Ko Ranginui te maunga Ko Hāwai te awa Ko Ranginui te wharetīpuna Ko Tūrirangi te wharekai Ko Te Haraawaka te hapu Ko Te Whānau A Apanui te iwi Ko Mataatua te waka Ko Ngākohu Walker tōku ingoa Tihei Mauri Ora
Kia Ora and Welcome to the senior prize giving for 2020. My name is Ngākohu Walker and I hail from the mighty 35.
Firstly, I’d like to welcome all of our distinguished guests, staff, principal, whānau, friends and my brothers.
Well, this is it. My final speech. As a Raukura brother, an MHB brother and Head Prefect. I remember it all so clearly. A shy young boy leaving his small home town and moving to a boarding school. I was so nervous and so frightful of what the future had in store for me. I remember my first few weeks in the Hostel, they were absolutely dreadful, I was homesick. Once I got through that time and adapted to the environment, I began to grow. I am so glad that I made the move to this Kura because it has changed my life. I have accomplished many of my goals. I started a business, a podcast and played some footy. I’ve invested in shares, signed with an NRL club and much more. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve all of these things if I hadn’t attended this school. I was walking around school yesterday and I saw our juniors playing touch, ping pong, mucking around and just having fun. It brought back all those memories of me and my boys in our younger days and it felt like those days had only just gone by.
Throughout my time here I have learnt so much. I have learnt that if you truly want something, you work hard for it. I’ve learnt that being on time is everything. I’ve learnt that stepping out of your comfort zone enables you to grow as a person. I’ve learnt that opportunities lead to even more opportunities and I have learnt that no matter how tough the circumstances are, to never ever give up. Every single one of the challenges that I have faced on my journey has helped develop me into who I am today.
To all our staff. All of you are absolutely amazing. Everyday you turn up and you keep up with all us boys and no matter what you always make sure that we are all good. You connect with us on a different level and I believe that is why the education here is so successful. As the saying goes, “ A great environment creates even greater leaders”. You create a safe environment for all us boys to grow. Thank you all very much.
To Mr Grinter. You are a machine. As I have got closer to Mr Grinter over the duration of this year it has become more evident as to why he has been the principal for many years. He’s sharp boys, he knows how to run a tight ship. Mr Grinter, thank you so much for being my mentor this year. You’ve helped me take my leadership skills to another level.
To my good mate Aidan, it has been an honour to lead this school alongside you. You definitely stepped up this year and you made it easier for me to be an effective leader. To my Prefect team, I thank you all for being the amazing leaders that you all are. Although the year was tricky I truly believe we have done a very good job together. Let’s just put our hands together for our Prefect team.
To all the boys coming back next year. Make sure you keep our school pumping and be good role models for all our juniors because they look up to you all.
To my Year 13 brothers. It’s been a roller coaster of a ride to say the least, through all the ups and downs of our journey, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you all. This class of 2020 has undoubtedly been one of the best to come through in the history of our school. I wish you all the best on your future endeavours and no doubt we will be catching up in the future.
Lastly to my whānau. My beautiful Mum, my Dad, my little brother Taumanu, my two little sisters Maraea and Teina and my partner Manaia. Thank you all for being my backbone and being the reason that I get up every day. Not so long ago, someone asked me, why is it that I do so many extra-curricular activities and what is it that motivates me to study hard. It was simple, my whānau. They’re the reason I was able to attend this school and that was the only way I knew how to repay them, by giving it my all.
Before I close my speech, I’d like to leave you all with some wise words.
Street poet and philosopher Drake once said, “Oh well I guess you win some, you lose some. As long as the outcome is income. You know I want it all and then some”. While the idea of material success does influence our lives heavily, I ask that you follow your dreams. On your journey through life following your dreams, never forget about those around you because they are your support system and they are the ones that’ll help you through the tough times. Boys, make sure you thank your whānau for everything they do for you.
As much as I don’t want to say this, ‘You can take the boy out of Raukura but you can never take Raukura out of the boy.’