We visit the distant past of the Maori world to acknowledge the emblem which beautifies the main gate and is also worn proudly by students attending Matua School.
Taane Nui Arangi, was motivated to obtain the knowledge stored in nga kete o te wananga (the three baskets of knowledge called uru uru Matua, uru uru rangi and uru uru tawhito) held in the upper most twelfth heaven. These baskets contained the knowledge that would be useful for mankind forever.
So Taane set off on his journey to the heavens to the retrieve nga kete. After climbing to the first, second, third and fourth heavens and reaching the eleventh heaven, a great bird, a kotuku (a heron), flew ahead guiding Taane to his destination, the upper most twelfth heaven, tiki tiki o rangi.
After finding the baskets on the tuahu (the shrine) at the twelfth and final heaven, Taane returned to papatuanuku with nga kete o te wananga, which had been placed in a kawe (a bag) named kawerau.
The baskets of knowledge were stored at first in hui te rangiora then, in a special ceremony, placed in a place of honour at rangi atea while the sacred white heron of single flight – te kotuku rerenga tahi remained in the heavens.
Matua School is symbolised by Taane leading students with the knowledge from the kete and setting them off on their learning journey during which they will confidently face life’s challenges being open to advice and direction.