Local Maori History

achillesIn Week 2 Y6 students went on an excursion to Achilles Point to learn about our local Māori history and also about how Achilles Point got its name as an Auckland landmark. Mrs Johnson explained the early Māori history of the Waitemata Harbour and the legends of Kupe discovering Aotearoa and Maui fishing up New Zealand. She also talked about how Rangitoto Island got its name according to Māori legend. The early Polynesians arrived by waka from the vast Pacific Ocean and explored areas such as the Tamaki Basin which became ‘highways’ and safe havens for these early navigators.

Mr Young, whose father was on the HMS Achilles during the Battle of the River Plate in 1939, talked about the famous battle in the South Atlantic. He also explained that Achilles Point was chosen as a landmark to honour the captain, officers and crew for their bravery and courage resulting in the scuttling of the German pocket battleship the Graf Spee.

The students and parents had an enjoyable day learning about our local St Heliers history.

Mr Young, Y6 Teacher