About St. Theresa's Plimmerton


Our School Gospel Values




Our school vision calls us to:


"Live, learn and love with Jesus, being the best we can be.”


We believe that in order to achieve our vision we need to teach, foster and daily live out the following values at St Theresa’s Catholic School:










These values are underpinned, enhanced and enriched by the Maori values of










Our school is committed to acknowledging and listening to individuals within an environment that reflects compassion, honesty and integrity.


In this school we:

·        Accept ourselves and believe in our own goodness

·        Accept others for who they are

·        Develop a relationship with God

·        Follow Jesus as the best role model of how to treat others

·        Look after our belongings

·        Look after our environment

·        Tell the truth


This will show RESPECT.






Our School will provide a safe environment where people can stand up for what they believe in, take risks, and deal with disappointments and challenges with resilience.


In this school we:

·        Stand up for what we believe in

·        Can make mistakes while we are learning new things without being laughed at or criticised

·        Can take risks and be encouraged all the way

·        Try new things

Learn to cope with the disappointments and challenges we encounter



This will show COURAGE and RESILIENCE.




Our school nurtures an environment where people are accepted and valued for their uniqueness and individual gifts.


In this school we:

·        Accept others

·        Are friendly and kind

·        Let others join in our games and activities

·        Celebrate our different gifts

·        Can be ourselves


This will show INCLUSION.




Our school fosters an environment where people forgive each other, take ownership of their actions and genuinely seek reconciliation.


In this school we:

·        Take responsibility for our actions

·        Take the consequences for our actions, and make things right

·        Forgive one another

·        Start afresh


This will show RECONCILIATION 






In exploring Māori values in St Theresa’s Catholic School, we are mindful that these values should enhance, support and enrich the School’s core vision, mission and values. St Theresa’s is a Catholic School – with all that entails – and the Maori values we have chosen look to aspects of Māori knowledge, culture and experience to assist the School to achieve its Vision. Hence, the following Māori values underpin our four values for the benefit of all, not just Māori children and their families.







Manaakitanga means to ‘uplift and foster mana’. Every child is precious and possesses mana. Mana is a term for the special essence, character and nature of a person. From a religious and spiritual point of view, mana is a term for the presence of the spirit within the person which bequeaths and imparts certain things to him/her. We speak of the ‘abundant gifts of the spirit’ (in Māori ‘ngā hua mākururkuru o te wairua’) and the term mana captured this.


Particularly, the mana of a person expresses itself in their ability to do certain things, in their skills and talents. Mana has this ‘enabling’ aspect about it and it is for this reason that is also connected with ‘authority’. Mana within a person expresses itself in their abilities and skills and these offer a person a sense of authority.


Manaakitanga is a value or a principle which is concerned with the uplifting, fostering and nurturing the mana of the person. That is to say, manaakitanga as a value is concerned with upholding life.


 In our school, manaakitanga looks like this:


·        Bringing out the best in each child by providing the scaffolding that helps them reach towards their potential

·        Celebrating who we are with each other, and honouring the spiritual

·        Showing hospitality and warmth in the way we welcome new families and visitors

·        Shared responsibility for preserving the dignity and mana of one another





Whanaungatanga is a term for interconnectedness and relatedness. In the traditional Māori worldview, all things were considered to be connected. Traditional Māori communities maintained large genealogies for all things – birds, trees, people, fish, rocks, soil and so on. The idea is that all things are connected in a web of life.


Whanaungatanga is a value about maintaining and fostering relationships. It is about making good connections between people and between people and our world. It is about understanding that we are all interconnected in some way and one’s thoughts and actions connect with other things.


A key idea within whanaungatanga is the term ‘whānau’ which is a popular term for family. Whānau, however, literally means ‘birth’ and a family exists as a group of people because they share in birth together either as parents or as children. That is to say, a family shares in the one life together. This one life can be physical and it is also intellectual and spiritual.

In our school, whanaungatanga looks like this:


·        A sense of belonging for children, their parents and the staff – a sense of family/whanau

·        A sense of connectedness through our common faith to one ano ther and to the wider community – parish and diocese

·        Good communication and partnership between home and school for the good of the children

·        Involvement of parents and the community in the life of the school

·        Welcoming new families so that they feel they belong






It is customary in Māori culture that when an institution bears the name of an individual, then that institution is dedicated to exploring and giving expression to the key teachings, ideas and values held dear by the person whom the institution memorialises. The carved meeting house depicting an esteemed ancestor is a well known example. Hence, one can say that the quest by St Theresa’s Catholic School to understand St Therese herself – her life, her values, her outlook, her examples – and to give expression to these in the life of the School is a ‘Māori’ value as it is a ‘Catholic’ value. We might even say that it is a human value given it is human to look to one’s forebears for guidance and teaching.



These values that we treasure and live by will ensure that our learning community is truly Christ-centred.




The school community gratefully acknowledges the work of Charles Royal for his invaluable input into the Maori Values.