April 2019

Kia Ora Tatou

He taonga rongonui te aroha ki te tangata
Goodwill towards others is a precious treasure

While the events of Christchurch occurred several weeks ago and things are slowly returning to normal, I firmly believe that New Zealand/Aotearoa has had to pause and have a good look at itself. The things that we hold dear to us, our values and beliefs have been well tested, and if there is to be any good that comes from this tragic event, then our reflections and how we act upon them is extremely important.

Our College recognised and supported its students and those in Christchurch.  Messages of goodwill were sent to the local mosque via a message board, we visited the mosque to share our thoughts and condolences, a mufti day raised over $4000 dollars for the victims and we published a large message made by the students and the Newlands Intermediate students on our facebook page.

As we move on however, we will always be mindful of these events and how they brought us closely together as a school.

For several years now, the College has been working with the Ministry of Education regarding some of the buildings in the school that have water tightness issues.  These include: the library, two science labs, three classrooms, a science technician room, the staff room and storage in the Technology Block.  I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Education is going to address these issues and replace these buildings at a cost of $10 million.  There will be 12 months of consultation and planning then 22 months of building.  The projects will be staged to make things more manageable and the end result will be well worth the inconvenience.  

There is one more week of school left and then the break will be upon us. During this week we have our students leaving on the Humanities Trip.  They will spend 19 days travelling to the UK, Belgium, France and Italy.  While the itinerary is “full on”, I have no doubts that the students will find the experience extremely rewarding.

Our 1st X1 cricket team has had an excellent season. This year they have played Premier 2 and in the final match of the season they played Rongotai College for the title. It was a close match but the boys were victorious, and they are now the Premier 2 champions. An outstanding effort.

Another piece of exciting news for us is our last year’s Dux, Shine Wu has won a Robertson Scholarship.  This will enable Shine to study at Duke University (currently ranked 8th) in the United States of America and the Scholarship will provide $100 000 for each of 4 years’ study to cover his costs.  Well done to Shine!

At the end of this term we will farewell Ms Anna Stewart from our Learning Support Centre.  Ms Stewart has decided to return to Christchurch to support her family. We would like to thank her and wish her all the best.

Term 2 will begin on Monday April 29th. Term 2 is always a “full on” term with so much happening. The following immediately comes to mind: Production Camp, Beauty and the Beast, the winter sports season, the school ball, Kapahaka regionals as well as a significant amount of assessment work. This combined with winter presents the students with a variety of challenges and tests their resilience.  However, once the students are through this, our experience is that the end of the year comes much more quickly than they expected.

I would like to wish everyone a good end to the term and a restful break.

Ngā Mihi Nui

Grant Jones

March 2019

Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei

Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.


Kia Ora Tatou

In the last “Message from the Principal’s Desk” I shared with you some of our NCEA results.  Since then we were very pleased to learn that last year’s Year 13 student Emily Hollis gained the Top Scholarship Award for Media Studies. This means that Emily came first in New Zealand which is an outstanding effort and we are very proud of her. Congratulations to Mr Mortensen, her teacher who worked extremely hard with Emily to help her.

We have now elected our Student Executive. The process involves the students voting (weighted according to the year level), voting by the staff and an interview. This year we also have a new position on our Executive of Wellbeing Captain. This role includes promoting, identifying and supporting students through a focus of being positive, healthy and well supported in our school environment.

Our Executive for 2019 is:

Head Girl: Te Aratu Maihi

Head Boy: Issac Andrews

Academic Captain: Amber Zhu

Arts Captain: Senuka Sudusinghe

Sports Captain: Isabella Gates

Wellbeing Captain: Panatswa Dindingwe

Kowhai House Captain: Maximo Morrone

Matai House Captain: Dillian Thiagarajah

Rimu House Captain: Lucas Aukuso

Totara House Captain: Sean Baker

Komiti Māori: Tiana Edmonds

Komiti Pasifika: Sarai Fruean

International Student Representative: Chom Chaokongjak

BOT Representative: Benjamine Clark

We were very pleased to follow the announcement of our Executive with the presentation of badges at our assembly, and our parents were able to join us. Congratulations to all the students.

As many of you will be aware Wellington hosted Te Matatini ki te Ao which proved itself to be one of the most significant cultural events in Aotearoa as more than 60,000 people attended the four-day event at Westpac Stadium. We were able to take a bus load of students down to the festival as we wanted to support one of our teachers Matua Kealyn (Marshall) who was performing with his group, Te Reanga Morehu o Ratana. They are one of the oldest performing groups and while they were not placed, we thought that they made an outstanding effort. The following link shows much of their journey.


One of the highlights of the school year is tabloids. Tabloids over the years has morphed into something that is a cross between games, athletics, fancy dress and the sevens. It is keenly contested. This year we were threatened by the weather, which finally turned to rain in the afternoon, however we were able to complete the event. This year our victors were Totara House, congratulations to them.

A reminder that the learning conferences are coming up on March 13th and 19th. By now you should have received a booking form by e-mail. These will run from 2-5 pm each day and school will close at lunchtime. Buses will not be running, and LSC will be advised of their alternative arrangements. We look forward to having conversations with you about your son or daughter.

Nga mihi nui

Grant Jones

February 2019

February 15, 2019

Ka tangi te Titi,
Ka tangi te Kaka,
Ka tangi hoki ahau.
Tihei mauri ora!

The Muttonbird is calling

The Kākā is calling

And I wish to call

Behold for there is life

Kia Ora Tatou

The year is now quickly moving along and already the students are becoming involved in a wide range of activities.  The dragonboat teams are now in training, cricket has begun and the auditions for the school production, Beauty and the Beast are well advanced. Elections for our student leaders are well underway.

For families that are new to our school the ways that we communicate with you are very important. Communications, such as the principal’s newsletter are provided on the website every two to three weeks, and we advise parents of them by e-mail. In addition, parents and caregivers can find important information specific to their own student(s) through the parent portal. This information will include: attendance, timetable, invoice for costs, and personal details. The students' progress is also reported through the portal, subject by subject as significant pieces of work are completed. This will occur at least once a term. In this way you will receive regular feedback. All students will also receive an engagement report. This is a snapshot of the progress being made, based on a 1 to 3 scale and these are published fortnightly. The first of these will be coming out this week. The portal is password protected and you should have received your password by now. If you have any difficulties with your password, please contact my P.A. Fei Gao at [email protected]

Last year’s students have now received their NCEA results, and while there is still an opportunity for students to gain additional credits, the college has a picture of how well the students achieved this year. This year the way that the school’s success is calculated has changed.  Now, any student who has been in the school for 70 days is counted in the data.  Also students if they identify with more than one ethnicity are counted in each of their chosen identities with up to three choices. The data includes students who have not yet engaged with Level 1 on the curriculum (NCEA Level 1 is level 6 on the curriculum) and students who left during the year.

NCEA Results (%)


Newlands College

National Mean

Decile 8-10 schools

Level 1




Level 2




Level 3




University Entrance




Also of note is that our Pasifika and Māori students did extremely well, although in some cases using percentages can be misleading as the groups of students are small in numbers.

Māori Level 1 75% (70%), Level 2 93% (78%) and Level 3 75 % (68%), and for Pasifika, Level 1 92% (80%), Level 2 87%(75%), and Level 3 50% (65%)

(Decile 8-10 schools)

All female students who stayed until the end of Year 13 achieved Level 2 and 97% of males gained the qualification.

We have also received our results for the Scholarship examinations.  This year the College gained 22 Scholarships, and our last year’s Dux, Shine Wu gained 7.  This brought his total to 12 for the time that he was here.  The overall result is an excellent achievement.

As in the past we began the school year for our Year 9 students with our Peer Support camp.  This allowed the new students to start building new friendship bonds, get to know their Form Teachers, and undertake a wide range of outdoor activities.  It also provided our Year 13 students the opportunity to learn leadership skills.  We were once again at El Rancho up at Waikanae and it was the largest group that we have ever taken away; we exceeded the 300 student mark. The camp had perfect weather and the students tried swimming, water slides, kayaking, as well as a wide range of initiative activities.  These culminated in the form class relay which was strongly contested.


The new students and staff were formerly welcomed to the school on the following Monday with a Powhiri.  This year we tried as much as possible to have the whole school involved.  The result was much more powerful singing and the haka made a significant statement as the new staff and students entered the hall.  The format was one which we will repeat.

This year we were also represented at Government House to be part of the Waitangi day celebrations.  Ms King and two students, Heta Mako and Victoria Bain enjoyed the day.

I will keep you informed of what is happening in the college as the year progresses and please check the events calendar on the website as there is a lot happening this term.

Nga mihi nui

Grant Jones

January 2019

January 25th 2019

He pai te tirōhanga

ki ngā mahara mō

ngā rā pahemo

engari ka puta te

māramatanga i runga

i te titiro whakamua.

It’s fine to have recollections of the past, but wisdom comes

from being able to prepare opportunities for the future.”


Kia Ora Tatou

I would like to welcome you all to 2019 and a special welcome to the students and their families who are new to the school.  In the past my first newsletter was published a couple of weeks into the term but there are several things which you might need to know about that will make the transition to College easier.  Our website www.newlands.school.nz which was refreshed late last year contains a wealth of information and I would encourage you to explore it.

I would like to welcome our new Deputy Principal Mr Cornelios Floratos.  Mr Pegram resigned at the end of last year and Mr Floratos was appointed as his replacement.  He joins us from Naenae College where he was the Assistant Principal.  Prior to that Mr Floratos worked here at Newlands College and it is quite possible that some of our students have older siblings who were taught by him.  He lives locally and we look forward to benefiting from his expertise.

Next week Year 9 and Year 13 Peer Support Leaders will be heading off to camp. On Wednesday 30th January there will be orientations for the remainder of the school:

9.00 am        Year 12

11.00 am      Year 11

1.00 pm       Year 10

Each year group will be on site for approximately one and half hours. Full school uniform is to be worn.

Classes for these year groups will start the next day, Thursday 31st January.

School Cafeteria

At the end of last year we made some significant changes to our cafeteria and have now contracted it out to Libelle.  Libelle will be offering the usual services as well as some new ones such as, Txt My Lunch and employment opportunities for students.

There is a new menu and this can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/ChampionTuckshopsNZ/

School Buses

As you will be aware that last year there were significant changes to the school bus routes.  Metlink has provided us with the following information regarding our bus routes and times:

N.B. All school buses will start on Monday January 28th

Metlink school bus routes for start of Term 1 2019

Newlands College


      626 - Churton Park North - Grenada Village - Newlands College & Intermediate School

       8:00  WestchesterDr (111)                         8:30  NewlandsColl-BrackenRd        Daily

      627 - Johnsonville West - Paparangi - Newlands College & Intermediate School

       8:10  J'villeW-McLintockSt (74)                  8:35  NewlandsColl-BrackenRd        Daily

      628 - Churton Park - Paparangi - Newlands College & Intermediate School

       8:05  MiddletonRd (25)                             8:30  NewlandsColl-BrackenRd        Daily


      626 - Churton Park North - Grenada Village - Newlands College & Intermediate School

       15:15  NewlandsColl-BrackenRd                 15:47  LakewoodRes                         Daily

      627 - Johnsonville West - Paparangi - Newlands College & Intermediate School

       15:15  NewlandsColl-BrackenRd                 15:40  J'villeW-McLintockSt (81)        Daily

      628 - Churton Park - Paparangi - Newlands College & Intermediate School

      15:15  NewlandsColl-BrackenRd                 15:35  BassettRd at Angell                 Daily

      631 - Newlands College & Intermediate School - Paparangi - Johnsonville

       15:15  NewlandsColl-BrackenRd                 15:35  Johnsonville-C                        Daily

      633 - Newlands College & Intermediate School - Johnsonville - Churton Park North

       15:15  NewlandsColl-BrackenRd                 15:40  LakewoodRes                         Daily

This year will be another exciting year with lots of events, such as the school production and dragon boating well advanced in their planning. I would encourage all students to become involved with something that develops their interests outside of the classroom.

In my next newsletter, I will update you on NCEA results for 2018.

Nga mihi nui

Grant Jones

For any other information please visit our website www.newlands.school.nz

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