22 September 2023

22 September 2023

He manako te kōura i kore ai

(Wishing for the crayfish won’t bring it)

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

Term 3 has now finished and it definitely feels like the end of the school year for our seniors.  Our seniors they have 12 periods left with each of their teachers before they leave for their end of year assessments.  The whakatauki above speaks to this, especially for students who still have a lot of learning to complete.  The holiday break is a good time to catch up on any missed work, and to start preparing for their externals.

Term 4 is also a busy time as we celebrate our student’s successes.  Coming up next term we have the Spring Serenade, Arts Awards, Celebration of Sport, Arts Exhibition, and the Senior Prize Giving.  These will all be held in the first three weeks of term 4 and the dates for these can be found in the KAMAR calendar.

To date we have been celebrating other successes in the school. I would like to congratulate our Head Student, Qiana Ram, who will be representing our school overseas in Tonga During the Holidays at an International Leadership Programme. Qiana has also received a Girl Boss Nationwide Award, worth $1000 and will be flying to Auckland to represent our school. We wish her the best of luck.

Last week, our talented senior Fashion students took centre stage at Newlands College's first World of Wearable Arts Fashion Show, delivering a mesmerizing display of creativity and innovation that left everyone in awe. As can be seen by the photos the array of talent on display was extremely impressive.

Last week was Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.  The students had planned a wide range of different activities during the week that culminated in the Inter-House Haka off on the Friday. Ngaire Wiki, the head of our Komiti Māori, and Board representative showed excellent leadership throughout the week.  Also during the week our Kapa Haka were invited to perform  at Te Whare Waka for the ANZ Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori dinner - they were really impressed with the performance and our students represented us with real pride!! 

On Saturday morning our Kapa Haka team also represented us at the St Brigids Kapa Haka festival where their performance was highly commendable. If you want to check it out you can find a recording here.  (Newlands College item starts at the 45 minute mark).

We recently held our Board elections for our 2024 student representative.  It was an extremely close contest and I am very pleased to announce that Danna Arado was the successful candidate.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing student representative, Bailey Puha-Harris who did a superb job including being part of the appointment panel for our new Principal, Deb King.

At our last assembly of the year we also acknowledged other events and activities in our College.  Kristina Taefu shared with the College what has been happening in the Pasifika space and presented a video of our students performing at the Polyfest.  Abby Sangwine, Carly Hyde (who was a finalist last year) and Nadia Scott are all finalist in the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Awards, and Jan de Geest shared his experience of being the student’s Head of Government meeting held at parliament earlier this term.

Our school is extremely multi-cultural.  At last count our students came from 42 nationalities and had 32 different first languages.  In many ways we are a reflection of cosmopolitan New Zealand/Aotearoa. I have always been impressed as to how our students are willing and keen to share their cultures with others.  Our International Costume Day was a reflection of this and it provided an amazing spectacle.

I hope that you all enjoy a well-earned break and I look forward to celebrating our student’s next term,

Ngā manaakitanga

Grant Jones

29 August

29 August 2023

He pai ake te iti i te kore

A little is better than none

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

I have returned from being on a five week sabbatical, (of which I spent 7 days in isolation for contacting COVID-19) to find the school in good heart.  The winter sports programme has now been completed, and I was pleased to hear that the Netball 1 team had won the Premier 3 Reserve final to gain promotion for next year.  This week is busy as we have tournament week which gives our students the opportunity to play sport against different school around the country.  We have teams competing in Basketball, Netball, and Football and we are enjoying tracking their progress.

Last week our senior students planned and held a TED-X conference at our College.  Speakers were invited to participate, one even travelled from as far away as Rotorua.  The quality of the speakers was extremely high and I was impressed by the entire evening.  Congratulations should go to Qiana Ram the lead organiser, and the Executive producers, Thomas Ru, Smarchriya Rajesh, Nayomi Thiagarajh, Nick Goggi and Ngaire Wiki for the leadership they showed bringing this evening together.

The year is certainly marching on, and for our seniors they will have approximately 25 periods per subject before they reach the end of their school year.  This is not a lot of time and they need to use it wisely to ensure that they get their internal assessments completed as well as prepare for their externals. For some of our students who are not as engaged as they might be, the whakatauki above provides good advice, when it comes to study “a little is better than none”   On a positive note, with 60% of internals completed, only 12% are at the Not Achieved level.  This is ahead of where we were last year, and last year we had some of our best results ever. The difference though, is that students are not eligible for recognition credits like they were during COVID times and they will need the full 80 credits to achieve their qualifications.

Last year we undertook significant property work around the school, which included building the new staffroom, and demolishing the Library.  For a variety of reasons this work came to a holt, which left us with no library and no way forward.  I am very pleased to report that JasMax has been working with the Ministry of Education (Te Mahau) to create a new masterplan for the school, and this will be presented to them next week.  It is our hope that we will get the go ahead in the near future to start the new design work for a large number of our buildings.  More immediately though we plan to upgrade our B Block toilets and refurbish the Pavillion.

As mentioned, the end of the term is not too far away.  While our focus is on ensuring our students are well prepared for NCEA we still have some exciting extra-curricular activities available.  These include: Tongan Language Week starting September 4, the Year 10 Wa Ako Show Case, Fiafia Night (September 9), Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori starting September 11, the NOSCARS (September 20) and the Year 11 Semi- Formal.

I wish you all the best as we close out the term,

Ngā manaakitanga

Grant Jones

4 August

4 August 2023

Kia ora koutou

It’s great to be back at school for the start of Term 3 and I hope all the whānau have had a restful break.  As stated in the previous update, Mr Jones has decided to retire at the end of this year but he also has Term 3 away from school on leave.  While he’s away in Term 3 I (Mr Floratos) will be Acting Principal and Mr Mortensen will also be part of the Senior Leadership Team.  Mr Hueston is also part of the SLT until Ms Mills is back later this term.  Ms Kelder is Deputy Principal and Ms McDiarmid and Mr Milmine are also part of the SLT as usual.  I would also like to congratulate Matua Kealyn who steps into the Pou Mātauranga (Head of Te reo Māori) role and Matua Tyson who becomes our Pou Manaaki (pastoral care for our Māori rangatahi).

Ehara tāku toa i te toa takitahi

Engari he toa takitini

This whakatauki talks about the power of the collective to achieve great things being stronger than the power of the individual.  Academically Term 3 is vitally important for our NCEA students.  It’s a term where there is a lot of internal assessment as it’s the last full term at school.  One of the key things students can do is work as a collective to get through their work.  This means sharing their responsibilities with other people that they trust so that they can work together as equals to learn new things.  Our school value of whānaungatanga is about building strong relationships with friends, family and of course their teachers to support learning.

The start of Term 3 also coincided with the rising of Matariki and it is a great opportunity for a fresh start.  During the period of Matariki we’re encouraged both to look forward and set our sights on what we want to achieve in the coming year, but also to reflect on the past year as well.  One of our school’s major achievements, which we are incredibly proud of, is the journey of our kapa haka roopu (group).  Here’s a note from our kapa haka tutors:  

Wow! What a journey “The Road to Regionals 2023” was one of the best ones yet! 

Our students committed to two terms of Kapa Haka. We created a bracket that we saw fit and once we made our final decision on items it was go time. 

Last regionals we placed 6th overall and also placed 3rd in the Poi category. This year we are honoured to share that we placed 5th out of 11 Kapa Haka groups. We also did really well with placing 3rd in Whakaeke (entrance), 2nd in Moteatea (Lament),3rd in Waiata-a-ringa (Action Song).  The most placings we have had for Newlands College and we could not be any more proud of our Kapa Kids! 

I would like to send a huge mihi to our team at the back, the many Teachers that come in to support the kids, the many parents that come in to lend a hand and the tutors’ whānau that come in to help too, without all of them our waka would have sunk. So we really would like to thank you with all our hearts. Thank you for letting us teach your tamariki Kapa Haka! 

Lastly to our tamariki - Te Roopu Kapa Haka o Te Ao Marama - be proud for what you have achieved this year, the time to learn, the dedication and commitment in kapa haka and we are happy to say this is only the beginning in Te Ao Haka. 

To our Rangatira/Seniors leaving. We thank you for choosing Kapa Haka in hopes that you will keep going with your passion for Kapa in the future and hopefully one day we may even meet again on the stage. 

To our Pepi/Juniors “Nau mai, Haere mai ki te Ao Haka”, welcome to the world of Kapa Haka! We are looking forward to seeing you all grow in to beautiful people in the years to come.

Whaia te iti kahurangi ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei.

“Seek out your heart’s desire, though if you have to relent, let it be to a lofty mountain.


Matua Tawake & Whaea Aorangi

On a more sombre note, I would like to address the issue of vaping in New Zealand schools.  We know that the number of young people vaping in Aotearoa continues to rise.  According to the recent Action for Smokefree New Zealand survey, 10.1% of Year 10 students nationally vape daily this year.  This compares to 9.6% last year.  Schools in New Zealand are smoke free/vape free.  In our school, our staff are working hard on several strategies we have put in place to prevent any vaping on site.  This includes longer term plans to redesign our bathrooms to encourage students to use our facilities for the right reasons.  If you want to learn more about how we are approaching this national phenomenon in our school, feel free to get in touch with us.  It’s important that we are working collectively to support the young people of our community.  You can also find more information through the link below: 


There are a lot of exciting events coming up in Term 3: Variety Show, Pacific United (Polyfest), Ted X Youth Paparangi, Subject Choice, Winter Tournament Week, Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Noscars, Year 11 semi formal and others.  A warm welcome to Term 3 to all the college whānau and enjoy the term ahead.  

Ngā mihi nui

Cornelios Floratos

Acting Principal

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