Issue 4 - 24 March 2022


Big picture


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.

It has been a while since I have updated our community on how Whakatāne High School is progressing with the pandemic. As you will know we have moved from an ‘alternating school’ back to business as usual as a full school. This is part of our continuity planning, see here.

We currently have close to 300 students who have tested positive (30+ active), and close to 40 staff impacted.

I am thankful for the hard work of our teachers in making sure that learning can take place at home and online. In addition it has been really encouraging to know that we have held close to 800 Student Mentor interviews whether that be online or in person, this really helps us connect with families and understand more about what we need to do to ensure students goals are supported and what assistance our learners will need moving forward. Thankyou for your support as families of WHS.

As you will know the government announced changes to the mandate that begin at 11:59pm on April the 4th. For our school and community this means:

  • Vaccine passes will not be required.

  • QR codes will not need to be displayed.

  • The removal of vaccine mandates for education workers.

We will still be at the Covid RED setting, so this also means that:

  • Masks will be required for staff and students indoors.

  • No mask requirements outdoors.

  • Indoor capacity has moved to 200 people in a gathering increasing from the 100 we currently have.

  • Face masks are required for school transport.

  • Whilst outdoor spaces are preferred, Kapa Haka, music rehearsal and performance can take place indoors if spaces are well ventilated.

  • Large gatherings like assemblies will still be held outdoors.


We are still awaiting more communication from sporting organisations about what the changes to the mandate mean for Sport in NZ. We will communicate these changes when we have more information and guidance.

More details can be found here about the current RED setting.

Household contacts

If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (a case) then you are likely to hear from them that you are a Household Contact

If you are considered a Household Contact you must follow these steps (whether you are vaccinated against COVID-19 or not):

  • Self-isolate from the day that the first person in your household receives their positive test result, until they complete their 7 days of self-isolation and are released.

  • When the first case in your house gets to days 3 and 7 of their isolation, you need to get tested using a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).

  • If symptoms develop at any stage, you need to get tested using a RAT.

  • Avoid or minimise contact with the person with COVID-19 as much as possible during your isolation period.

  • You can end your self-isolation on the same day as the first ‘case’ in the household, provided you have no new or worsening symptoms and your tests were negative.

  • Your isolation does not restart if additional members of your household are identified as cases during the first case’s isolation period.

  • After the initial isolation period ends there is a 10-day window during which no Household Contacts of the original case can be re-classified as Household Contacts. You only need to begin isolation again during these 10 days if you test positive yourself.

  • 10 days after the original isolation period ends the usual rules apply. If a new household member (not the original case) tests positive, they and all other Household Contacts (who have not yet become cases themselves) must isolate for 7 days.

RAT tests

Rapid antigen tests (RAT), are available at the school. They can be offered to students and staff that are symptomatic. It is our hope that students who present symptoms are kept at home before they come to school. If students present symptoms at school, and if students are happy to test at school we will conduct the test. Based on the result students may be sent home, alternatively parents can collect their child and take a test home with them to test at home. Tests will also be available for staff and the same principles apply.


The BOT are almost ready to publish their draft charter with the community. A great deal of work has been done to strengthen our vision, mission, values and learning principles and make clear our priorities over the next three years. We will be sending out a draft of the charter to parents and be asking for feedback over the next couple of weeks.

Athletics Day and Swimming Sports

Our Athletics day is an important component of our P.E and sport curriculum. The Junior and Senior students as part of their P.E and Health program have been focussing on athletics. In addition the focus for all students as part of Student Mentoring is managing health and wellbeing, sport participation and exercise is important in this regard.

After discussion with the Ministry we have been advised that our Athletics Day can go ahead on Friday April the 8th. Students are to wear house colours, bring water and get ready to participate in a great day.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold Swimming Sports this term and we hope we can find the opportunity to hold this at a later date.

Thank you once again to all of our students, staff and wider community that have assisted the school leadership in making sure we continue to operate as normally as possible.

Ngā mihi

Martyn Knapton



Kia ora koutou

My name is Paul Julian and I am the Board Chair of Whakatane High School.

I thought I would take this opportunity to connect with you as a member of the Board. I am really proud to be Board Chair and to represent the school, especially as I am a former student of the school (1985-1989).

I am really proud of our academic successes over the last 100 years as this proves that we always have students who are achieving some of the highest marks in the country, and recent data shows that as a school we are performing above national results for NCEA achievement. I am also proud of our sporting participation and culture. Over the last 100 years we've proven that on any day we can match any school in New Zealand.

At the moment our Board of Trustees is working on developing the Charter and Strategic Plan. Schools are required to review their charters every year. We are almost ready to publish the Draft Charter to the community for your feedback. We will email this to you in due course.

The role of the Board is about making good decisions that are in the best interests of the students, staff and community, to improve learning. The current Board of Trustees has completed many projects over the last three years to improve the school, including, but not limited to the installation of air conditioning in all classrooms, new carpet, paint and autex on the walls, new toilets in B Block, new basketball courts, astroturf, gym workout room and close to $250,000 of capital items to improve teaching and learning in our classrooms.

Finally I want to acknowledge the great staff we have here who build great relationships with our students and help them to achieve their excellence.

Later this year we will be looking at our Board elections and if anyone is interested in talking to me about potentially becoming a Parent Representative on the Board, I welcome you contacting me via email at

Paul Julian

Board Chair

Big picture


Rugby - U16 boys

The U16 rugby boys travelled to Gisborne on Saturday for a pre-season game. Whakatane opened the scoreboard with Riccardo crossing the line in the 11th minute. The game was neck and neck with a half time score of 17 all. The third quarter saw Whakatane in the lead at 31-27. A lapse in concentration saw Gisborne take the win in the final quarter with the final score being 52-36. Tries scored by - Riccardo Mareroa (4), Te Tokatumoana McGarvey (1), Ray Ashworth-Maaka (1).


The WHS rowing squad headed to Karapiro Friday 11th March to Monday 14th March to compete in the AON NISS regatta. The boys were up first with races Friday and Saturday, with the girls racing Sunday and Monday.

Conditions on Sunday were not favourable with high winds and choppy water so racing was postponed until Monday. Results to note were Luke Berquist and Zak Boonen claiming gold in the U17 Double sculls. Luke and Zak then teamed up with Ryan Calder, Shaun Snow and cox Conrad Hopkins to clinch the silver in the U17 Coxed Quad sculls.

Full results:

  • Shaun Snow - 1st in B final U17 Single Sculls
  • Ryan Calder - 8th in B final U17 Single sculls
  • Travis Talpos & Alex Iremonger - 4th A final U15 Double sculls
  • Ryan Pryde & Jack Boyde - 2nd B final U15 Double sculls
  • Luke Berquist & Zak Boonen - 1st A final U17 Double sculls
  • Ryan Pryde, Travis TAlpos, Alex Iremonger, Jack Boyde & Evia Linnell-Olsen - 5th A final U15 Coxed Quad sculls
  • Ryan Calder, Shaun Snow, Luke Berquist, Zak Boonen & Conrad Hopkins - 2nd A final U17 Coxed Quad sculls
  • Kikiwa Tua-Swain, Andre Perkins-Toailoa, Lucas Weijers, Ryan Manning and Evia Linnell-Olsen - 7th A final U18 Novice Coxed quad sculls
  • Logan Howard-Hill - 5th in Heat


Students travelled to Papamoa to participate in the BOPSS Senior tennis champs.


  • Marina Sirkku-Nash - 2nd Div 1 Girls singles
  • Josh Dale - 3rd Div 1 Boys singles
  • Jai Julian - 1st Div 2 Boys Singles

Miharo Cass and Fletcher Nolan also participated, improving throughout the tournament. Thank you to Mrs Ball for transporting and supporting our students.


The annual Bay of Plenty Secondary Schools golf tournament was recently held at the Whakatane Golf Club. Interest leading up to this event attracted a lot of attention from our own students who were keen to register their names. However, as the grip of covid spread amongst the student ranks numbers dwindled as it got closer to the close off date for formal team registrations. Nonetheless, a hardy group that numbered 8 players in total fronted up to the course on a typically fine eastern bay day.

Spirits were high, there was laughter and the odd friendly banter but this soon gave way to feelings of despair as a new draw meant that for some of our players they would have to play with others from different schools. A large audience would gather as player's names were called out over the loudspeaker to hit off on the first tee. The nerves, tension and excitement was palpable.

Ryan Calder was in the first four to tee off. In front of 30 or so people he executed his drive with control and precision. Although he didn't play to his full potential, Ryan is definitely a player to watch for the future.

All players thoroughly enjoyed the day, meeting new friends and playing under tournament conditions were experiences that would benefit their game for future events. Congratulations to Jai Julian who took out the Best Stableford player of the day as well as taking out the Individual Champion title Our next tournament is the Manihera Golf championship to be held at the Kawerau golf club.


A team of Junior girls have been playing in the Tauranga Summer league competition. The girls have been training hard and travel every Thursday over to Tauranga to play. The girls played Otumoetai Y10 and won by 2 points 51 - 49. This was followed up with a 57-56 win over Aquinas College last week. Special thanks to parents Hemi Barsdell and Debbie Hyland for their help with this opportunity.

Motocross is back!

Motocross at Whakatane High is starting up again.

If you have a bike and would like to join us in trail riding and racing come and put your name down with Kim Moore or Holly Shanks.

Uniform reminder

A reminder that the only jerseys that can be worn at school are the ones from the uniform shop with our logo. No other jerseys are allowed however any plain black jacket (showerproof) can be worn for warmth.
Term 1 House Competition Calendar

From a van push and tug-o-war, to carnival games and ultimate frisbee, Term 1 has it all! Click here to check out the calendar of house events to look forward to this Term.


Below is a small list of events coming up.

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

  • Meet the Teacher - Thursday 24 March
  • Class photos - POSTPONED UNTIL 16 JUNE
  • Athletics Day - Friday 8 April
  • Anzac Assembly - Tuesday 12 April
  • Community of Learning Teacher Only Day - Thursday 14 April
Big picture


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 for any in-zone routes, please contact Go Bus directly on: 07 846 8796. If you're wanting information for out-of-zone bus routes, please contact Uzabus on 07 308 6169. Masks are mandatory on all school buses.

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: