Kupe House is named after a young warrior from Māori mythology. Kupe was involved in the Polynesian discovery of New Zealand.

Kupe house hero

House Leader: Mr Aaron Farr

Deputy House Leader: Mrs Jacqueline Durham

House Captains: Nethra Tennakoon and Troy Lang

House charity: Kiwis for Kiwi

The ethos and the values of Kupe House have developed from the Kupe legend, with emphasis given to the idea of making a voyage and returning home to share the benefits and value of the findings with his/her people. All Kupe students and staff are committed to this journey and to sharing knowledge and skills to improve all of Kupe House. This is a house full of explorers and adventurers, a house full of promise and highly motivated young people.

There is a real sense of whānau (family) in this house, fostered by hard working staff and students, all of whom enjoy being part of a warm, caring atmosphere where they are supported and encouraged to strive for excellence in everything they do.

'A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step' and in Kupe we take that first step together.

Who is Kupe?

Many years ago in Hawaiki there lived a young warrior called Kupe. He had fallen in love with his cousin's wife. While fishing one day Kupe plotted to murder his cousin Hoturapa. Pretending his line was snagged, Kupe sent Hoturapa overboard to free it. Kupe quickly paddled away, leaving his cousin to drown.

When Hoturapa's relatives found out about the murder, they were very angry, so Kupe, his new wife and his relatives fled from their home with the warriors in hot pursuit. Just in time they reached the shore and pushing out in their canoes, set out on their epic journey.

The voyagers travelled over the sea for many weeks. Food and water were running low, when suddenly a long white cloud was sighted. Knowing this to mean land, they continued their journey with renewed heat.

Upon reaching the shore, Kupe set off down the coast of the island until he came to a wide channel of water, which is now called Cook Strait. Kupe named this new land Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud.

In Cook Strait, Kupe's canoes were confronted by an octopus of gigantic proportions. This pet of Hoturapa's was sent by him to score vengeance upon Kupe who had stolen his wife. Kupe and the octopus engaged in fierce battle, with neither gaining any ground.

In an attempt to out wit the octopus, Kupe threw gourds and calabashes at it. The octopus relaxed thinking they were the severed heads of Kupe and his crew. Relaxing momentarily, the octopus was oblivious to Kupe's swift and fatal attack with spear and mere. Having defeated the octopus, Kupe, his wife and crew continued their journey up the east coast of Aotearoa.

Kupe continued to explore New Zealand in the hope of finding forms of life. He left the beautiful land having seen and heard only a bellbird and a fantail. He returned over the waves to his homeland in Hawaiki and was gladly received by his relatives. He shared his stories with his people and though he never returned, future generations travelled across the seas and made New Zealand their home.

Kupe Artefacts

The Kupe Fountain

This was designed to enhance the Kupe environment. It was made by students under the guidance of Mr Fred Graham, the foundation HOD Art. The design was influenced by Mr Graham's year in North America.

The Kupe Panels

These were designed and made by F3 students in 1981 under the guidance of Mrs Gray. They illustrate the story of Kupe.

The Tukutuku Panels

These were painted by Kupe foundation students when they were in F4 in 1981. They were repainted in 2001.

The Māori Prints

Donated and framed by staff and students.

Kiwi Mascot and Flag

Both of these are used on sports days.

The Kava Bowl

Purchased by a party of staff and students when in Western Samoa in 1992.

The "Fine" Mat

Donated to Kupe Whānau House by the students of Samoa College, Western Samoa.

What Does the Motto for the House Mean?

The ethos and the values of the Whānau House have developed from the Kupe legend, with emphasis given to the idea of a person who makes a voyage and returns to his/her people to share with them the benefits of his/her findings. The message is expressed in the words:

Undertake a voyage of discovery

Commit to a sharing of knowledge

What Does Kupe Stand for?





These are qualities we encourage in all students.