Newsletter 2 Term 1

Onerahi School Monday 13 March 2023

Te Karere o te Tumuaki/Principal's Message

Kia ora e te whānau,

We apologise for the delay in getting this newsletter to you. The newsletter company had a bit of a glitch on Friday and we were unable to access the content.

You have probably read or seen in the media about the reasons for the strike action on Thursday. As you can imagine, it is not a decision made lightly, however it is an important action as the employment conditions of teachers and principals is also the learning conditions of our tamariki. This action is about having better resourcing so that we have smaller class sizes, keep great teachers in our schools, and ensure those children who need extra support are being served well. We appreciate your support and you are welcome to join us on Thursday. We will be dressed in black and on the hill past the shops between 9am and 10am followed by a march in town, gathering at Laurie Hall carpark at 11am.

Our dedicated walking team are clocking up the miles around the loop each morning and during the month of March have joined with the Classic Homes 90 More Miles challenge, raising money for North Haven Hospice. So far between us we have clocked up over 300kms. This is a great cause and if you can, all donations will be gratefully received.

I am excited for the upcoming Hatea Loop walk the whole school will be doing on Tuesday the 28th of March. There will be more information coming out about this but lock the date in your diaries as we would love as many of you as possible to join us.

Nga manaakitanga

AnnMaree MacGregor


From the Board /Ngà Poari Kaitiaki ō te kura

Kia ora Parents, Guardians, and Whānau,

My name is Richard Pollard, and I am honoured to introduce myself as the newly elected Chair of the Board of Trustees, also known as the Presiding Member. As an educator and proud member of this community, I am committed to supporting our students and ensuring that they receive the best possible education.

I want to acknowledge the inconvenience caused by the upcoming strike action, which will result in the school's closure on Thursday, March 16th. I appreciate your patience and understanding and encourage us all to make the most of this unexpected day together.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to our teachers, staff, and families for their hard work and dedication in welcoming our students back to school this term and getting their learning underway.

As we move forward, I am committed to working closely with our Principal, board, staff, and families to continue to enhance the educational experience for our students. In the upcoming months, the Board, staff, and Principal will work with the community to review the school's vision and set the direction for the years to come. I am excited about the future of our school and look forward to meeting many of you in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you for your continued support.

Ngā mihi nui,

Richard Pollard
Chair of the Board of Trustees (Presiding Member)


Te Whatu Ora have advised us that there has been a confirmed case of Measles in New Zealand and have asked us to share the following information.

Measles is a highly infectious virus and has no treatment. It starts like a cold with runny nose, fever and cough, and then a blotchy red rash appears after a few days, from the head to the rest of the body. It can be very serious, especially for babies under the age of one year and people who are immunocompromised (for example on cancer treatment).

Do I or my child need vaccination?

Anyone born after 1969 who has not had measles, or not had TWO doses of measles-containing vaccine, should have an MMR vaccine. If you are not sure, having an MMR vaccination now is safe and will provide immunity in about 90% of people within two weeks. However pregnant women, people who are immunocompromised and infants under 6 months cannot have the vaccine.

Does it cost me anything?

No, the vaccination is FREE.


You can get vaccinated at your GP.

Swimming Sports/Hākinakina Kauhoe

On Tuesday the 7th of March, we held our in-school swimming sports for years 5 & 6.

Along with our competitive Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke events in each year level, we also held a number of fun races focused on participation. It was great to see so many of our tamariki giving it a go and challenging themselves in the water. There was much encouragement from the sidelines and some great sportsmanship shown in the pool also. A big congratulations to the students who came first or second and won the chance to represent our school at the WPSSA Swimming Sports competition on Wednesday the 15th of March. Results from our school event are as follows:

Yr 5 Boys Backstroke - 1st = Matthew Simmonds. 2nd = Finn Collecutt

Yr 5 Boys Freestyle - 1st = Fletcher Kennedy. 2nd = Jarryd Lomas. 3rd = Matthew Simmonds

Yr 5 Boys Breaststroke - 1st = Fletcher Kennedy. 2nd = Matthew Simmonds

Yr 5 Girls Backstroke - 1st = Indiana Wells. 2nd = Ella Waite-Marsden. 3rd = Harper Bates

Yr 5 Girls Freestyle - 1st = Harper Bates. 2nd = Taimania Wensor. 3rd = Indiana Wells

Yr 5 Girls Breaststroke - 1st = Indiana Wells

Yr 6 Girls Backstroke - 1st = Kenzy Gardiner. 2nd = Hazel Owen. 3rd = Erin Kervell

Yr 6 Girls Freestyle - 1st = Kenzy Gardiner. 2nd = Jade Abraham. 3rd = Shamira Morgado

Yr 6 Girls Breaststroke - 1st = Kenzy Gardiner. 2nd = Shamira Morgado

Yr 6 Boys Backstroke - 1st = Oliver Meehan. 2nd = Shannan Beardsell. 3rd = Tyson Smith

Yr 6 Boys Freestyle - 1st = Jacob Woolford. 2nd = Oliver Meehan. 3rd = Abel Welham

Yr 6 Boys Breaststroke - 1st = Boris Sarcheliev

Kei te Hea Inaianai/Where are they now?

It's back! Once again we bring you another instalment in our stories of students past - Onerahi students who remember their time here, and impart some words of wisdom for the current generation. This time, we are featuring a multi-generational family. 3 generations of the Couchman boys have spent their primary school years at Onerahi. Grant Couchman, Michael Couchman and now Riley Couchman. Below, Grant shares his experiences at OPS, both as a student, parent and now grandparent:

Hi, my name is Grant Couchman, and I attended Onerahi Primary from 1957 until 1962 along with my twin brother Jeff. Interestingly both my children attended the school and I have a grandson currently at Onerahi Primary. Onerahi has been home to a few generations of my family. My parents built the house beside the church on Sherwood Rise and my early childhood memories are of making tree huts in the bush which was then behind the house and tearing down Sherwood Rise on home made trolleys along with the inevitable crashes over the bank. My memories of Onerahi Primary are of drinking far too much warm milk every morning compliments of the government of the day and lots of play on jungle gyms outside. Funny what you remember!!! I participated in Cubs and Scouts and remember Charlie Devonshire and the great work he did in the community.

My parents moved up north and I did my secondary schooling at Northland College in Kaikohe. A passion at the time was art and I completed Fine Arts Preliminary but didn’t attend art school. Instead I worked as an artist preparator at the then Whangarei City Council Museum and trained at both Wellington and Christchurch museums making all sorts of stuff for displays. With the closure of the Whangarei Museum I did a stint in engineering draughting and then qualified as an environmental health officer working in all aspects of environmental health through to senior management.

Onerahi has been a great place to bring up a family and the kids collectively spent hours on the harbour fishing and windsurfing as well as experiencing their mothers sport of skydiving over the airport. Living near the airport was the catalyst for my son to take up a career as a helicopter aircraft engineer so Onerahi has been kind to generations of my family.

While I don’t have extensive memories of the time I spent at Onerahi Primary I know that for my children the school was a solid base of learning and respect for community which has served them well in life. As a senior student my grandson Riley is currently an office monitor in his breaks which includes greeting visitors to the school and this will give him confidence in both himself and with other people in the future. Well done Onerahi Primary.


On Church Street, we have a dedicated pedestrian crossing, patrolled each day before and after school by our responsible road patrollers and their adult support.

The speed limit in this area is 40km/hr. Cars should not exceed this speed and also be prepared to stop when approaching the crossing. When at a pedestrian crossing controlled by signs, it is not mandatory to stop unless the sign is out. Our students are trained to put the sign out when there is a gap in traffic or when people choose to stop.

It is also very important that if you are collecting your child from our Church St entrance you do not park on the yellow lines. Our road patrollers are unlikely to be able to see past your vehicle to check if the road is clear if you have parked over these.

Lets all work together to keep our tamariki safe on their way to and from our kura.

Tino rā nui/Important Dates

  • Wednesday 15th March - WPSSA Swimming Sports
  • Thursday 16th March - School closed for strike action
  • Tuesday 28 March - Whole school Loop Walk
  • Thursday 06 April - Last day of Term 1
  • Friday 07 April - Good Friday
  • Monday 24 April - Staff only day
  • Tuesday 25 April - Anzac day
  • Wednesday 26 April - First day of Term 2
  • Monday 29 May - Mid-term cohort entry Term 2

Reminders/Ngā manatu


With the return of the hot sun - when it deigns to make an appearance - a reminder to all parents that in Term 1, it is compulsory for our students to wear a hat when outdoors. It is also our term for swimming so don't forget the togs, towels and goggles. As with all other items, we ask that these are named. We also strongly encourage the use of sunblock in this term.


8:15am School gates open to students and whanau

9:00am School begins

11:00-11:30am 1st Play Break

1:30-2:00pm 2nd Play Break

3:00pm School finishes

3:15pm School gates close

There are two eating breaks within the day, taken at times that suit each class. Please ask your child's teacher when their times are. We would like to remind all whanau that during school hours, your child is expected to be present and learning. Where possible, we ask that appointments be scheduled outside of school hours, so as not to impact on your child's learning. We also ask that every effort is made to arrive at school in time for learning at 9am.


Medication: If your child requires medication to be brought or kept at school, please be aware that due to health and safety concerns, this must be kept secure in the school sick bay. It is not to be kept in children’s schoolbags during the day. This is to protect the safety of not only the child requiring the medication but also all other students. All medication requires an accompanying permission/approval form signed by their parent or caregiver. This includes epi-pens for allergy management, inhalers for asthma or any other medication your child requires on a short-term or as needed basis.

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Community Notices/Panui Hapori

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Funky Fishing Competition

The Funky Fishing and Diving Competition is all go for April 2nd, tickets are currently on sale at Parua Bay 4 Square, Burnsco, Donovans and at Whangārei Heads School. Additionally, tickets are on sale online. Tickets are $30 per adult, and $10per kid. The competition is on Sunday 2nd April at Taurikura. In addition to fishing, there is a public fish auction, live music, children's activities and more! We look forward to seeing everyone there. More information is available at or the Funky Fishing facebook page
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