Cultural Opportunites

Cultural opportunities play a significant role in the life of Villa Maria College. We foster, nurture and grow the talents of our girls over the years they are with us. A vibrant cultural programme, where girls can seize opportunities, is central to our inclusive philosophy here at Villa.

Kapa Haka

Toku reo toku ohooho
My language, my awakening.

Villa Maria College’s Kapa Haka group has performed at regional competitions with expert training and support from staff, parents and whānau. Kapa Haka at Villa Maria provides leadership opportunities for our students as well as the exploration and expression of Māori culture through song and dance.


Iho Pūmanawa was donated to the College by Sir Mark Solomon in 2010 to recognise the highest achieving Māori student. Students are shortlisted on the basis of their NCEA results and are then interviewed. 

Iho Pūmanawa is the name of the award and refers to a gifted person who is talented and clever. These attributes come from one’s ancestors and can be passed on to their descendants.

The award is predominantly tukutuku using the poutama designs, stairways to the heavens. The three colours of the poutama signify the three stages of life – adolescence, adulthood, and Kaumatua. The three kete mounted on the award symbolise the three baskets of knowledge that were acquired for mankind.  

Current Recipient – Beth O’Donovan


Taloha ni, Kia orana, Mālō e lelei, Fakaalofa atu, Ni sa bula, Kia ora, Talofa lava, Greetings

The Villa Maria Pasifika Group encompasses Year 9 to 13 girls and provides a wealth of opportunities for friendships, support and leadership roles. An annual fixture for the group is their participation and performance at the Christchurch Secondary Schools Pacific Island Festival, sPACIFICally PACIFIC, where the girls perform live on stage to an enormous crowd – a sight to behold!


The Pasifika Award acknowledges Pasifika student achievement for general academic excellence, contribution to the wider life of the College, commitment to Church/Parish, role-modelling to junior students and commitment to Pasifika.

2015 saw the school being in a position to offer a physical token of the award with a beautiful kava bowl awarded to the recipient, which has Tongan and Samoan images carved on it.

The young woman who receives this award is beginning to come to terms with her identity as a Pasifika woman. Her rich cultural background combines with our College culture of Mercy.

Our Recipient – Kohana Buksch

A Vibrant Cultural Programme

Where girls can seize opportunities