Original plans of an early extension to the Te Kopuru School
Te Kopuru School
Formal education in Te Kopuru started about 1872 and was held in the Hall which was constructed in that year. Some form of education was held prior to that but was conducted in private houses.
An itinerant teacher was ‘shared’ between Te Kopuru and Aratapu spending half his time at each. This was some time around 1863 and was started on the initiative of the Reverend Gould, the Church of England clergymen who regularly visited the Northern Wairoa between the years of 1866 and 1873.
Mr Winstone was the first teacher who shared his time between those two schools Mr Gooch was the next to take the charge of the two schools but later became sole teacher at Te Kopuru. He was succeeded in 1878 by Mr John Lindley who retired from the position in 1892 and set up a soft drink business in the village which carried on for eight years.
It was during his time that the school moved from the Hall to the newly erected school. In 1901 Mr JE Elliot took over the principals roll and official documents record at this time that the staff consisted of him, a lady assistant and two pupil teachers with a roll of 140 and an average attendance of 125. Mr Elliot served in this capacity for many years and was held in high regard within the community.
More up-to-date information will be posted shortly and current details of the school can be found elswhere on this site
Present day school buildings, the original school buildngs, much modified appear to the left, school hall to the rear and library on the left. The new shool buildings are behind the libray and extend to the right beyond the picture. The original school buildings are used for the new entrant classes
In October 1918 the world wide influenza epidemic which could have been brought here by the liner "Niagra", hit New Zealand nationwide nearly 7000 people died in three months, including more than 1000 Maori people. A number of these were from Ripia settlement.
The main school building at Te Kopuru was used as an emergency hospital and the technical block as a kitchen and dining room. Local girls volunteered to help nurse the sick. Two of them were Mrs. Elsie New (Nee Guy) and Ivy Kidd, there were no doubt many others as well.
The epidemic brought fear and distress when the country had already endured a war which was exhausting. In 1894 there had also been a severe influenza epidemic although on a much smaller scale which had caused casualties in the Maori population. The New Zealand Herald at the time reported that Dr. Norton had been kept busy and that there had been five deaths in Kaihu.