04 March 2024

Dedication and Karakia Service, and Public Campus Opening Ceremony

Dedication and Karakia Service

On Monday 22 January, staff and students from Laidlaw College and Te Wānanga Ihorangi dedicated our campus to the glory of God. We welcomed the first cohort of students (Graduate Diploma of Education, Secondary) and Ihorangi kai mahi into our new campus and “woke the building up” to its purpose of serving as a place of learning and equipping for the sake of the gospel. Principal Roshan Allpress spoke about the College’s history and future and the significance of God’s people dedicating sacred spaces as a reminder of God’s glory and gift of life. He exhorted us to remember the expansion of God’s blessing and holy presence as no longer limited to physical locations, but for the filling of all people by the Holy Spirit.

Students and staff went out to three corners of the property and placed dirt in the ground from our previous campus at 80 Central Park Drive to represent the continuation of the legacy and to dedicate the land. We returned to the new building and read from 1 Kings 8 and Acts 2 about the glory of the Lord filling Solomon’s temple and God’s people being filled with the presence and power of Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Pou Amorangi - Bradford Haami and Pou Ārahi – Sharon Pihema unveiled the dedication plaque inside our new Chapel | Te Ahurewa Tapu. The plaque reads: I WHAKATUKUA KI TE KŌRORIA O TE ATUA | DEDICATED TO THE GLORY OF GOD.

After this we retired to Te Rau Aroha dining room for refreshments to complete the dedication.

Public Opening Ceremony

Several hundred guests and members of the Laidlaw College community gathered on Saturday morning, 17 February to celebrate the Public Opening of our New Henderson Campus at 3 Smythe Rd. Current staff, students, board members, and local iwi sat as tangata whenua to welcome manuhiri at our Pōwhiri, under the plane trees outside. After the karanga, the ceremony was opened in karakia by George Taua, the oldest living member of Te Kawerau-ā-Maki. Greetings and speeches of remembrance, dedication, and exhortation were exchanged, before the building plaque was unveiled by members of Laidlaw College’s National Governing Council. Bishop Kito Pikahu gave the final prayer and benediction for the unveiling ceremony.

Our neighbours at Ebenezer Café and Tiger Sushi served kai after the formalities, and the coffee cart served hot drinks while live music was performed by Brotherhood Musiq. Children enjoyed the bouncy castle while Laidlaw College staff hosted multiple workshops and tours in the new building.

We thank God, the many faithful supporters of this project through prayer and service, and staff and students who organised this event for the wonderful opportunity to celebrate God’s goodness and provision together. We are excited for the new possibilities that will open up as Laidlaw becomes established in central Henderson.