Passionate about PASS
Falefatu and Parehuia Enari are a team in every sense of the word. After many years of living together, raising their three children, studying and working together, the husband and wife team have taken on co-principal roles at Pacific Advance Secondary School (PASS).
The couple share a passion of helping children identify with their own culture and to be comfortable with who they are, and of encouraging them to raise their aspirations.
After studying teaching together, Falefatu (more commonly known as Fatu) and Parehuia began teaching, and then took on management roles at the culturally rich and diverse Richmond Road Primary School in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn.
“We’ve been blessed we’ve been able to do everything together, and it’s enabled us to follow our own children through school,” Parehuia says.
Falefatu is of Samoan heritage (Nofoa’li, Safune), while Parehuia is Maori (Rongowhakaata, Te-Aitanga-a-mahaki, Ngati Porou), and the couple’s children Brian, 18, Ereatara, 17 and Ulalei, 8, have been immersed in both cultures growing up.
Six years ago, the Enari family returned to Parehuia’s home in Gisborne so the children could identify with their people. The older boys have since left the nest and are studying in Christchurch, which has enabled Falefatu and Parehuia to accept the co-principal roles at PASS, in South Auckland.
“We did sacrifice a lot coming back to Auckland – my mum is in Gisborne and we lived right on the beach there – but we really believe in what PASS is trying to do – about raising kids’ aspirations and their achievements,” Parehuia says.
It has also provided the chance for Falefatu, who has already contributed a lot to educating Maori, to give back to Pasifika, she adds.
PASS strives to create a family-based learning environment, and the co-principals will encourage the students to address them as mum and dad, while the staff will be addressed as aunty and uncle.
“We’re not trying to replace their mum and dad or family, but families these days have a lot of time stresses and so on,” Parehuia says.
“The reality is that we’re one of the biggest influences on these kids – that’s a huge responsibility.
“Falefatu and I have always said that if it’s not good enough for our own kids, then it’s not good enough and not worth doing. We’ve raised our boys, and this role gives us the opportunity to share our experience with others.”
Students and staff will eat, pray and exercise every morning together.
“By having a family structure, we can address emotional intelligence as well as academic and physical wellbeing,” Parehuia says.
PASS is enrolling for Year 11 and 12 now for 2016
- Spaces still available for students wanting to enrol
- Located in Atkinson Ave, Otahuhu. PASS is highly accessible as we are opposite a main bus station