Honour Before Honours’

Term 3 – Plant Study – Waiu-atua (Euphorbia glauca)

Waiu-atua (Euphorbia glauca) is a very attractive coastal plant which grows to about 40-60cm. height with greyish-green or blue leaves and a distinctive milky sap. There are many introduced species of the Euphorbia plant group used as garden plants in New Zealand but waiu-atua is our only indigenous and endemic species. While once regarded as common on mainly coastal sites it has suffered from a declining and deteriorating habitat and is now found only in small widely scattered populations on sand, gravel and rocky areas. Common threats include browsing and trampling by animals such as cattle, sheep, goats and possums as well as weed invasion and erosion. It has a conservation status of ‘At Risk- Declining’. We have good examples of waiu-atua in our school’s ‘beach garden’ and have been propagating and planting out this species for many years.

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Term 2 – Plant Study – ‘native forget-me not’ (Myosotis pansa subsp. praeceps)

The ‘native forget-me not’ (Myosotis pansa subsp. praeceps) is a small rare and threatened plant which is known to occur in limited numbers along damp gullies and banks, amongst scrubby vegetation, near the Wai Pingao Stream at Parininihi in North Taranaki. In 2017 we were requested by the Tiaki Te Mauri O Parininihi Trust to grow this plant to help boost the numbers in the wild. We were given one plant sourced from the original site and were lucky enough to collect seeds from this plant and grow over 50 seedlings. Moturoa School children joined with Mimi School children to plant the Myosotis near the original Wai Pingao site on November 7th 2017. Apparently the young plants have established well. Moturoa School children planted more seed at the beginning of this year and we now have well over 100 seedlings that we will be transplanting into planting pots this term.

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Term 1 2018 Plant Study – ‘Shrubby Tororaro’ (Muehlenbeckia astonii)

At Moturoa School we have many fine examples of the nationally endangered divaricating shrub Muehlenbeckia astonii (shrubby tororaro) to study in the children’s native gardens. They are a fascinating shrub to observe throughout the year as they change dramatically through the seasons and are deciduous or semi-deciduous which means you get to see the internal structure of the shrub during the winter months. It produces tiny greenish-white flowers and fleshy white fruit which provide a source of food for some native birds and lizards. The shrub is also an important host for a wide range of native insects.  Muehlenbeckia astonii does not occur naturally in Taranaki but another member of the plant group Muehlenbeckia complexa (scrambling or wiry pohuehue) is common along the Taranaki coastline, including in New Plymouth.

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Term 4 virtue is Tact

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Term 4 Plant Study – Paritutu korokio (Corokia cotoneaster “Paritutu”)

Moturoa School children have been involved in growing and learning about the Paritutu korokio for a long time. Two Paritutu korokio were planted by children in our school native gardens way back in 1994 and are still in our gardens to this day.  This rare and regionally distinctive plant is a very hardy tangle-branched (divaricating) coastal shrub that as the common name suggests grows naturally on Paritutu Rock. We have many more Paritutu korokio in our garden now DSC08529DSC08523DSC00782which the children can study first hand and they also provide a ready source for cuttings in the Trees for Survival propagation programme. Practically every shrub in our gardens at the moment is covered in beautiful fragrant bright yellow star-shaped flowers. In a few months these will be followed by an abundance of very attractive yellow to pale orange berry-like fruit. In 2001 the school established the tradition of presenting these very special local plants as a farewell gifts to year 6 students at the end of their Moturoa School career.

Pool Refurbishment

full_colMoturoa School are grateful for the support from Methanex, NZCT, Harcourts, The Lion Foundation and our Friends and Family committee.  Without you, our children wouldn’t be enjoying our beautiful refurbished pool, pool cover to keep the pool at perfect temperature and new sunshades to stop the spectators burning.


Term 1 2017 Plant Study

This term we are studying  the Koheriki plant “Scandia rosifolia”

Scandia rosifolia is a rare native semi-erect sprawling woody shrub growing to a height of 1m and a 1.5m spread. It has shiny grass green foliage like the leaves of a rose, hence the Latin name rosifolia. It develops dill like white flowers September – June. The leaves margins are finely to deeply serrated.

It is endemic in the North Island, from the Three Kings south to Taranaki in the west and the southern RuahineRanges in the east growing in coastal situations on cliffs and banks. It can be seen growing by New Plymouth’s Kawaroa swimming pool fence. It is a threatened species, and is currently classified as ‘declining’ in the wild.
Medically this aromatic herb was used by the Maoris. The leaves used as diuretic, for dropsy, and as a remedy for syphilitic disease. (Colenso 1869a).   

Plant below photographed from the Te Henui walkway at Te Kainga Marire Gardens 

Scandia rosifolia flower heads


Term 1 2017 School Virtue is Unity

From ouUnityr school vision, ”Together we GROW”, we are exploring  Unity.

What it the meaning of Unity?

Unity means the quality in individuals to do some work as a unit without jeopardizing the individual interest in any way as far as the result of the work is concerned.Unity refers to the state of being united or together. It is the feeling of oneness, togetherness, harmony, for common goal. It is a kind of co-operation or harmony for a common cause.Unity refers to a situation where many people join together to do a much bigger work, and collectively put forth their energy to achieve that.

Why is Unity Important?

Strength, practically speaking, underlies unity, and whenever people act in unison with one another their strength increases thousand-fold. The importance of unity can never be overrated. Little drops of water make the mighty ocean and little drops of sand make this vast world. The thin fibers of jute or flax, when twisted together into a rope, can control a mad elephant. These are instances of the benefits of unity.

Unity pays in every sphere of human activities: The fable of the farmer and his quarrelsome sons will illustrate the point very clearly. The farmer asked them to break a bundle of sticks. None of them could do it; but each of them could easily break the sticks when the bundle was untied. The old man thus drove home to them the unique importance of living united and the danger of living divided. He then explained to them the inherent strength of unity, which would protect them against, any harm from outside. Thus, it is self-evident that unity pays in every sphere of human activities whereas disunity is liable to lead us to rack and ruin.

Unity in a nation: The importance of unity in a nation can never be over-estimated. The edifice of a nation, to say the least about the usefulness of unity, cannot stand unless there is a sense of unity at bottom. To speak the truth, society is a unit of a nation, and when there is essential unity in the organization of a well-ordered society, it will undoubtedly contribute to the organic unity of the nation of which it is an indivisible part.

Conclusion: From what precedes it is found that unity reigns supreme in every walk of our life. No great achievement in this world could be possible without unity. Therefore, it is our bounden duty to cultivate the habit, doing things united from our very boyhood, and to impress its unique importance on all others about us as well.

NZCT funds pool upgrade, sports uniforms and equipment

 Moturoa School are grateful for the support from New Zealand Community Trust which has enabled us to purchase brand new sports uniforms for our Miniball, Touch and Netball teams.  We have also been able to our netball and basketball hoops.

In September, we will also be commencing our much-needed school pool upgrade, thanks again to the generous support of NZCT.  We look forward to sharing progress updates with you…and the children’s faces when they jump in for the first time!

Term 2 Virtue is ‘Resiliency’

From our school vision, ”Together we GROW”, we are exploring the ‘R’ – Resiliency.

Resiliency is the strength of spirit to cover from adversity.  When we experience disappointment, loss, tragedy, we find the hope and courage to carry on.  Humour lightens the load when it seems too heavy. We overcome obstacles by tapping into a deep well of faith and endurance.  At times of loss, we come together for comfort, we grieve and then move forward and create new memories. We discern the learning that can come from the hardship.  We don’t cower in the face of challenge.  We engage fully in the dance of life.