Newsletter Term 1

Wairarapa College 28 February 2022


Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko Taranaki te maunga

ko Waitara to awa

ko Tokomaru te waka

ko Te Ati Awa te iwi

ko Pukerangiora te hapu

ko Kairau te marae

No Ōtautahi ahau

Kei Whakaoriori tōku kāinga ināianei

Ko Matt White toku ingoa

No reira Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa

Welcome to our new students, whānau and staff.

My vision for our school is to develop the full potential of each student so they can leave Wairarapa College equipped to take on the challenges of life. The uncertainty and anxiety caused by Covid-19 is one such challenge - but with wisdom and courage - kia mātau, kia māia, we can endure this and emerge as stronger individuals.

Our annual plan this year will focuses on enhancing our culture of care as we revitalise our LEAD values and plan to train all staff in restorative practice. Teaching and learning is also a priority as we implement our new junior curriculum and utilise eLearning as a tool to support teaching in the classroom. I also look forward to continuing to develop our relationships with our community, completing property redevelopments and starting to plan our centenary celebrations.

My mantra for 2022 is kia atawhai ki te iwi – care for the people. Let’s continue to care for each other and for ourselves in order to navigate another year that already has and will continue to be disrupted by Covid-19.

Kia Kaha.

Mr Matt White

Principal Tumuaki

Message from the Board of Trustees

Dear WaiCol whānau,

These aren’t normal times, and we admire our WaiCol community’s tremendous resilience. We’re trying hard to represent your priorities — both wellbeing and academic progress while navigating COVID is at the top.

In September this year there will be fresh school Board elections. Several of us have served since the Board was re-established and won’t re-stand. Other members put themselves forward when vacancies were advertised, and intend to stand for election. This is a purposeful succession plan—their skills and dedication have given WaiCol a fantastic foundation to move forward with.

Maria McKenzie has stood down as Board Chair and we have unanimously elected Gretchen Dean for this position. Being Chairperson involves many-hours commitment, and not simple to perform well—we are thrilled Gretchen has volunteered to take it on. We also have our freshly elected student rep Caleb Rogers. His crucial job is to bring student voice to the Principal or Board table, and communicate Board discussions back to students.

Each one of us are very active with sub-group roles including Finance, Policy, Strategy, Communications (school-to-whānau), Property (including digital provision) and Centenary 2023 preparations.

Board position open now:

Lisa MacDonald would like to step away from her Board responsibility for Finance. We would like to co-opt a community member with skills in finance to take this position. If you would like to apply, or have questions, please send an email to in confidence.


Gretchen Dean (Chair), Fleur Hardman (Staff Rep), Caleb Rogers (Student Rep), Maria McKenzie, Lisa McDonald, Kirsten Browne, Tracey Shepherd, Waireka Collings, Meredith Gillies, Jason Kerehi (Iwi Rep) and Matt White (Principal)

Newsletter proudly sponsored by

Big picture

This or That with Kōkā Destiny

We are pleased to welcome Kōkā Destiny to our staff. Kōkā was a student at Wairarapa College from 2013 to 2017 and returns to teach English after completing a Bachelor of Communication and Teaching Diploma at Victoria University.

To help us get to know our new staff better in a short amount of time, we've introduced a quick icebreaker... This or That?

Hogwarts or Middle Earth? Hogwarts

2 Pac or Biggie? 2 Pac

Summer or Winter? Summer

Salty or Sweet? Sweet

Yoga or Running? Yoga

Coffee or Tea? Peach Iced Tea

Cat or Dog? Cats

Pancakes or waffles? Pancakes

Beach or mountain? Beach

Cook a meal or clean up after a meal? Cook a meal

Comedy or Drama? Drama

Hurricanes or Phoenix? Hurricanes

This or That with Mrs Ahmad

Welcome to our new music teacher Mrs Ahmad. Mrs Ahmad joins us after completing her teacher training and has previous experience as a itinerant music teacher, violin teacher and member of several orchestras.

Hogwarts or Middle Earth? Hogwarts

Summer or Winter? I Love Winter!

Salty or Sweet? Of course SWEET!

Yoga or Running? Running

Coffee or Tea? I prefer MILO

Pancakes or waffles? Waffles

Cook a meal or clean up after a meal? I prefer no cleaning and cooking. But I love eating food!

Hamburgers or hot dogs? Hamburgers

Breakfast or dinner? Dinner

Comedy or Drama? I Love Korean Drama!

Hot or cold? Cold

This or That with Mr Rodger

Mr Stephen Roger joins us from Upper Hutt College. He was a teacher of English, Drama, Mathematics, Dean, Head of Department and Assistant Principal. Mr Roger takes over the lead position in our Alternative Education Whare Whakaruruhau programme.

Hogwarts or Middle Earth? Middle Earth

2 Pac or Biggie? 2 Pac

Summer or Winter? Winter

Coffee or Tea? Neither!

Pancakes or waffles? Waffles

Ski, Snowboard or Surf? Surf

Beach or mountain? Mountain

Cook a meal or clean up after a meal? Cook a meal

Hamburgers or hot dogs? Hamburgers

Breakfast or dinner? Breakfast

Comedy or Drama? Comedy

Hot or cold? Cold

Hurricanes or Phoenix? Hurricanes

Refreshed Junior Curriculum

2022 has seen the implementation of Wairarapa College’s brand-new junior curriculum. The new curriculum allows greater student agency in what students want to study within all learning areas. For example, instead of Social Studies, students may take a Social Science course titled “War!” or “Disaster: the power of nature.” Courses are semester based and students pick 6 courses per semester.

We are now 4 weeks into this new curriculum and students are enjoying the change. Year 10 student, Tāne Jenkinson, believes that it has changed the junior school a lot. “[Having] no more core classes is different but it is good having different people in my classes.” Tāne adds that he “really likes the choices we have when picking subjects. We don’t have to just do Maths but we can do different types of Maths like “Maths is IT” or “Everyday Math”. I think there will be a high chance you will do a course that you enjoy because of the options you have.” Tāne’s favourite courses this semester are “Game On!” (Social Sciences) and “Faster Higher Stronger” (Physical Education).

Another Year 10 student, Brodie Gourlay, finds the new setup for classes more involved and personal. "I got to choose the learning areas and courses I wanted to be in, and I was able to leave out the ones that didn’t interest me.” Although he found it different at first, Brodie is now fond of the changes as it helps him with his individual learning. Brodie’s favourite course this semester is “Law and Order” (Social Sciences). “I like learning about Martin Luther King Jr and connecting that with New Zealand’s situation now.”

Mr Joe Hurndell

Acting Deputy Principal - Curriculum and Equity

Hapori Community Time

A new initiative as part of our revised junior curriculum for 2022 is Hapori Community Time.

Hapori Community Time provides our Year 9 and 10 students with creative/action/service-based experiences which enhance their hauora (health and wellbeing), develop positive connections with the wider school community, and equip them with transferable skills to reach their full potential in today’s world.

Term 1 activities include Kapa Haka, Enviro group, Drama Club, Book Club, employment skills with REAP Wairarapa and fitness at the Wairarapa Boxing Academy.

Thank you to REAP and the Boxing Academy for their support.

Student success and attendance

Well done to our students who worked hard and persevered to overcome the disruptions to learning last year and gained NCEA qualifications. Congratulations to those who gained endorsements (listed below). Mr White and I will recognise and celebrate these students at Year Level assemblies next week.

With the current Covid-19 situation, every day at school matters. With the likelihood of student absences this year it is essential students are in class on time when they are well. A Year 11 student who attends school every day has about a 90% chance of achieving NCEA Level 1, but this drops to a 1-in-5 chance if they only turn up at school half of the time.

Wairarapa College has the expectation that students attend school regularly (>90%). In order to represent our school’s premier sports and cultural groups, and attend the school ball, students must meet this expectation.

Please check the Kamar parent portal for daily attendance and contact your student’s whānau teacher if you have any questions or concerns.

All the best for a successful year.

NCEA Level 1 Merit Endorsement

Prima Adams

Summer Anderson

Fred Day

Keira Potangaroa

Baxter Ferguson

Tiana Jenkinson

Ben Pettit

William White

Logan Dahlberg

Clay Gourlay

Jade Bradnock

Ashley Millar

Ella Ticehurst

Charlie Gain

Holly Simpson

Lucas Pierson

Emma MacDonald

Kate Donaldson

Lucy Moore

Ryan Lovell

Charlize Marriott

Ryby McCartney

Bethany Davies

Guinevere Norris

Asha Mitchell

Anthea Netto

Taylah Saunders

Devlin Backhouse

Ella Forster

Allen Panikulam

Izzy Ross-Harding

Hriday Patel

Luke Fraser

Lisa Gunn

Mia Bartlett

Porscha Futter

NCEA Level 1 Excellence Endorsement

Mitchell Wiramanaden

Aashika Lokhandwala

Harry Ewington

Elise Jung-Leask

Lauren Perry

Kayla Watt

Lily Rees

Katie Harris

Natasha Memelink

Phoebe Monk

Anna O’Connor

Edith Dickson

NCEA Level 2 Merit Endorsement

Hayley Kilmister

Luca Neilsen

Cooper Griffin

James Wall

Natasha Purnell

Charlotte Jephson

Sophia Haglund-Turley

Lucais Davies

Aja Walker

Mikayla Evans

Hannah Taylor

Regan McArley

Sammy Vincent

Jorja Younger

Joel Hodgkinson

Amy Farmer

Lily Irwin

Alana Low

Brooke Morrison

Arahanga Manaea

Amelia Morison

William Horsbrugh

James Lowe

William Larkin

NCEA Level 2 Excellence Endorsement

Olivia Antsis

Belle Clark

Erin Kerehi

Jamie Blackburn

Anika Stewart

Rosemary King

Oriane Davidson

Will Tickner

Ryan Davidson

Millie Higinbottom

Alex Clark

Hannah Donald

Daniel Johnston-Kanavatoa

Caitlin Wright

NCEA Level 3 Merit Endorsement

Hadley Wiramanaden

Eric Anderson

Amy Bunny

Tom Cardno

Pip Dunbar

Olivia Freeman

Holly Hancox

Adam Hooper

Clay Jenkinson

Paige Johns

Jenna Lawson

James Moore

Rose Nelson

George Petrovich

Geroge Searle

Danielle Theedom

NCEA Level 3 Excellence Endorsement

Jayden Alexander

Georgia Higinbottom

Abigail McCaffrey

Rachael Patterson

Kishan Sukha

Jacob Walsh

Mr Mark Williams

Assistant Principal - Student Success

Support for Students

We realise and appreciate that it is a challenging time for us all at the moment. We have a number of people who can help you deal with any concerns or questions you may have about the wellbeing on your child.

At Wairarapa College you can contact any of the following staff with any questions you may have.

  • Classroom teachers

  • Whānau teachers

  • Deans

  • SLT

  • Guidance counsellors

  • Youth worker

  • Student support team

  • Language resource staff

  • School Health Nurse

The best way to do this is through the school's main office: or 06 370 0400. If you wish to contact a staff member directly, all emails are initial then surname e.g

The most important thing is to ensure that our students are staying safe, following health guidelines, focusing on learning at school and at home and continuing to look after themselves.

Mr Aaron Perkins

Assistant Principal - Student Well-being

Welcome to Te Whare Āwhina

The new building for the Supported Learning Centre is finally open and we have moved in at last. We have moved right across the school and are now located on the left of the main school building (looking in from Pownall Street). Just look for the interestingly shaped white dome-like structure. This is the entranceway into the building. The new name for our learning home is Te Whare Āwhina. The word āwhina means to assist, aid, help or support, so we thought this would be a great name for our new home.

We are all still finding our feet as we negotiate our way around as it is full of interesting nooks and crannies for us to use. The students are loving the new outlook, especially the basketball hoop area and the de-escalation room. Our new computers have all arrived and are being installed by the end of the week. We are working out names for all the spaces and are hoping to get some beautiful signs made that will help us all to know which space teachers, teacher aides and students will work in for each period.

Sadly, parents and others have not been able to come along and have a look around so that they know what their child is talking about. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are not allowed to have general public/visitors in unless there is a specific reason, such as a designated meeting with one of the teachers. We do plan on having an official opening and morning tea when these restrictions are lifted or lessened, and we will keep you informed of any updates for this. Watch this space!

In the meantime, enjoy the photos and messages that are being shared on Seesaw and please keep in touch with us if you have any concerns or exciting news to share.

Wairarapa College celebrates 100 years

Wairarapa College celebrates 100 years at the Pownall Street site next year. A 'Centenary Celebration' is set for Friday 10 - Sunday 12 March 2023. This gives us just over a year and one month to plan and organise ourselves to be there. There are already some fantastic ideas to mark the occasion such as a golf tournament, a concert, a celebrity cricket match, school/farm tours, a reunion village and a reunion ball.

If you want to be a part of the planning committee, comment on here or email us below. We need your help, there is a lot to be done.

So now you know, msg your mates, mark your calendar and plan a trip home.

See you there.... Mauri Ora!

Jason Kerehi

Wairarapa College Centenary Reunion Committee

Nurse Update

Kia Ora Waicol Whānau

It is a very uncertain time at present, and a lot of us are feeling anxious. That’s perfectly normal and understandable – this is new territory for everyone. The Waicol clinic has been really busy this year; not only with covid related appointments. We have seen a big increase in students presenting with mental health concerns, and I want to congratulate those students for seeking help. It isn’t an easy thing to do. Please keep a close eye on your teenagers and keep the lines of communication open. There may be things worrying them that you can discuss at home. Have a chat, and make a plan. Is a great website to check out. is a local website which has links to relevant Wairarapa support services.

I am also thrilled to welcome Fay to the School Clinic. Fay is a Nurse Practitioner who works in the Emergency Department at the hospital four days a week. Fay will be in clinic at Waicol every Wednesday and is able to help our students just as their own family doctor can. Appointments must be booked in advance for this service.

If you have any concerns about your child’s health, please don’t hesitate to get in touch –

Kind regards


Alternative Education at Wairarapa College

Wairarapa College is pleased to have it’s own Alternative Education unit attached to the school. Whare Whakaruruhau accepts students who want to achieve well at school, but perform better in a home room based educational setting.

As part of our NCEA studies, we are looking at personal wellbeing and fitness. We try to experience the outdoors regularly and enjoy the beautiful Wairarapa region we have on our doorstep.

Last Wednesday, February 16th, we headed out to Mt Holdsworth car park and headed up the Gentle Annie track to Rocky Lookout. The weather was beautiful and hot and we were lucky enough to have a well deserved dip in the cool river at the end of the walk.

The next challenge will be to get to Powell Hut! We’re all looking forward to achieving this next goal.

Big picture

Hapori time with the Technology department

We have had a very busy start to the year dismantling unused framing and recycling wood projects from last year. Mr. Moore has led a group constructing seating which will be placed around our field. In Mr. O’Sullivan’s’ workshop students have been inspecting and repairing unwanted saw-horses which will be sold or donated. We have a hard-working team who are doing the school proud.

12PED Adrenalin Forest - By Porcha Futter

For our PED Year 12 Risk Management Internal we visited Adrenalin Forest in Porirua. Adrenalin Forest is a multi-level obstacle course that is designed to progress you higher and higher into the trees with activities like rope bridges, Tarzan swings, nets, flying foxes and so much more. Not only did this experience teach us about Risks, Causes and Risk Prevention it also pushed us mentally and physically and developed our self-belief. I went into this challenge with reluctance as my fear of heights was crippling. But with the support of the amazing staff, I was able to push myself by doing activities I had already affirmed mentally I was not going to do. The highlight of the experience for me was not just the activities but the way it brought our class closer together in the way we supported and encouraged each other to do our best.

12PED Adrenalin Forest - by Summer Anderson

On Thursday our two year 12 PED classes went to Adrenalin Forest for our Risk management internal. We had three hours to do whatever courses we liked and felt comfortable doing. In this internal we have been focusing on risks and what causes risks also how to prevent them. At the start of the day, we all got on the bus and headed over the hill to Adrenalin Forest. When we arrived, we all got a safety briefing and demonstration of how to work our harness. Then after that we were free to climb up safely. We all had to stay with a buddy so that if something went wrong someone was there. Some people had to be brought down but a lot of people made it all the way through to level 6. Overall, it was an amazing Experience and I highly recommend trying high ropes out.
Big picture