Summerland Primary's History

The School

Summerland Primary opened on January 28, 2002 with a roll of 102. At the end of each year, the school roll settles at around 700. The original 12 classrooms have now been extended to 29. The teaching staff has grown from 9 to over 50 with many ancillary staff who assist the teaching and learning programmes and keep the school going. The board of trustees has been adding facilities and making upgrades since 2010. The curriculum of the school is also being continually developed. New research into neuroscience for learning and pedagogical approaches are informing our new direction.

Historical Notes on the Area

The land on which the school is situated was once owned by Gus Nola, a prominent orchardist of the area. The name Summerland originated from an export apple grown in New Zealand. The early Croatian settlers are a part of the West Auckland history and most of the Summerland area is based around an orchard theme.

Paremuka is one of a number of little streams with headwaters in the Waitakere Ranges that flow into tributaries of the Henderson creek and then on to the Waitemata Harbour. The land around the stream was originally swampy and damp with poor soil.

Te Kawerau a Maki were the first to live here, building a settlement, Wai Huruhuru, nearby. One of the west coast/east coast portages was also close and the stream’s name is a clue to what brought early Maori most often to its banks - Pare; a very white strong variety of flax used for weaving garments such as piu piu. Muka is the white interior of scraped flax; During preparation Maori would scrape the flax with a mussel shell.

Early European surveyors described the area as undulating fern land, devoid of large trees. Gum diggers were most likely the first Europeans to use the land.

Peter Babich, whose family vineyard borders the Paremuka stream, remembers the area being half scrub, half vineyard in his youth. As a child he and his brother used the stream as their private playground. The vinyard, now in its sunset is selling land for more housing, making the area a very popular and family orientated area to build and live.