Northcote College

Important Notices


Quick Links


School Terms 2019

Term 1: 30 January - 12 April

Term 2: 29 April - 5 July

Term 3: 22 July - 27 September

Term 4: 14 October - 5 December

Further Poetry Success for Ioana

Year 13 student, Ioana Manoa was thrilled to hear of the success of her poem Leaves Fall as the Roots Grow which won the Youth Poets section of the Robert Burns Poetry Competition.


Leaves Fall as the Roots Grow

Define your identity.
Select your ethnicity.
New Zealand Census —
we sense this: a cultural separation
based on an ancestor’s migration.
Putting us at cultural crossroads
to cross a box,
to shade it with pale pink, or brown skin-coloured pencil.
Tick one, choose one:
New Zealand/Europe-an, Maori, Chinese or Samo-an.
Fit me in a box, wool press me, family pack me, quarter pack me.

My ancestors.
Cargo, go, go
for shore.

New Zealand/European.
Shade this the colour of
top hats, coat tails, corsets, pipes,
tartan kilts, buchanan stripes,
organs, hymns, pews and pedals,
parade of clans, jigs and thistles.

Trunks, cases, lockets in hand,
farewell to family, off to new land.
Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales,
inside, outside, the immigrants sail.
Starboard, stern, port and bow,
home-sick voyage to the long white cloud.

Scotsman, miner, minister, preacher.
George Morrison my brave ancestor.
George walked ten miles to the Carluke mines.
George worked ten hours in the hellish mines.
To set sail, he set his mind,
the coal mines to leave behind.
From the brick works, mines and working class,
miner to missioner — at last.

For Auld Lang Syne, my dear
We’ve sailed twelve thousand weary mile
Since auld lang syne
And seas between us broad have roared
For auld lang syne

My ancestors.
Cargo, go, go
for shore.

Shade this the colour of
Fa’a Samoa
Siva siva
White puletasi

Fa’a Samoa
loosely tied to the side
lavalava in the fale
lavalava to the school
lavalava playing the kilikiti

Siva siva
the wide feet of my people
the fire dancer
the slap slap

machete harvest the coconut
machete crack the coconut
machete open the can
machete mow the lawn

behind the left ear
behind the right ear
behind the fale

White puletasi
women in white for church, wide brimmed hat
women’s fans fasi

fia palagi
wanna be palagi.
PI, so fly
2000 miles.

Tofa to the homeland.
Samoan to English to Te Reo Maori.
Young boy sent away, south of the Bombay
to St Stephens, Hato Tipene.
From lavalava and singlet to boarding school greys, nomads and
bleak days.
From games in the tropical heat to frosted feet.
From open fire cooking to mess room meals and tuckshop deals.
From ocean-side fale to dorm fights and homesick nights.
Tofa to the homeland,where we fished from the sea and lived off
the land.
Tofa, far away to New Zea-land.
Long distance, plenty remittance.
To make a living with no land and fish from cans.
White to black sand
Umu to oven
Cocoa to coffee
Talo to potato fries
Inked thighs to kentucky fried thighs
Inked thighs
Tatau, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.

My heritage is the coloured threads of the tartan,
the wool of the crochet shawl,
the woven pandanus grass of the fine mat,
the bark of the tapa cloth.
Cast on, cast off.
Count the stitches, weave the mat, under, over.

We are leaves on our family trees.
We are home grown with strong roots.
Don’t forget your roots, my friend.
Don’t forget your family.
Embrace your ethnicities.
Celebrate your identities.

© Copyright Northcote College 2013 | Privacy | Contact Us
School Motto: Ut Prosim Aliis