In January 1927, four Sisters of Mercy arrived at Pawarega.  The Sisters been invited by the Parish Priest to set up a convent and to run a school for the local children.   A group of four Sisters left Auckland and travelled for many days to reach Pawarenga.  These Sisters were Sr Anselm Rist, Sr Marellus, Sr Cyril, and Sr Helen Flynn.   

The local Maori community had worked hard to build a new convent for the Sisters to live in.  The Sisters named the convent St Mary’s Convent.  The community also built a new school.  The new school was opened on February 1927.  The Catholic children from 3 local villages come to the new Mercy school which was named Te Kura o Hata Maria.