and our learning powers

We are very proud and excited to introduce Tu Āriki and our Learning Powers. Tu Āriki is the name of our whale mascot and he helps children learn how to be 'Curious, Creative, Collaborative, Citizens’.  

We have chosen a whale to connect with ‘Te Rerenga Parāoa’ - the name of the Whangarei Harbour translates to the place where whales come to rest. The names of the teams within our school are also the names of whales.

Tu Āriki also helps us to learn our CARE values - as good citizens. The design on his tail is a link to our school CARE values and demonstrates that "without the tail the head can go nowhere" - we are directed and guided by our CARE values in our learning journey.

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Tu - to rise upwards/become visible


Āriki - Ariki is a chief of high status and denotes leadership. An ariki is primarily concerned with the prosperity and mana of the people, the land (including the physical environment, harbour, waterways, and mountains).

An ariki also ensures the sacred cultural taonga of local iwi are protected and treasured - (for example Te Reo Maori, Tikanga, Waiata, Oral tradition, Whakapapa. An ariki is protective of any outside threats to the growth of the people. In the past an ariki was of chiefly descent and was the birthright of the first-born.

For the purpose of our new mascot, he would be the first to represent the mana and thereby growth of our learners, school and community.

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Curiosity is the desire to learn. It is an eagerness to explore, discover and figure things out.

Tu Āriki is going to help us remember to notice, wonder and ask and to think deeply about everything we are learning.

Creativity is the ability to see or think about something in a new way, to see and solve problems no one else may know exists, and to engage in experiences that are new, unique, or different.

Tu Āriki will help us grow our skills and express our ideas and to explore, create and innovate.

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Collaboration is when people work with each other to complete a task. It involves co-operation and teamwork and the sharing of ideas, knowledge and skills to reach the same goal.


Tu Āriki will help us to learn how to communicate and grow our ability to share our thinking and really listen and consider the ideas of others.


Citizenship means being a member of and supporting one's community and country.

To be a good citizen we need to CARE about and look after ourselves, others and the environment.

At OTP Tu Āriki will remind us of our CARE values and help us learn how to be good citizens.

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Learn about our Vision Values
Empowering Learners who C.A.R.E.