Manukorihi Intermediate opened on 4 February 1974. The School’s name can be loosely translated as “the singing of the birds” and refers historically to the people of this pã who were alerted to the approach of enemies at night by the chirping of the birds in the bush on the cliffs by the school gates.

The School’s crest is a copy of a Mãori cave drawing taken from A H Reed’s “Mãori Drawings and Carvings”, depicting a wading bird. It is a visual interpretation by John Fathers, the Taranaki Education Board’s Chief Architect of the time.

The carving over the door to the administration block was designed and carved by the late John Ford in consultation with the late Mr. Jim Nicholas, a Trustee of Manukorihi Pã at the time. The figures represent Sir Apirana Ngata, Sir James Carroll, Sir Peter Buck, and Lady Pomare. At the south end, Turi, Captain of the Aotea Canoe is shown, while at the north end, Tama Ariki, Captain of the Tokomaru Canoe is depicted. Te Whiti o Rongomai, Prophet of Parihaka, stands next to Lady Pomare. All these leaders inspired others to maintain their Tino Rangatiratanga.

In April 1983, a further asset was added to the School’s architecture (on the north western wall of the hall) when the Ken Tonks Memorial Mural was unveiled and dedicated. Ken was Principal between 1978-1982. Constructed of aluminium and totara, the mural dominates the main approach to the School with its striking design and colours. It depicts the energy that is evident in all people on this site.

We have a wealth of history associated with the School site and the neighbouring Marae. All pupils have the opportunity to learn about the significance of the area in a specially written Manukorihi study unit.


Manukorihi is a Decile 3 co-educational state intermediate community school located in the small rural Taranaki town of Waitara. We have a role of approximately 259 students in 9 composite Year 7 & 8 classes and 2 specialist classes in Food and DesignTechnology.

Throughout their 2 years at Manukorihi students will be given the opportunity to experience:

  • Excellence and achievement

  • Self exploration and discovery

  • Supportive social interaction with peers and adults

  • Challenging and rewarding physical activity

  • Meaningful participation in school community

  • Routines, limits and structure

  • Diversity and experience in cultural setting