SHARE
Boarding time . . . Maheno School pupils Sophie McMillan-Sinclair (12, left) and Katie Kinnaird (11) hope the school gets donated the 10,000 airpoints it needs for its 53 pupils to travel to Te Papa in Wellington to visit the Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

More than 50 Maheno School pupils may be winging their way to Wellington this year to view a museum exhibition with special significance to the North Otago school.

The school is one of 10 selected nationwide as part of Air New Zealand’s Airpoints for Schools initiative, which gives pupils the opportunity to travel further afield than they usually might on school trips.

The programme allows members to donate their airpoints dollars to the school.

Ten thousand points need to be found by April 24 so the group can depart from Dunedin.

Maheno School principal Ryan Fraser said the reason Te Papa was picked as a destination was so pupils could see the Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition, featuring a model of the hospital ship Maheno, which saw service during World War 1.

The school owns the original bell of the ship, and in 2015, a group of pupils and teachers attended an Anzac Day service on Fraser Island, in Australia, where the remains of the ship now lie after it was wrecked during a storm in 1935.

Another group will travel to the island for this year’s Anzac Day commemorations.

Mr Fraser said if enough points were raised, all 53 of its pupils would travel to Te Papa in the fourth term.

“It’s good to be able to continue the connection with the whole school and the ship. It’s pretty exciting, really.”

As of this week, the school was already more than a quarter of the way to its target with 2600 points donated.

Maheno School pupils Sophie McMillan-Sinclair (12) and Katie Kinnaird (11) will travel to Fraser Island this year and are excited about the prospect of also heading to Wellington.

Mr Fraser said the school hoped to take the original bell on the trip if it went ahead.

Airpoints can be donated by visiting www.airnewzealand.co.nz/airpoints, then selecting the Airpoints for Schools option and selecting Maheno School.