Wesley College Dress Uniform

This item comes from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and is part of their collection Te Papa Collections Online
Please view the item on their site for the definitive information on how it can be used.

This item is an image. It was created by an unknown creator on or around the date 01/01/1990.

This is the best description of this item that we could find:

Wesley College in Auckland is New Zealand’s oldest surviving registered secondary school and was established by the Wesleyan Missionary Society in 1844. Its mandate was (and continues to be) to provide education for students of Maori and Pacific Islands descent, and students whose family and personal circumstances require special care. While retaining a close association with the Methodist Church of New Zealand - Te Haahi Weteriana o Aotearoa and promoting Methodist values, the college is now non-sectarian. Significance This uniform allows the wearer to express his cultural identity through customary clothing and his allegiance to the school and a ‘good education’ through the traditional elements of British school uniform. The blazer, shirt and tie both evoke the history of the original ‘civilising mission’ of church-based education and anticipate the boy’s future in the adult world of professional work. The college motto is embroidered onto the blazer - ‘Fide litteris labore’ - meaning faith, letters (learning) and labour (hard work). The three crowns refer to Three Kings where the college was located until the 1920s. The Pacific Islands garments are in the Tongan language a Tupenu faka fisi (tailored black skirt which wraps around the body, i.e. formal lavalava); Ta’ovala lokeha (waist garment of woven pandanus leaf matting); Kafa nono’o (plaited waist cord which holds the ta’ovala lokeha in place). Any student can wear the tupenu, but only Tongan students and those participating in actual Tongan cultural events wear the ta’ovala (waist garment). Origins The creation of this combined uniform was led by Pacific Island students in the 1980s who wanted to be able to wear their cultural identity. Now students of all ethnicities have the option to wear the tupenu. About a third of the student body will be wearing the tupenu on any given day, though many resort to black trousers in the colder weather! The Principal of Wesley College, Ian Faulkner, says that ‘the students love dressing formally – it gives them self-respect, pride, and is where you believe you are in life’ (June 2012). Acquisition history This uniform was purchased by Te Papa from Wesley College in 1996.


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All Rights Reserved

This item is all rights reserved, which means you'll have to get permission from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa before using it.

All Rights Reserved

This item is all rights reserved, which means you'll have to get permission from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa before using it.

What can I do with this item?


You must always check with Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to confirm the specific terms of use, but this is our understanding:

Non-infringing use

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No sharing

You may not copy and/or share this item with others without further permission. This includes posting it on your blog, using it in a presentation, or any other public use.

No modifying

You are not allowed to adapt or remix this item into any other works.

No commercial use

You may not use this item commercially.

What can I do with this item?


You must always check with Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to confirm the specific terms of use, but this is our understanding:

Non-infringing use

NZ Copyright law does not prevent every use of a copyright work. You should consider what you can and cannot do with a copyright work.

You may not copy and/or share this item with others without further permission. This includes posting it on your blog, using it in a presentation, or any other public use.

No modifying

You are not allowed to adapt or remix this item into any other works.

No commercial use

You may not use this item commercially.