Arowhenua Māori School is considered the last surviving school in the South Island established under the Native Schools Act and provides the only primary school bilingual education option between Christchurch and Dunedin. It is also unique in it’s proximity to Te Hapa o Niu Tireni, as the school neighbour the hall is used as a venue for school activities.
Arowhenua Native School was opened on the 18th February 1895 and Tarahaoa, the ancient Māori name for Mount Peel was placed upon the school. The land for the original school was provided by the community and repeated requests were made to the government of the time to secure a school for the community. The Native Schools Act 1867 required Māori communities to provide considerably more support to establish a native school than those schools administered by the Education Department.
A new school building was opened on the 8th June 1951 by the Honourable E.B. Corbe , Minister of Māori affairs. The name Tarahaoa was again placed on the new building ensuring that the old tradition would live on.