Issue 7 - 27 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.

Dear whānau,

It has been fantastic to see our young people engaged in their learning and taking the opportunities on offer at Whakatāne High School. There have been some really amazing highlights over the last fortnight that really illustrate what a vibrant and exciting school we are. Some highlights for me include:

  • The recent Te Aka Maatua camp at kokohinau (Tuhimata) Marae. We had nearly 200 junior and senior students, their whanau and Kaiako (teachers) attend the camp. The camp ran for three days and students engaged in a full program of activities including Level Two NCEA work that connected their experiences to learning. I am thankful to the Te Aka Maatua team who worked so hard to make it happen. I want to acknowledge Koro (Te Kapua Riini) for all his efforts over a number of years to grow and develop this experience for our students at our school.

  • Our recent Noho Marae also offered our students the opportunity to develop a range of personal, learning and construction skills as they took part in a week-long course supported by Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. Thanks to Mr Barsdell and Mr Martin for making it happen.

  • The amazing support our young people get. As I write this I am not long from returning from the 1st XI Hockey game against Trident. Despite not winning the game our support was outstanding, from the coaches and a huge number of parents. We are blessed to always have a huge amount of support for our students and any success is a success that doesn’t happen without our parents, so thank you!

  • The dedicated staff and students making our 2021 production ‘Back to the 80’s’ come to life and the countless weekends and after schools they will put in to make sure this is such a wonderful experience for the community.

  • From our year 12 Outdoor Education students helping out at the Eastern Bay Mountain bike competition, to our school raising over $700 from Pink Shirt Day to help support community charities. Making sure our students are part of the community is really important in building a great community.

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  • Our teachers developing innovative programs to support our young people and help bring learning to life. The recent Waka building project ran with the Marumaru class and developed by our A.P Renay Jones in conjunction with support from local artists and carvers was truly a great project to see from an idea to execution. Our students loved it and the Waka will be a project that generations of students will be able to use.

  • The recent careers expo organised by Mrs Jo-Anne Stuart and Mrs Ball enabled all of our senior students to develop their vocational imagination and get clearer on their pathways beyond school. Whether that be from the agricultural sector, Police force, Army or University. We are thankful that we were able to engage local businesses and industries in showing what is on offer locally, regionally and nationally.

  • The dedication our teachers show in their own professional learning. We are thankful for the leadership our English Department are showing nationally to pilot the new NCEA standards. They will help pave the way for all schools in New Zealand in the next year as they get on board with the new NCEA standards. Check out Whakatane High School's HOD of English, Ms Shae McLean, talking about the English pilot:

Teacher Only Day

The recent teacher only day was part of the National NCEA Teacher Only Days ran across New Zealand. Our school ran a number of sessions on the day the morning focussed on mana orite mo te matauranga Maori and Maori students succeeding as Maori. We were supported by Pouroto Ngaropo, staff, students and parents who helped unpack this important lens on learning that all schools will need to develop for all students across New Zealand and embed through the new NCEA standards. We will share more with you as we develop this framework in consultation with the school and wider community.

In the afternoon we focussed on Literacy and Numeracy requirements expected at NCEA across the New Zealand and our teachers worked collaboratively in planning for how this may look in their subject area. Thanks to Mrs McKane for co-ordinating the day. Thankyou also to Ms Alexis Teepa, Ms Te Aorere Walker and Mrs Tammy Rika for being brave enough to share their stories with us as a team.

Heoi anō tāku mō nāianei

That is all for now

Kia Pai to ra

Have a great day

Martyn Knapton

Whakatāne High School Launches Waka

Last Friday, a waka built by local artist Jamie Boynton and 18 year 9 Whakatāne High School students was launched at the Ōhope boat ramp.

Whakatāne Assistant Principal, Renay Jones said she had noticed there were Māori students coming into the school struggling with transition into year 9. As a response, the year 9 Marumaru class was developed which has an integrated approach to learning that focuses on kaupapa Māori.

After applying for funding, Mrs Jones was able to put together a project of building a waka with Mr Boynton and the students as a learning experience. The students designed, built and painted the waka.

Several supporters showed up on the day of the launch and Atea-a-Rangi Educational Trust founders, Piripi Smith and Michelle Smith travelled from the Hawkes Bay, bringing their own waka, sailing skills and expertise to the event.

Following the launch, the students were lucky enough to experience a workshop of traditional navigation, sailing and Pacific migrations in a specialist dome, facilitated by Piripi Smith.

Te Aka Matua Noho 2021

Last week from 19-21 May, the Te Aka Matua students held their annual noho. This year's noho was at Kokohinau Marae in Te Teko.

Te Aka Matua is a whānau-based programme that has been going for 20+ years within Whakatane High School. It encourages the caring and sharing values and teachings of our tipuna and we have seen generations of rangatahi come through.

The noho is spread out over a few days where students learn whakawhanaungatanga, to strengthen their friendships within their peers, tikanga maori and the history of which marae the noho is held. They practise haka, waiata and much more.

Pink Ribbon Breakfast - tickets available

The Whakatane High School Interact Club are holding their annual Pink Ribbon Breakfast on Tuesday June 1st. It is at the Baptist Church, Keepa Road at 7am. Tickets cost $25. Entry is by ticket only. These can be purchased by contacting or

The speaker is our very own Mathematics teacher, Miss Fiona Bentley. If you would like a ticket, please let us know by Friday 28 May 2021.

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Art Trip

On Friday 14th May a group of Y12 and Y13 Art students went to Tauranga Art Gallery - Toi Tauranga, to visit the NZQA Top Art exhibition. Students were inspired from seeing the best Level 3 portfolios from around the country. They were also lucky enough to be given a guided tour of the current exhibition, Lisa Chandler: The Dividing Line.

Sport and Fitness Updates

Participation in Sport

Despite Covid having a big impact on the whole community in 2020 we managed to get through most of the sports competitions over the second half of the year. We are very proud to share our 2020 Sport NZ Census results, which really standout when looking at the BOP and NZ averages.

We would especially like to thank our teaching staff who give up many hours outside of school to help coach and manage sports teams and ensure our students are given the opportunity to represent our school in their chosen sport.

  • Overall Student Sport Participation - WHS 54% (BOP 44%, NZ 48%)
  • Female Student Sport Participation - WHS 54% (BOP 42%, NZ 45%)
  • Male Student Sport Participation - WHS 55% (BOP 46%, NZ 51%)
  • Teaching Staff Sport Participation- WHS 58% (BOP 27%, NZ 27%)

Sports Funding

Whakatane High School is consistently looking at funding opportunities to help make sport and physical activity more accessible to all of our students. We would like to acknowledge and thank the following organizations for their financial support.

  • Sport NZ Tū Manawa Fund (2020) - $13,800 towards equipment for our weights room and physical activity programs.
  • Pub Charity (2020) - $11,000 towards new sports uniforms that are due to arrive these holidays
  • Lion Foundation (2020) - $15,000 towards equipment and tournament week travel/accommodation.
  • Southern Trust - $25,000 towards equipment and tournament week travel/accommodation
  • Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund - $3336 towards travel to local competitions for our winter sports teams

New Facilities

Whakatane High School has upgraded the weights room in the school gym and with the help of funding has purchased a lot of new equipment that is available for all students to use.

Already we have seen PE classes taking advantage of this new training space, sports teams doing work outs and we have also been offering some cross fit training during lunchtimes.

Covid has delayed the arrival of some items but from the start of term 2 we will be able to open up this space at lunchtimes and possibly after school for students to complete individual training programs.

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Since the new basketball court was built at the end of 2020 it has been one of the most popular and well used spaces in the school, it seems to be busy from 8am until dark everyday!

Physical Activity Opportunities

Outside of Sport, Whakatane High School is always looking at opportunities to allow students to be physically active. This term Mrs Jones, Ms C-C and prefect, Sadie Van Beekhuizen will be continuing to run crossfit classes on Tuesday and Thursday at lunchtimes, this is open to all students that are keen

Mrs Ball and Ms Wright have started up a weekly walking group at lunchtimes, an easy way for students to get in a quick 30 mins of exercise

Box Fit started this week and is offered as weekly sessions this term, specifically targeting non-sports participants.

We have a range of sports gear that is available to be borrowed by students from our sports office during their breaks. This is a great way for students to be active in a more relaxed environment with their friends, students just need to swap their phone for a ball and then return the ball at the end of the break.

Getting Involved in Sport

For further information around sport at Whakatane High School you can go to WHS Sport Facebook Page and/or the school website

You can find the Facebook page here, or search for Sports at Whakatane High -

There is also information under the Sports Link on the Whakatane High School Website -

All information about sports, sign ups, meetings, trainings and upcoming events go through the daily student notices at school, these can be accessed via the school app, student/parent portal and they are also read out in mentor classes at school.

If there are any adults that would like to help coach or manage a sports team then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the sports staff at school, we are always grateful to all the community members that volunteer their time to our school and our students.


A big congratulations to the following students who have been named in their respective BOP Representative Volleyball teams to compete in the Inter-Provincial Champs which will be held in Wellington in early June.

  • Codi Laurent - BOP U19 IPC Boys Blue Volleyball Team
  • Oliver Forsyth - BOP U17 IPC Boys Blue Volleyball Team
  • Jamie Julian - BOP U17 IPC Boys Blue Volleyball Team
  • Mia Cole - BOP U17 IPC Girls Gold Volleyball Team
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Another Bay Rep!

A big Congratulations to Skye Martin who was named in the BOP 2021 Under 18 Boys Rep Hockey Team.

1st XI Girls hit off their season in the BOPSS Competition with a home game against Rotorua Lakes High 1st XI team in very wet conditions. 15-0 to our girls.

They also played their 2nd game of the Whakatane womens competition on Sunday and are undefeated in both the local woman’s competition and the BOP secondary schools comp. There is a great energy with the team and the good wins early in the season have been showing there is a good solid base to work from for the future. The senior girls are showing great leadership with our younger players who are performing well and taking up the challenge. Really looking forward to seeing what this team can achieve.

2nd XI Boys had a very dominant performance for their opening match in the BOPSS Hockey Association Division 2 competition. They defeated Taupo-nui-a-Tia, 8-0. Our boys played well as a whole team. They held their positions, drew their opponent in then passed to each other with accuracy. Our defence was solid with our opponent only having 2 shots at goal and our goalie Jack Calder (never played in goal before) saving both of them.

Goal scorers Kavya Naik-3, Oliver Good-1, Finn Jones - 2, Ranjit Singh - 1, Tom Hamil - 1. POD was Sam Smith, solid team work, great commitment in attack and defence

1st XI Boys had a great game to kick off their season in the BOPSS Hockey association Division 1 competition. This is the 1st time the young side has been in Division 1 at the start of the season and they just lost, 2-1 to Tauhara Boys College 1st XI. Goal to Aakiwa Te Aho.


Great start to the 6 aside hockey season with both teams winning their games.

WHS 1 (Gold) verse Awakeri Girls, 20-0. Great leadership shown by Kithmini Melville.

WHS 2 (Black) verse Awakeri Mixed 15-1 great technical goals scored by Kaylee Lawlor and Mouwhia Davis.

Canoe Racing

A huge congratulations to Leon Fuller who has not only secured the following medals at the recent NZCT New Zealand Canoe Sprint Championships at Lake Karapiro, he has also been named in the Asia Pacific Sprint Team List.

The 2021 Asia Pacific Sprint Regatta, which was scheduled to take place in Komatsu, Japan in May, has been cancelled for 2021 and will be held again in 2022 because of the global pandemic.

Canoe Racing NZ issued a statement saying: “Despite the postponement and no international tour in 2021, CRNZ would like to recognise the efforts of the paddlers and to provide development opportunities for young athletes. Therefore an Asia Pacific Training Camp will take place at Lake Karapiro from 29-31 October 2021.”

Leon also began trials for Junior World Champs and they are actually taking a team to Portugal.

At the NZCT New Zealand Canoe Sprint Championships, Leon won:

  • gold in U18 K4 500m
  • silver in U18 K4 200m
  • bronze open men’s K4 200m

and at the Oceania Races was placed:

  • 3rd in the U18 K1 200m, K2 200m and K2 1000m

A very big well done Leon. All the hard work and dedication is certainly paying off and we will watch this space closely to see what's next!


A huge congratulations to Ben Jackson who has spent the last week competing at the New Zealand Division II Swimming Championships in Dunedin.

Ben competed in nine events achieving personal bests in all these events. He made finals for four out of eight events for 14 year old males. His results were:

  • 50m back - 7th place
  • 800m free - 8th place
  • 200m free - 9th place
  • 100m IM - 4th place
  • 100m free - 13th place
  • 200m IM - 8th place
  • 50m free -26th place
  • 200m butterfly - 1st place

He also previously raced in 50m & 100m butterfly at National Age Groups Swimming Championships in April.

Butterfly is the hardest stroke of all and 200m is a long way in this difficult stroke. We commend Ben on this great achievement.

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Tickets are available to purchase for shows from 22 to 26 June.

$15 per ticket, from the Whakatane High School office. Families of four (two adults and two children) are $45.

Kids are sourcing costumes, props are starting to be collected, choreography is amazing, singing coming along - especially when they are all singing together. It's getting exciting!

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Below is a small list of events coming up.

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

  • Community of Learning Teacher Only Day - Friday, 4 June
  • Manukorero - Friday, 4 June
  • Queen's Birthday holiday - Monday, 7 June
  • Back to the 80's (School Production) - Monday, 21 June to Saturday, 26 June
  • Last Day of Term 2 - Friday, 9 July


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.