Leading the official opening of Mount Aspiring College's
new outdoor performance area yesterday are members of the
school's kapa haka group, including (front from right)
Taine Phillips (16), Finn Moore (17), Layne Opetaia (13)
and Elliott Meldrum (18). Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
The support shown to displaced Christchurch families by
Wanaka's Mount Aspiring College in the wake of the February
2011 earthquake was repaid yesterday at the opening of a new
outdoor performance area at the school.
An earlier attempt to officially open the $60,000 open-air
stage and landscaped quad area named Te Atea - or "The
Square" - was thwarted by bad weather. However, yesterday's
opening went off without a hitch as pupils tested out the new
open-air facility with a series of musical performances,
after the ribbon-cutting and plaque unveiling.
The stage was funded by the Central Lakes Trust, Friends of
Mount Aspiring College, the board of trustees, local families
and families from Christchurch who enrolled their children at
the college after the earthquake.
Deputy principal Greg Thornton said as a result of quake, the
college experienced a 20% roll growth - one of the biggest in
"Through the way we looked after those kids predominantly
through that term, there was a lot of support given to us by
those families in way of thanks," he told the Otago Daily
At yesterday's opening, principal Wayne Bosley said the
influx of pupils from Christchurch had helped the college
"become a more compassionate and caring school".
"The response [after the earthquake] from all sectors of our
community was heartwarming and one that we can be very proud
of," Mr Bosley said.
He hoped the stage would be used not only for music, but for
speech, drama and other performances.
The college is also celebrating its 25th reunion this