The Board of Trustees have established the Makaraka School Endowment Fund at The Sunrise Foundation to help future proof the school.

Makaraka School (Gisborne) Board of Trustees Chair, Andrew Gaddum, says they started the fund for the future benefit of the school. “Creating the new endowment fund is a long-term strategy which we hope will guarantee a substantial amount of financial support for the school in the future. In the short term the existing board won’t feel the benefit of the fund, but we feel it’s important to put a plan in place to help future governors of the school.”

He added Makaraka School is constantly under financial pressure and being a small school makes their mission even more arduous. “We have to provide the same core support services as larger schools. It’s hard for schools with under 200 students, as we don’t benefit from the economies of scale that come with being a larger school.”

Makaraka School is one of the oldest schools in the district, it was established in 1875, and has grown over the years from 80 to 128 students.

Hayden Swann, Makaraka School Principal, says they are nearly at their capacity of 130 students and believes the schools continued success is due to their vision of ‘risk taking and adventure’. “A lot of consequences have been taken away from kids in the cotton wool and PC world they live in. We challenge our learners to think about and analyse the risks involved in every situation and to understand that making mistakes is an important part of the learning process.”

He added that Makaraka School parents are supportive of the school’s approach. “The majority of our kids come from farming environments where there are a multitude of hazards and dangers. We believe shielding kids from risk can lead to problems down the road. Risk and adventure is about continuing to grow and being better than before. It helps ours kids to be more active, healthy and confident. We’re bringing back ‘old school’ wholesome values.“

Andrew Allan, Board of Trustees Vice Chair, says Makaraka School has a rich history, over a long time, and the board are hoping ex-pupils will join them in helping to provide for the school’s future. “Some people are surprised to hear Makaraka School has been going for over 140 years. We are starting the new fund to make sure our school is still going strong in one hundred years, and more, from now. The Sunrise Foundation’s endowment model means all the money people donate will be invested in perpetuity, protecting it forever, and providing financial assistance to the school for generations to come.”

Glenda Stokes, Sunrise Executive Officer, says she can see the love and care that goes into the school. “The buildings and grounds are beautifully maintained.  It is really clear the board and school community do an outstanding job providing Hayden and his team the resources they need to provide such a lovely learning environment for their students.”

Glenda added that the new fund will become more significant as it grows over time. “As a small school it’s a battle for them to find the funding to ensure the school runs well and is continuously improving. With the new fund, future leaders of the school will be able rely on a regular source of income every year, it’s a wonderful legacy for Makaraka School.”

All donations to the Makaraka School Endowment Fund will be invested, protected and grown to keep up with inflation. The surplus investment income will be returned to Makaraka School each year.