Our Name

The school takes its name from the district of Christchurch in which it is situated, the name Mairehau having been adopted in 1916 as a compliment to Mrs Mairehau Hutton whose father, Arthur Gravenor Rhodes, owned considerable property in the area and was a notable benefactor to the district.

The name mairehau belongs also to a shrub which grows well in the kauri areas of New Zealand. It is noted for its small, whitish, prolifically growing flowers and for its fragrance.

According to legend Maire was the Maori mist maiden. She, of course, was invisible to mortal eyes and her presence could be detected only by her perfume (hau), the nearest to which in nature was the shrub which thenceforward was known as mairehau.

Kia mau koe ki nga kupu o ou tupuna

Hold fast to the words of your ancestors

Our Crest

The encompassing shape is that of the prow of a canoe, a device often used to mark hallowed ground. In the upper part is a symbolic Mairehau flower and in the lower centre is a mere, the symbol of leadership. On each side are scroll patterns indicative of Maori culture through the ages.

The school colours are red and white, and these with black were the only colours available to the Maori craftsmen. Each colour has its special significance. Red is the colour of the physical existence of mankind as we know it; black represents the spirit world of past and future; the white line which runs turning and returning through both red and black is the eternal soul of Man.

Our Waiata and Karakia


He hōnore, He Korōria

Mau ngā rongo ki te whenua

Whakaaro Pai e

Ki ngā Tangata Katoa

Ake ake, ake ake


Te Atua, Te Piringa,

Toku Oranga


To Honour

To Glorify

To Listen to the cries of Mother Earth

Strive for better relationships

With all people

For ever and ever



Whose presence is always close

Is my Salvation

The words of this waiata have Biblical and Tūhoe origins. The words from Luke's gospel had been used in an old Ringatū karakia, and other variants have evolved from this prayer.


Whakataka te hau ki te uru

Whakataka te hau ki te tonga

Kia mākinakina ki uta

Kia mātaratara ki tai

E hī ake ana te atakura

He tio, he huka, he hau hū

Tīhei mauri ora!

Cease the winds from the west

Cease the winds from the south

Let the breeze blow over the land

Let the breeze blow over the ocean

Let the red-tipped dawn come with a sharpened air.

A touch of frost, a promise of a glorious day.