Pacific pride will be on display at Rotorua Boys’ High School, who have added an official school lavalava to its uniform, to recognise the school's Pacific Island students.
Featuring the three feathers of Raukura, the black sulu can be worn instead of the formal trousers or shorts. It is not exclusively for Pasifika boys with Japanese and Maori among the wearers.
Rotorua Boys’ High School students embracing the latest uniform addition of the lavalava with Pasifika mentor and teacher, John Pesefea (back), Fonua Fukofuka (front, left), Takeshi Endo and Michael Godfery-Kepa. Photo/ Supplied
Year 12 student Fonua Fukofuka of Tonga says the lavalava was something he felt comfortable in.
Fonua says, he’s proud to be a Pacific Islander and says wearing the lavalava makes him feel more included in the school, because he can wear a part of his culture every day.
Pasifika mentor and English teacher, John Pesefea says identity was at the forefront of who they were as a school.
“This is embracing all Pacific students and their heritage and the sulu identifies that. It brings the Raukura brotherhood together, ” says Pesefea.
Rotorua Boys' High School have 50 students currently enrolled that identify as Pasifika. They include Cook Islands Maori, Tongan, Fijian, Samoan and Tokelauan.