Head Prefect - Te Ao Taumatangi Billing
Ka tu au ki te tihi o taku maunga, maungarei. Ka titiro whakawaho ki nga wai o wairakei e rere mai ana puta noa ki te tahuna o Rangataua, ko otawa ki uta, ko mauao ki tai, ko te pa o te ariki te tohu whenua, me he peka titoki e kore e whati Ko nga Papaka o Rangataua e haruru mai nei.
Tukumaru te rangi
Tumaea te moana
Takahuri te whenua
E whiti e te ra I te ao awatea
Tiramarama nga whetu
Kohitihiti te marama I te po
Hikohiko te uira ki runga o Puwhenua
Papaa te whatitiri ki runga o Otanewainuku
Papaki tu ana nga tai ki Mauao.
Kia whakatauakii ake ai au I konei
Ahakoa uhiuhi te tai
Ka ea ka ea te toka a Tirikawa.
Kia Ora everybody. I would like to start this speech by thanking firstly Mr Grinter, Deputy Principals, Board of Trustees, Teaching staff, support staff, and the student body for trusting me with the honour of being the face of our school. To the Year 9 boys sitting across from me, I send a warm welcome to you and your whanau members that are supporting you on the journey of a lifetime. As you look around, this kura will be your home for the next 5 years of your schooling. Soak it up boys because I can proudly say that high school provides the best learnings that life could ever throw at you.
My Name is Te Ao Taumatangi Billing, it is very humbling to be standing in front of all of you today as the head prefect of Rotorua Boys’ High School 2019. With this position comes great challenges and the brothers that I will be working alongside to accomplish these challenges are the fine young men that are sitting behind me. As you would have heard earlier together we make the Prefect team of 2019.
Now, If you were to ask me in 2016, the first year of my schooling here at Raukura what if one day you were made the head prefect of your school? Honestly I’d probably ask if you were talking to me because, as a Year 9 student attending Tauranga Boys’ College in simple words I was trouble. My mother was struggling with me at home. I didn’t like the teachers and the systems that were put in place for a Maori boy like me and the only thing that was keeping me motivated was rugby.
One day my mother had enough of my selfishness and gave my uncle Fred Whata a call (a previous Deputy Principal here at Raukura), and asked if there was room in the hostel for me. The hostel was full but Mr Mayhew (head of hostel) still took me under his wing like the other 140 that in a way he has adopted. The day I walked through those gates of Raukura that troubled boy was no more. I soon loved school and I actually liked doing my school work. My family were surprised and shocked. They were asking so many questions on how I changed so quickly. People put it down to so many things but I only put it down to two things that changed my mentality about school.
The first one was the teachers here at Raukura. It was surprising on how well they understood me personally and understood how I learn which made school work fun and easy.
The second one is of course the brotherhood we have here at our school. It’s something I’ve never seen nor been involved in before. It’s something special not all schools have. That brotherhood stuck with me when I sustained an injury that has put me out of playing rugby for almost a year now and the support that I had from the school and my mates was so humbling. Yeah it sucked not being able to take the field and being able to help my mates do the deed on the paddock but, I ended up finding a new rugby field which was a stage and a new rugby jersey which were the costumes. Being a part of the school production of Footloose was something that I’ve never done before and it’s something I had never thought of doing before in my life. It was the best thing that’s happened to me not only physically but mentally since the injury.
Previous head prefects of Raukura would give a quote saying some like this ‘Give everything and anything a go, because you never know what’s around the corner’. I can proudly say that, that saying is so true, I thought I was untouchable and rugby was my way out but someone had other plans for me. The moral of the story is if you want to give something a go boys just do it. Who cares if your mates are not doing it, just give it a crack.
You never know where or whatever you give a go might take you.
To all the Raukura brothers of 2019 this year is your year. 2019 won’t last forever so don’t hold back, do everything you can to satisfy yourself that you’ve done everything possible to create your legacy here at Raukura. To the Tuakana of our kura (the senior boys), we will walk alongside our Teina as brothers assuring them there is no harm here, making sure they are not alone, and we will guide them through the right path; the path of Raukura. Thank you to every teacher that has helped me and given me tools that I use daily to try and be successful.
“THREE FEATHERS TO THE SKY, RAUKURA TILL WE DIE”.
No reira Tena koutou tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
Te Ao Taumatangi Billing,
Raukura Head Prefect 2019