About our school

Moanataiari is a state-full primary school situated at the northwestern end of Thames, within short walking distance of Kuranui Bay. 

The school holds a unique position in a historical and educational sense.  The school site was formed by reclaiming from the sea, land on which the tailings from the old gold mine shafts were dumped.  The shafts of the mines crisscross the hills above the school and extend out into the Firth of Thames below.  Most of the shafts are in a state of disrepair.

Our school was formed by the closure of three Thames Schools: Thames North, Thames Central and Kopu Schools.

Moanataiari was chosen from a number of names arising from a competition held by the School Committee that was formed before the closing of the other three schools. The school was officially opened by Hon. H.L. Pickering, Minister of Education, on the 27 of May 1972. Mr. I D Mc Intyre was the first Principal.

The school occupies 2.03 hectares of land bounded by Ensor Street to the North, Kuranui Street to the East, Burke Street to the South and Moanataiari Street to the West, in a park-like setting.  We are one of three state schools and one integrated school within Thames Township.  Our history is rich both for the Maori and Pakeha.

Our community is drawn from all over Thames, with many children travelling to school by car,  while others will walk or bike.

Tree climbing


As teachers, we always try to:

  • BUILD UP each child’s self-esteem, praising good aspects of work and behaviour.
  • ENCOURAGE CHILDREN TO HELP and care for each other.
  • SHOW AN INTEREST in children’s activities beyond the school.
  • TAKE THE TIME TO SPEAK AND LISTEN to each child in our class daily.
  • ENCOURAGE CHILDREN TO BE RESPONSIBLE for their behaviour and impose acceptable standards on themselves.
  • GIVE CHILDREN OPPORTUNITIES to develop leadership qualities by taking responsibilities.
  • EMPHASISE CO-OPERATIVE tolerance, participation and enjoyment in all activities.
  • HELP CHILDREN ACCEPT a small amount of competition, appropriate to their age, as part of life.
  • HELP CHILDREN TO DEVELOP a caring attitude to their environment.
  • ESTABLISH CLEAR ROUTINES AND EXPECTATIONS, so children have the security of knowing where they stand.