Speech: Opening of new buildings at Tomarata School

25 August 2017

Speech for opening of new buildings at Tomarata School,

Cnr School Rd and Pakiri Block Rd,


Friday  August 25, 2017



Thank you for the invitation to this great occasion – the opening of these wonderful new school buildings.

Having attended rural schools just like yours walking into a school like this brings back many memories.

It teachers one to be more grateful to parents and teachers for the great opportunities they give you.


When you are young you take a lot for granted.

You like to go and play netball or rugby and to hang out with your friends and maybe you only do your homework because that is something you have to do.

You don’t think about how hard it is for your parents sometimes.

You know – the meals you eat at home don’t just appear when mum and dad snap their fingers.

They have to find money to pay for that food; they have to pay for the house you live in, the bed you sleep in and the clothes you wear – so there’s much no matter how young you are to think about.

Some of you come each day to school on a bus. The driver of your bus has to be very careful; it’s a big responsibility.

And at school – your teachers take their jobs very seriously. They have had to spend years getting properly trained just so they can teach you what you need to know.

Every day they have to plan lessons, and check your work.

These teachers love it when you make progress. They know that you must learn properly.

Yes, there has to be time for fun and playing your sports and games, but when it comes time for you to leave Tomarata School they want you to take with you not just lots of happy memories, but a good education.


Enjoy  all the fun things of school but when you are in the classroom or doing your homework give it your very best. Try your hardest.


You don’t have to do big things, just little things like having the courage to ask for help when you need it.

Admitting you don’t know something or you don’t get what the teacher is saying or that you are struggling does take courage.

It shouldn’t, but it does.

Remember no-one knows everything. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some other little things you can do are saying to yourself:

• “I’m really going to pay attention in class”.

• “I’m going to spend this week reading a book”.

• “I’m going to do all my homework.”

• “I’m not going to spend so much time watching TV.”

Richie McCaw - you all know who he is. He didn’t become an All Black by watching loads of TV and spending hours on play station.

He wasn’t born a great rugby player – he only became a great All Black through hard work.

Now he is a helicopter pilot and owns a helicopter company; some people say he is the greatest ever All Black.


And don’t be disappointed if things don’t go your way.

That’s one of the big lessons you will learn here at Tomarata School.

It’s not always going to go your way. There are other people in this school and every one of them is just as important as you.

Sometimes they are more deserving than you. You have to remember that.

Don’t play the blame game.

Don’t go and tease other children, don’t be a bully.

That works against you; it hurts other children but in the end it damages you more than anyone else.

When you don’t get the result you want or the chance you thought you should get – be positive.

Say ‘never mind – there will be other chances for me. It’s up to me and my attitude. And my attitude is good’.


Dust yourself down, get up, keep going and have another go.

How many here have read Harry Potter books?

Do you know how many times the writer of those books, JK Rowling, was rejected before her first Harry Potter book was published?

The answer – 12 times. She didn’t give up; she just kept going – she just kept trying.

If she had given up, no-one would have heard of Harry Potter. Now nearly everyone knows the name Harry Potter.

And if you get into some hot water; it’s not the end of the world; don’t let it beat you down.

It just means you need to lift your game; you need to try harder to be a good student, a good brother or sister; a good son or daughter, a better friend.


Finally, don’t be the boy or girl who leaves Tomarata School and years later says – “why didn’t I try harder; why didn’t I do better?”

Leave here and say, “I did my hardest and it was great.”

Congratulations again on your great new buildings.

Thank you.