Issue 6 - 13 May 2021


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E ngā reo, e ngā mana, rau rangatira mā, ngā matā waka, tēnei te mihi nui atu ki ā koutou katoa. Ko te wawata me te tumanako ka noho ora mai koutou katoa.

Welcome back to the start of Term 2 to all students, staff, parents and community.

As we move into Term 2, it’s important to reiterate some important messages that we have shared with our students at our recent formal assemblies.

At our recent formal assemblies we acknowledged the sporting, academic and cultural excellence of a huge number of students across the school. 165 students were recognised across both the Junior and Senior school. In addition to the Excellence Academic badges, we’ve introduced yellow academic excellence badges to acknowledge students who achieved Merit Endorsement. We feel this is significant for the young people and should be acknowledged. We also are signalling that we want to increase student’s awareness of striving for academic excellence in the Senior school.

Some of the key messages to our students were that Term 2 is about making sure students work hard to maintain balance in their lives. This is about:

  • Making sure they plan for assessments to be completed and complete necessary homework.

  • They plan to make sure they balance their sporting commitments.

  • They plan to make sure they balance their home and friend commitments. Balance is something that students have to work towards and plan for, so that they take this skill into their adult lives.

I also addressed that at times learning and life is hard, and working through these hardships on your own, with friends, teachers and family, will help you grow. Adversity and hardship is necessary to build character and shape the person we want to be.


Over the holidays the B Block toilets were completed and the B Block roof and windows were installed. We also painted all the B Block classrooms. Over the next Term, all these learning spaces will see new carpet, wall coverings and furniture.

  • B Block Toilets
    The B Block toilets represent a significant investment for the school to ensure that students have access to a safe and secure environment. Over the last few years the school has grappled with ongoing behaviour that has impacted on how students feel using the bathrooms. This includes minor vandalism, graffiti and smoking. We need this behaviour to stop.

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WE ARE SEEKING CONSULTATION with the community (including students), by Friday 21 May, via email to, on placing security cameras in the newly renovated B Block toilets. This means:

  • Cameras will be placed to have a view of common areas. The purpose of the cameras is to capture individuals engaging in potential harmful or dangerous behaviour who will be dealt with according to school procedures.

  • Camera footage will not record inside the cubicles.

  • Students are to change inside the cubicles.

  • Signage will indicate the presence of a camera in each of the new bathrooms, including an image illustrating the direction and area being captured by the camera.

  • CCTV footage from the cameras is overseen by the Privacy Officer (Principal). System Managers for camera footage will be female Senior Leadership Team will be able to view footage from the female toilets, and male Senior Leadership Team will be able to view footage from the male toilets.


I firmly believe that sport is a great learning tool. It teaches us so much about ourselves, the skills of communication, perseverance, resilience and collaboration. We have consistently grown in sport over the last few years and we currently have 27 winter code sports teams in action every week in EBOP and WaiBOP competitions. That means over 400 of our students are benefiting and developing their own skills weekly. We also have a number of students involved in individual sports such as badminton, Get2Go, kayaking, rowing and multisport. Our participation from students and staff is well above the national averages and a reason to celebrate. I wish all students, coaches and managers all the best for the forthcoming season.

As you may be well aware, we now have a Sports Facebook page which gives you up to date details of weekly sporting events for our winter codes, venues and results. Thanks to Ben Sexton and Susi Peterson for putting this work together. I encourage you to follow this Facebook page so you can keep up to date with weekly events and successes from our school:

Free School Meals

The Free School Meals are an important part of our school day and a great resource provided by the Ministry of Education to make sure that young people are well fed with nutritious food so they are ready to learn. I want to encourage all families to give them a go. We have worked with Bay Catering, our caterer, on an improved menu for Term 2, 2021 (please see menu below). In addition to encouraging your young people to take advantage of the food, we will also be offering some healthy eating lessons as part of Student Mentoring and students will be reflecting on the meals as part of their food hospitality programme.

I look forward to seeing you this Term on the side of the playing field and at sporting events where we can celebrate the success and participation of young people.

Martyn Knapton


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Media Studies Auckland Trip

On the last three days of Term One, Mrs Kelly and Ms Napier’s Year 10, 11 and 12 Media Studies classes went on a three-day trip to Auckland to checkout various media businesses in the city. They left bright and early on Wednesday morning in a big bus - ready for great fun!

The 38 students were lucky enough to visit the Auckland branch of Weta Workshop (where they completed both an interactive tour and a horror special effects workshop) and made up the live audience for TV3’s ‘The Project’ on Thursday evening (15th April). The students were also fortunate to have Q&A time with the show’s producer after the show.

The activities on offer helped showcase where Media Studies can take students, highlighting an abundance of opportunity in the field - including producing, directing, set and costume design, animation, digital design, acting, editing, presenting, script-writing and much, much more! Students were surprised to learn that NZ’s own Weta is very readily involved with Hollywood cinema - they even did the CGI in the film they went to see, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’.

The trip was certainly a great success and students descended from the bus at WHS on Friday afternoon exhausted - and ready for their holiday! Mrs Kelly and Ms Napier were incredibly impressed with the students’ conduct on the trip and hope that the experience has opened up their eyes to the wealth of opportunity in this growing sector.

An opportunity to experience life on campus

Parekohai Baker, one of our Deputy Head Girls here at Whakatane High School was recently awarded a scholarship to experience life on campus at the University of Otago at the end of May. Rangatahi Māori applicants were required to be in their final year of Secondary School and had to have acquired at least Merit Endorsement at Level 2 NCEA.

Parekohai will have the opportunity to attend lectures in her area of interest - Medicine - as well as meet academic staff and students. She will experience life in a residential college and meet the Māori Centre staff who provide great support for Māori students when they come to Otago.

Ka mau te wehi Parekohai!

Interact students shine

The Whakatane & District Historical Society recently held a school holiday event Picnic Like Grandma for primary school youngsters. This event was run with the help of Whakatane Blue Light. It involved a series of old fashioned races- sack race, skipping race, egg and spoon race and 3 legged race. We had a gazebo with old-time games such as knuckle bones, Snakes and Ladders and Ludo. An area with croquet, quoits and a long skipping rope was also provided. With all this going on we needed a number of helpers.

We received a letter of thanks for the Interact students from Whakatane High School, for the help they gave on the day. Iziah Carter, Charlotte Billings, Aurora Finch, Tegan Nolan, Olivia Nolan, Brooke Nolan, Entelea Savinelli and Earina Savinelli assisted on the day. They were found to be very willing and showed a lot of initiative. They quickly understood instructions and got on with any task asked of them. They also noticed when something needed to be done and promptly attended to it.

Well done to these students for doing themselves and Whakatane High School proud!

Acknowledgements to Bluelight and Heart of Kope for the supplied image.

EBOP Career Expo a success!

Our Senior students enjoyed the EBOP Career Expo held in the War Memorial Hall on Wednesday this week. There were a number of businesses and tertiary institutions showcasing what they have to offer in the way of further education or employment. Thanks to Jo-Anne Stuart, HOD Careers for organising such a fantastic event for our tamariki.

Whānau Survey Feedback

Thank you our whānau for your feedback in our recent survey! We received 155 comments in total. We welcome your koha about what we are doing well and how we can improve the way we do things at Whakatāne High School to better serve our tauira and our community. Below is the question you were asked and some of the learnings we can take from the feedback we received.

Question: Something I would say about my child’s/children’s learning at this school is ......

  • There were some positives and negatives about our teaching practices. We will be using this feedback to strengthen what we know is not working.

  • There were whanau that felt that there was high levels of care for students, however the feedback is that we need to be more consistent for all students.

  • Most whānau were positive about home-school communication which is an improvement on our last survey.

  • We have some work to do on our systems and structures to better support the academic and pastoral needs of our students e.g. pathways and subject selection. We are addressing this as a staff by reflecting on how we can strengthen this for 2022 and beyond.

  • We need to address bullying and racism in the school where it exists. We will work on this through our assemblies and student mentoring programs.

  • In some areas of the school we need stronger classroom management. We are working with staff to develop consistency for all students and staff in this area.

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Production Tickets on sale soon!

Tickets to our 2021 Production of Back to the 80's will be going on sale in the week beginning 24 May. These will be available to purchase for $15 per ticket, from the Whakatane High School office. Families of four (two adults and two children) will be $45.

The show will run from 21-26 June.

The flats (set pieces that stand up on the stage) currently need repairing and stabilizing, so any parent help would be greatly appreciated!

Off to the Nationals

Our Whakatane High School team were placed 3rd out of the 29 teams over the weekend at the Regional Hillary Challenge event so will be heading to the Hillary Centre on the Central Plateau for five gruelling days of trekking and problem solving. The team was made up of five Yr 13 students (Alex Manning, Cambell Julian, Liam Dooley, Hayden Sisson and Milla Dibben) and three Yr 11 students (Anna Isaac, Kiera Dooley and Olivia Nolan).

An awesome team who showed true grit and determination. Well done team!


1st XV vs Tarawera at home, in a great showing by the boys who have been training really hard. The boys won 58-0 in a very dominant game. Cole Scott, Ohane Poihipi-Black and Putere Hare were standouts.

U16 played Otumoetai in another dominant game by the boys in black and gold. Try scorers were Daniel Beck, Fearghus Byers, Samuel Dibben, Hakeke Mokomoko, Jamie Julian and Gene Gil Sario (2), Samuel Dibben also converted two of these tries.

U14, WHS vs Taumata College

The team has been training hard over the last 10 weeks and our fitness proved the game changer in our 1st match of the season vs Taumata College.

From going into halftime down on the score the boys pounced immediately into the 2nd stanza. Finishing the game 46-28. 3 tries to Kaio Moses. 2 tries to Kyan Edwards. 1 try to Mac Andrews. 1 try to Tyler Young and 3 conversions to Aakiwa Te Aho.


Boys 1st XI won 3-0 vs Otumoetai.2-0 at halftime with two goals from Ryan Calder and a penalty from Josh Dale. Pretty classy display but boys need to work on their fitness. Other standouts were Charlie Waters and Luke Berquist.

Girls 1st XI 8-0 vs Taupo. 4goals to Eva Sexton, 2 to year 9, newcomer Sophie Growden and 1 each to Maia Purcell and Sadie van Beekhuizen. Player of the day awarded to Tayla Jones who epitomised what a leader should be. The Deputy head girl, donning the captains arm band with a solid performance at centre back.

A great display by the girls away from home welcoming many new players to the side.

Junior boys A won 10-1 vs Tauranga Boys College Gold. 5-1 up at half time. Ben Peat netting 4 goals. And Joshua Allison, scoring 3. POD Ben Peat.


Girls 1st XI hockey team played their first game in the women’s league (and their first game as a team with 7 new members) and won against Awakeri 3-2. Goals scored by Eva Sexton, Emily van Dijk and Mouwhia Davis. Next game on Tuesday against Rotorua Lakes at Whakatane at 5.45 in the BOP secondary competition.


WHS Prem team managed to cement a spot in the Senior Premier Division of the local Netball Competition. Ella Fenwick played well in the mid court captaining her side to a good win against Paroa Premiers. Sharlyn Tawhara and Stevie Emery did well in the shooting circle for both games, but the Opotiki side proved too strong.

Win: 15-8, WHS Prems vs Paroa AJ's

Loss: 13-22, WHS Prems vs Opotiki Sports

Week 1 of the Premier Competition saw WHS Prems up against a strong looking Poroporo side. With it being the school holidays WHS really struggled to field a team. Two of our Y9 players gave up their holidays to make up numbers but with a strong sharp shooting Poroporo side, a win was just too big of an ask. Thank you to Akemi Tutua and Matauranga Paul-Wilson for filling in.

Loss: 20-43, WHS Prems vs Poroporo Rewatu

In Week 2 of the local competition WHS Prems meet up with Opotiki Sports again. The strength of Ella and Madi Fenwick in the mid court was again sorely missed, but we look forward to being at full strength again with their return this week. Skye Edwards did a good job coming out of the defense circle to cover, leaving plenty of court time for Eden Beasley, a newbie to the team. Danielle Pugh gave a solid effort as did Camryn Clements who soldiered on with her ankle injury.

Loss: 23-71 WHS Prems vs Opotiki Sports

WHS Koru netball girls played Tarawera and lost 35 - 8. It was the teams first game together this season and some players, first time playing Netball! They played with heart and kept their spirits high, showing good school values. The stand out on the day was Donna Paul with her effort and her positive attitude.

WHS Kowhai defeated WHS Gold 34-18. Jordan Cochrane was a stand out at Goal Shoot for the Kowhai team getting most of her goals in.

WHS Black lost 32-17 to Phoenix Sports

WHS Pikopiko had a close loss, 32-36 to Team Shannon.

Mini Stock Car Racing

Kate Murray had her last race meet of the season this weekend, thankfully the rain held off in Huntly Saturday night, she had 3 solid races in a field of 28 cars. Grid 26 for 1st race she worked up to 14th then had a 7th and 11th placing in the last two races. Sunday only saw one race in challenging conditions before the rain stopped racing with the mud winning!

Kate’s now back into Saturday ocean swimming as of two weeks ago so a semi rest for the next four months along with some car maintenance!


Jacob Hewitt came third in the Tauranga motocross club rounds in the weekend of the 17/18th April. Well done Jacob!

Waka Ama

It is not just our students having success with their sporting endeavours.A huge congratulations to our Waka Ama Coach and support staff member Dave Marshall and team who gained gold in the 16km long distance race at the National Waka Ama Champs in picton for the Golden Master Men division.
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Upcoming Events

  • National NCEA Teacher Only Day - Tuesday, 18 May
  • Te Aka Matua Camp - Wednesday, 19 May to Friday, 21 May
  • Pink Shirt Mufti Day - Friday, 21 May
  • Community of Learning Teacher Only Day - Friday, 4 June
  • Back to the 80's (School Production) - Monday, 21 June to Saturday, 26 June
  • Last Day of Term 2 - Friday, 9 July
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Student Health Notice

Health services provided FREE in school:

  • School Nurse: daily except Wednesday morning
  • School Doctor: Tuesdays P2
  • Nutritionist/Dietitian: Weekly on Wednesday morning

Visit the Student Office to make an appointment.

Icecream Containers

The Science Department are always in need of ice cream containers or paint test pots (even if they have a little bit left in them). Any time you have some spare, please drop them in to the front office.

School bus information

If you require information about your student/s bus route or timetable, please contact Uzabus directly on: 07 308 6169.

Iti Pounamu - homework club

3:15pm-4:30pm in the library every Wednesday.