Issue 15 - 4 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,

It has been great to see the full school return after the Practise Exams in Week 1 and 2. The school feels busy and purposeful. Our year 9’s are getting to grips with their new option rotations and the Seniors are working hard to revise or complete the work to ensure they finish the year successfully with their relevant NCEA qualification. Obviously Covid has meant that many of the important (and fun) co-curricular and Sport activities have been cancelled due to restrictions. We are always getting updates and notifications from the Ministry and Sports organization and will do our best to pass these on when we get them.

Despite the interruptions it was great to see the Volleyballers take part on the Bay Champs this weekend in the qualifying rounds. It was great to see so many Junior students take part with 8 junior teams going away. Over 70 juniors being involved in Volleyball is amazing. A huge thanks to the staff that took them away and have committed to coaching them over the last few months.

Covid: Mandatory Vaccinations at WHS

As many of you will have heard there has been a vaccination mandate in schools. As of 11.59pm on Monday 25 October the COVID-19 Public Health Response Order for Mandatory Vaccinations for Education came into effect. This means that everyone who works for a school or kura who may have contact with children or students or will be present at a time when children and students are also present must have had a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 15 November and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

This mandate is in effect for staff members, unpaid workers, volunteers, contractors and other workers at our school. This means that both school staff and volunteers who are involved in EOTC should have had a first vaccination by 15 November and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

Any current volunteer involved in EOTC will be required to show their vaccination status to the school before the 15th of November. We have adjusted our volunteer forms for new volunteers at the school to advise of this mandate and our expectations.

Parents and caregivers not providing work for the school but need to be on-site (e.g. picking up their child), are still permitted to attend on site after Monday 15 November whether they are vaccinated or not. However, please follow our Level 2 guidelines by wearing face masks, signing in using the QR code and distancing yourself.

Volunteers will need to provide proof of vaccination status by the 15th November, to obtain a confirmation of vaccination please use this site:

You should book appointments through Book My Vaccine. If you cannot find an appointment within two weeks, call the COVID-19 Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 between 8am to 8pm any day of the week.

Accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine and the rollout programme can be found at Ministry of Health and Unite Against COVID-19. Trusted information in Te Reo Māori and English can be found at Karawhiua.

Please note that the mandate does not relate to children. We have been advised by the Ministry that we do not need to complete a vaccine register at this time for students. However, it may be required in the future and we will await further information from the Ministry.

Student Scholarships

Congratulations to our year 13 students gaining Scholarships with a variety of Universities around the country. It is fantastic to see our students going on to further themselves at Universities having had a strong grounding here at WHS. To date, the following students have gained a combined total of $367,000 in Scholarships:

Alice Blakeway, Adam Reid (pictured), Aleisha Boyce, Amy Humpherson, Branagh Overington, Caitlin Berquist, Ciera Beck, Dylan Hagan, Hannah Dodds, Jack Couchman, Joshua Carter, Kaprise Tupe, Katie Growden, Lucy Butler, Lucy Knott, Michael Everett, Parekohai Baker, Tayla Jones and Te Aniwa Tutua.

It's great to see your potential and ability being identified by the Universities in NZ.

In addition to our leaving year 13s, a huge congratulations goes to Mia Shepherd who has been awarded the OUASSA - Otago University Advanced Science Scholarship for 2022. This is all expenses including flights, food, accommodation etc for two weeks (one in January and again in July) to work with the University along with about 65 other students from across the country.

He Hākari o Te Kōanga

He Hākari o Te Kōanga was held at WHS on the 30th September. A wonderful event designed and run by our students. The meals were amazingly designed and prepared. I have to admit the steak was next level. 80 plus guests were treated and spoiled by the creative menu.

A special thank you to the year 13 Hospitality students, the team of students who waited and assisted and our guest chefs from around the Motu and our sponsors. A REALLY special thanks goes to our teachers Miss Eves, Miss Ranapia and Ms Matrix for their leadership in making the event happen.

Exams and study

Our Senior students should all now be benefiting from their results from their recent practice exams. The real exams will be happening before we know it with the first NCEA exam for year 11 English on Thursday the 11th of November. This is for all Year 11 students. It will take place in the school Hall between 9:30am and 12pm. It will be a digital exam, so students need to bring their Chromebook fully charged.

The NCEA exams start from the 22nd November. Here is the NCEA exam timetable:

Please encourage your child to start studying and revising from home. We have been working with the Senior students on developing a study support guide (link here). We advise that students commit to their exams, they are important to show to future employers, universities or colleges that you can commit and persevere with a revision program.

Wider Living Week

Wider living week for Juniors is in Week 8 on the 8-10th of December. We have a range of organised activities for students and most students have signed up for an activity.

The teachers in charge of these activities will be in contact with you about your child's activity selection, any relevant paperwork and fees for the activity. Please ask them about this. If you have any queries then please contact any of the following Heads of Houses:,, or

Good luck to all the Volleyballers going out again this weekend, I wish you all the best. If you have any concerns about our approach around the vaccine mandate or any questions, please do not hesitate in contacting me.

Martyn Knapton


Senior Prizegiving

Our Whakatane High School Senior Prizegiving for 2021 will be held on 17 November 2021.

Due to the Covid Alert Level and the guidance we have received from the Ministry of Education around 2-metre physical distancing, we're closing our prizegiving to the public this year. That means that only students and school staff will be able to attend.

We know that this is very disappointing for all those involved, but to ensure we're keeping ourselves and our community safe, this is the only way we can see to make it happen.

We will however, be livestreaming this event on Facebook so that whanau, prize sponsors and our special guests can tune in. Please visit this page and click 'going' so you will be notified when the event is happening:

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He Hākari o Te Kōanga

Twelve senior Hospitality students prepared and cooked a four course dinner for 75 guests to rave reviews. With the help of junior students serving and providing musical entertainment, the long awaited night finally arrived and showcased the skills that the hospitality class have been working hard at honing throughout the year.

Not only have the hospitality team accumulated fourteen credits towards NCEA Level 3 they gained invaluable hospitality experience in a commercial setting. Just under $6000 was raised from the night, benefiting the hospitality department and students school wide for activities like Wider Living Week and contributing funds towards the girls cricket team. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the people in the wider community who have supported this event and helped to make the night a massive success.

Business Studies Mini Market Day

Come and support the Whakatane High School Business Studies "Mini Market Day" on Friday next week.

For more information click on this LINK and see the timetable below.

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A magical day for Level 2 PE students

For their final Level 2 PE assessment Mr Hanlen and Mr Martin supported the class in their planned day boating at Lake Rotoiti. Destination; the magical Manupirua Hot Springs! This spot is relatively unknown to most and is an ancient mineral hot spring only accessible by boat. The local Ngāti Pikiao Hapū invited us as manuhiri to enjoy their sacred place.

The main aim of the day was for the students to plan, conduct and mitigate the risks associated with the winter Lake environment; this included swimming, cliff jumping and boating – New Zealand style. It was a great day, the students implemented excellent risk management strategies to ensure their safety. For the students, the fun part is now over. Time to report and evaluate those planned strategies! Special mention to Ben Kjeldsen's dad Paul who supported on the day.

Y10 Painting and Printmaking

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Still Life Paintings inspired by New Zealand Artist Sylvia Siddell. Autumn Pendleton (top) and Iseiah Grace Gallardo (bottom).

Student Representative 2021-2022

We recently held the Student Representative nominations and voting. We had eight great nominations for Student Rep, but there can be only one winner. After a very tight vote, congratulations goes to Jimmy Taylor who is the new Student Rep on the Board of Trustees. Well done also to the other seven candidates for putting their names forward for this very important role.

Funding Applications

Whakatane High School would like to thank the following Gaming Trusts that provided grants to help with transport and accommodation for tournaments, and for the purchase of equipment and uniforms.

These grants help reduce the cost of attending North Island and New Zealand sports events for all students and also ensures the school is able to provide all equipment and uniforms for our teams.

NZ Community Trust

NZCT provided a grant for winter tournament week, unfortunately, this week was cancelled but we still received $2600 to help with costs for the WHS Multisport team that competed in the finals of the NZ Hillary Challenge

The Lion Foundation

The Lion Foundation provided a grant for term 4 sports tournaments which have since been called off. However, part of this grant ($6465) will be used for the purchase of new goalie sets for our hockey teams and uniforms for our rowing team.

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Rotorua 1000 Regatta

The first official rowing regatta of the season took place on Saturday at the Blue Lake. The Whakatane Rowing club took 48 junior rowers to compete with 37 coming from Whakatane High School – a huge increase with the addition of 13 novice rowers to our school team.

The senior boys continued their usual dominant display with Ryan Calder, Luke Berquist and Zak Boonen being joined by Jonghyun Yun (JY) to easily win the coxed quad race before narrowly winning the coxed four in the men’s open race. In the Men’s open singles, Luke won narrowly over Ryan with Tom Sims and JY coming in 5th and 6th. Also in the double sculls, Luke and Zak continued their dominance from last season to win the boys U17 double sculls ahead of Ryan and JY, Kaden Naidoo and Travis Talpos, and Tom Sims and Logan Howard-Hill.

Senior girls Graceyn Growden and Grace Iremonger won the Girls U17 double sculls before teaming up with Sophie Sisson and Sophie Peat to come second in the Girls U17 coxed quadruple sculls and third in the Women’s open race.

The big excitement for the day came from the novice boys competing in their first regatta. They looked impressive winning both novice octuple races with no other boat even close. The boys were then split into crews and competed in novice quad sculls events with all three crews coming top three in all races. Watch out for these boys over the next season: Christiaan Nel, Indy English, Kiwa tua Swain, Deshan Sena, Ryan Pryde, Alex Iremonger, Andre-Clay Toailoa, Micah Walker, Jack Boyde, and Ryan Manning. A shout out to Sam Knapton who competed with the novices as a rower/coxswain although is not yet at high school.

Our coxswains (Conrad Hopkins, Alice Blakeway and Evia Linnell-Olsen) were kept very busy with multiple races each throughout the day.

Ours remaining girls consisting Charlotte Paulsen, Charlotte Billings, Emma and Greta Jackson, Olivia Calder, Lucy Knott, Caitlin Berquist, Kirsty Bell, Entelea Savinelli, plus novices Kaylee Lawlor and Cassie Bennett competed in different crew combinations with the best result coming 2nd in both octuple races and a 2nd place for Caitlin in the Women’s open single sculls.


Below is a small list of events coming up.

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

  • InZone Career Bus - Year 11 students - Monday 8 November
  • Level 1 NCEA English Exam - Thursday 11 November 9.30am-12pm
  • Senior Prizegiving - Wednesday 17 November - livestream link here:
  • NZQA Exams - 22 November to 14 December
  • NCEA Teacher Only Day - Friday 3 December
  • Wider Living Week - 8 to 10 December
  • Junior Prizegiving - Tuesday 14 December (last day of school)


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.

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: