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Participants feel Owhango is a ‘great’ place to raise children.

Early childhood options are available nearby and are well regarded, as is the local primary school, although it experiences challenges accessing services to assist children who need extra support.

“It’s hard accessing funding for children who need extra services. The services are there but it can take years to get funding, if at all.”

Some parents have their children enrolled in Taumarunui schools due to the lack of after school care available in Owhango.

“There is a need for afterschool care here in Owhango and other places as well for parents who are working. The school does lose some local kids to town schools because their parents work and there is no after school care. They catch the bus into town and go to school in there so they can access after school care.”

The reputation of Taumarunui High School is the same as in other Ruapehu communities.

“Most of our kids go out of the area and that means a lot of families move out of the area to Hamilton or boarding school. The local (high) school has a reputation of not being as good as what other places are offering. So people will move or go away to board.”

Beyond high school, tertiary education means travelling away, though some adult learners are accessing tertiary learning extramurally via the internet. It was not uncommon for young people in the area to pick up a trade apprenticeship upon leaving school.

“I know a lot of kids who have left school and done apprenticeships for builders and plumbers and electricians in the area, so that’s quite an available thing around here. So a few go into the trades, a few go away to university. There’s a huge range.”

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