Mount Smart Stadium already boasts New Zealand's biggest television screen and tonight it also plays host to the country's biggest mobile classroom, an initiative the Tu Kaha Foundation and the Vodafone Warriors have partnered up in.
The massive rig - a 600hp Mack Super-Liner and customised trailer - rolled into the stadium early this afternoon before being wedged into position in the Harvey Norman Community Fun Zone just behind the deadball line at the northern end of the field.
The imposing truck and trailer unit - branded in Vodafone Warriors colours and logos - stretches out to about 23 metres in length when it's opened up to create the entrance to the classroom inside. The sides also fold down to provide plenty of floor space for a teaching area also featuring a big screen.
The Tu Kaha Foundation commissioned the state of the art mobile classroom with the intention of taking its Tu Kaha values programme to decile one schools around the country with a specific focus on rural areas.
The Vodafone Warriors have partnered up with the foundation in the project which is closely aligned with the club's Harvey Norman Community Warriors education philosophies.
The Tu Kaha programme aims to help year five-to-nine children to make the best decisions possible in life by focusing on a solid value base delivered through a curriculum enhanced by the endorsement of Vodafone Warriors players and management.
The classroom will be open for members and fans to visit throughout the Vodafone Warriors' NYC and NRL games against the Cronulla Sharks tonight (gates open at 5.30pm). Interactive activities will be available to give parents and children an early insight into this exciting new initiative.
Central to the learning programme is Taonga by TM ('T' for Tui-kaye Cole, whose partner is Vodafone Warriors prop Jacob Lillyman, and 'M' for Maria Hahipene, whose partner is Vodafone Warriors centre Blake Ayshford).
Cole (Ngati Whatua) and Hahipene (Ngati Awa) "identified an opportunity to reinvigorate the use of Te Reo Māori (Māori language) by bridging the gap between the home and school."
The programme's website says: "Taonga by TM provides high quality Māori resources, creative design and personalised prints. Knowing that Māori language can vary from tribe to tribe, iwi to iwi, Taonga by TM can personalise items specific to your needs and wants."
Go to www.taonga.co.nz for more about Taonga by TM.