Our History

Our beautiful Ōtara and Dawson School history..

Ōtara is a suburb of South Auckland, New Zealand (formerly Manukau City), situated 18 kilometres to the southeast of the Auckland CBD. Ōtara lies near the head of the Tamaki River (actually an arm of the Hauraki Gulf), which extends south towards the Manukau Harbour. Contemporary Ōtara is surrounded by the suburbs of Papatoetoe, East Tāmaki, Clover Park and Flat Bush.

Check out some of the places of importance in our community here.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi principle is one of eight principles in The New Zealand Curriculum that provide a foundation for schools' decision making. The Treaty of Waitangi principle calls for schools and teachers to deliver a curriculum that:
- acknowledges the Treaty of Waitangi principles
- acknowledges our nation’s bicultural foundations
- enables students to acquire knowledge of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori.

The 3P's are the principles of partnership, participation and protection.

As a school we utilise the Hikairo Schema for Primary by Angus Macfarlane, Jennifer P. Smith, and Matiu Tai Rātima and Ka Hikitia for our strategic planning and teaching to ensure we provide culturally responsive teaching and learning.

Some of the ways we do this are:
- Working with our local iwi / manu whenua
Ngāti Tamaoho for teacher only days, crafting curriculum and incorporating aspects of their education strategic plan
- PD with Tamsin Hanly on Cultural Responsive Practice which is broken up into units focussing on: Te Ao Māori o Neherā, British Isles, Two Worlds Meet, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Pākehā Responses & Māori Responses
. These units of work are incoporated into our inquiry planning and examples of this can be found on the Our Learning Page.
- Education Perfect Maori Course for Y5/6 Students

Ōtara Heroes

Y6 students worked with teacher and author David Riley who is passionate about getting young people reading and writing, inspiring them with positive and inspirational stories from New Zealand and the Pacific. Students completed weekly writing workshops before going on to interview and write about some of their local heroes that grew up in Ōtara. On behalf of the school we thank all those that gave up their time to be interviewed, David Riley, Auckland Council Creative Communities and the students whose work is demonstrated below.

Ōtara History

Dawson History