Issue 16 - 19 November 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.

Dear parents and whanau,

Last week I was very humbled to be part of the Senior Prizegiving for 2021. Whilst we were saddened not to have our community physically with us, we were delighted that hundreds of people were online watching the livestream, people from the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia joined us in celebrating the success of our students. A video of the event can be found here:

Whilst we celebrated our students who are blossoming and growing into amazing young people, who have been nourished and nurtured by the love and support of their whanau, friends and our staff, I want to acknowledge families and our wider community in helping our young people be so successful. I have asked our students to show their gratitude and respect to their whanau.

As Principal, the quality of our staff and the potential they have for making a profound difference in the lives and the learning of you, our students, in their care, is of huge importance to me. One of our greatest strengths as a school is the relationships we have between our staff and students. The quality of our teachers and staff is what we are known for. At the assembly we acknowledged our departing staff, some only here for a short time and others for a very long time but all loved and cherished for who they are and what they have achieved here. They are all Taonga of our school for now and forever more. We farewell Mrs Harper, Koro, Mrs Whale, Ms Everitt (pictured above), Mr Barnett, Miss Chandler, Miss Hawea, Mr Clark and Mrs Tuhoro. These teachers and staff uphold our school values, work hard and care deeply about our school.

We were privileged to have Te Aka Matua lead our school in Waiata and Haka to tautoko our departing staff. I can tell you that the emotions were clearly on show and for many of us a tear (or two) were shed!

At the prizegiving I reminded all students that they were part of something bigger than just being part of a school. They are part of Whakatane High School. We are more than just a school. Our centennial at the start of the year highlighted this for me. We had hundreds of ex-students (alumni) come to our school who were proud of their time here, who came back and spoke fondly of their old teachers, their old friends, the teams they played in and the success they achieved. But more importantly how the school helped support and shape them into who they were as an adult, how the connections they made to the school remain strong and how proud they still are of coming here as a student many years later. Some alumni, in their 90’s are still Whakatane High school proud.

At the prizegiving I reminded our departing Year 13 students that our community expects great things from them, and we want the best for them. They have had to navigate a complex and uncertain time in world history, but it will not always be like this. The skills they have developed here, of perseverance, self-motivation, of dealing with adversity and having to adapt are all crucial skills that will help them thrive in the 21st Century.

I wish all seniors the best for the upcoming NCEA exams. Here is a link to the current NZQA exam timetable:

Please contact Helen Mckane our Assistant Principal if you have any questions at

2022 Planning

The school is currently working towards developing its annual goals for 2022 and will publicise these to you. Whilst we are planning for 2022 we are also planning for the disruption that we feel Covid will bring at some stage. Currently our departments are collaboratively planning their courses for 2022 so that all learning is visible, rewindable and coherent for all students and the community.

In the meantime, below are the Term dates and Teacher Only Days for 2022, we will publish a more detailed calendar towards the end of the term.

Student vaccination confirmation

The Ministry of Education has advised all schools who have students over the age of 12 to maintain a vaccine register. This is through a Direction issued by the Secretary for Education under the Education and Training Act 2020 Schedule 25, Clause 3.

Examples of the vaccination status could include:

  • a screenshot of their vaccination record on My Covid Record (for those 16 and over)

  • a vaccination certificate (which can be requested from the Ministry of Health)

  • a letter from their GP.

For more details about the requirements:

How to provide the school with confirmation of your child’s vaccination status:

1. Complete this form


2. Email a copy of your child’s vaccination status to . A copy can be a pdf, digital record or a screenshot.


3. Provide a paper copy to the Principal's P.A Anne Nillesen.

Second vaccinations

Any students due for their second vaccination, and wishing to have this done on 2 December, Te Puna Ora o Mataatua will be providing this service at Whakatane High School. If you'd like your child to take advantage of this opportunity, please fill in this form and drop it into the school office or your child can bring the completed form on the day. Spare copies are available from the office. Parent/caregiver consent is required.

Martyn Knapton


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Senior Prizegiving 2021 (just some of the top award recipients)

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A great opportunity presented itself recently with Mr Cochrane tasking our Junior Health Classes with the option of entering a covid vaccination poster competition. The prize, a chromebook!

This awesome opportunity was supported by our partnership through collaboration Indigenous Sparks which targets our youth population. They are the seeds to be secured in ensuring the future productivity of our nations.

After an impressive number of entries, congratulations goes to Caleb Hanlen, Lily Muggeridge, Vaughan Hathaway, Matauranga Paul-Wilson and Josh Hansen.

Amazing artwork from our seniors

Senior Art students and staff have put in many extra hours over the last few weeks completing some amazing folio work in Painting, Design and Photography. The students now have to wait until mid January for their results.



A massive congratulations to our eight Junior Volleyball teams on their recent success at the BOP Indoor Junior Volleyball Champs.

The finals were held this past weekend and we are so happy to say:

  • the Girls A team placed 2nd after a great final game against Western Heights.
  • the Boys A team secured the bronze medal after a good win over Mt Maunganui
  • We had three of our boys teams in the top 16.

Another great achievement and shows so much strength across the board for the sport of Volleyball at our school.
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Eight beach volleyball teams also competed at the BOP Beach Volleyball Champs, all placing in the top 10. Our top results were as follows:

Year 9 Girls

  • 2nd - Sophie Growden and Monique Prasad

Year 10 Girls

  • 1st - Kendall McKane and Ani Doherty
  • 2nd - Tayla-Bree Heath and Tayla Brady


WHK Volleyball have had a very successful season despite what COVID has done to put a dampener on things but nevertheless all squads have shone bright on the court.

This comes from the success at Bay tournament over the last few weekends and how each squad has vastly improved. Though we all have come up against some very tough competition with the likes of western height, Otumoetai and Tauranga girls, all our squads have defied the odds to win against them. But it hasn’t come without its losses, and those losses are good learning curves as extra motivation.

While I have been doing my internship here at Whakatane high School, I have been so impressed with the amount of time and effort that every player has put in at trainings and making the commitment and seeing the rewards come out of those trainings to come out on top.

There is always room for improvement and these students can only get better and better. As the old saying goes “Good things take time”. As for my C squad, I am so proud of each and every one of my girls and how far they have come since their first training session, they have grown into fine young volleyball players and can only hope they continue to grow and improve in their skills and in themselves. It has been an honour and a privilege to have been their coach and I have enjoyed coaching them and being part of their experience.

Thank you for letting me be part of the volleyball coaching whanau and I do hope I get to coach for the school again very soon.

Nga mihi

Toni Hutchings


Below is a small list of events coming up.

For the full calendar of events, check out this link:


Student Health Notice

Health services provided FREE in school:

  • School Nurse: daily except Wednesday morning
  • School Doctor: Tuesdays P2
Visit the Student Office to make an appointment.

School bus information

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

Science Department Requests

If anyone has any newspapers or ice cream containers at home, the Science Department would really appreciate these for use in science experiments. Please drop off to the front office.

Rangiatea Whakatane School For Young Parents

Check out the Rangiatea Facebook page and see what our fantastic teachers have been up with with our young parents:
Pictured from left: Tayla-Bree Heath, Tayla Brady, Kendall McKane, Ani Doherty, Sophie Growden and Monique Prasad