A powhiri to formally “gift” departing Wakanui School principal Hilary Boyce to her new school, Ashburton Borough School, was held last week.
All students from both schools, as well as board of trustees and other invited guests, lined up at Borough to take part in the formalised Maori ceremony.
Ms Boyce arrived with the Wakanui contingent dressed in a ceremonial cloak.
There was a clear dividing line between both school camps and no-one was allowed to cross it until strict protocol had been followed.
Te Huaki Puanaki spoke on behalf of Borough School, while Ashburton College Maori head Tiipene Philip replied on behalf of Wakanui School.
Acting Borough School principal Ann Porter said it was the first time in the school’s history that a woman had been appointed as principal.
“We’ve had 36 principals in 146 years and we warmly welcome you to the role,” she told Ms Boyce.
Ms Boyce in reply said she was honoured to take on the role and to join her “new whanau.”
With emotion in her, she said she had enjoyed 10 and half years at Wakanui and would miss the school and her whanau there.
Hilary Boyce formally starts at Borough School on October 15. Wakanui School has appointed Graham Smith as its interim principal for Term 4.