10 December 2021

10 December 2021

Ko te pae tawhiti whāia kia tata,

Ko te pae tata whakamaua kia tīna.

Seek to bring distant horizons closer, and sustain and

maintain those that have been arrived at.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

I have chosen this whakatauki as encourages people to have vision, and to strive to bring that vision closer to a realisation. What has already been achieved must be strengthened and nurtured. It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dreams of yesterday are the hopes of today and the realities of tomorrow. This is particularly true as our students are learning in challenging times and the must not forsake their aspirations.

Our school year has now come to a close.  The principal’s messages that you have seen will describe all the highlights that we have been able to achieve, despite the challenges of another lockdown and the increasing concerns over COVID-19 and its spread.  There have been many highlights, and these include: the production of Shrek, performing at the Kapahaka Regionals, the Big Sing, the school Ball, completing our interschool sports competitions in multiple codes and academic success.

We have held several ceremonies, to celebrate these successes, the last one being our junior prizegiving.  Unfortunately, parents were unable to attend because of social distancing restrictions, but livestreaming was available as a compromise.

Our senior prizegiving, is certainly a highlight where we are able to celebrate the academic successes that our students have achieved.  This year our top academic award winners for Years 11-13 were:

Academic Success

Dux Litterarum                                    Samuel Kurian

Proximae Accessit:                               Girisha Goel and Kimberley Zhu

Wesley Broughton Award                     

(Top year 12 Academic Achiever):          Anush Goel

Year 12 Runner-Up                               Molly Zhu

Top Academic Achiever Year 11:            Thomas Ru

Year 11 Runner-Up:                             Ella Pan and Amy Piper


At the recent junior prize giving held last Wednesday, our top awards went to:

Top Year 10 Academic Achiever:

Lisa Tu, Danna Arado

Year 10 Runner-Up:

Sophia Wong

Top Academic Achiever Year 9:   

Holly Robins

 Year 9 Runner-Up:

Winnie Tan


The end of the year contained our 2 Day Discovery where the students had the opportunity to try different things.  It was a day shorter than usual because of the Ministry Of Education mandated Teacher–only-Day. The students were offered a wide range of exciting activities, everything from learning to surf, making films around the city to learning to knit and soap making. Interestingly though, some of the activities provided by outside organisations now require the students to provide evidence that they are fully vaccinated  The students enjoyed these activities and we feel it was a good way to finish the year.


We are fully staffed for next year.  Our new apppointments are:

  • Finn Perring           Music
  • Amelie Kelder           Assistant Principal
  • Tyson Ratai           Te Reo Māori
  • Johanna Dagger           Mathematics
  • Sean Burns           Mathematics
  • Meghan Long           Physical Education
  • Hannah Leath           Science
  • Laura Williams           Social Sciences
  • Ishanee Illangasinghe Social Sciences
  • Polly reardon

At our recent Prizegiving we farewelled and thanked:

  • Mr Staples has moved to Motueka
  • Mr Abernethy who retired.
  • Mr Maclean who plans to travel overseas
  • Ms Crosby who plans to travel overseas
  • Mr Lander, who was a student here back in the 1990s and returned as a music and social studies teacher also plans to travel overseas

I would like to thank them all for their contribution to our College.

For more information about our 2022 start-up, including dates, these can found at

Insert the Link

Next year is also going to be a year of significant challenge for us as we manage COVID-19 and the requirement for double vaccinations (and soon boosters) for students.  We offer a wide range of activities that involve outside providers, and their requirements for students to be double vaccinated impacts on our student’s ability to participate.  School sport, for example requires all students to be double vaccinated, if not they cannot play. With sports such as cricket, which begins in early February, this provides a very tight time frame.  Other examples include the school production (because we attend a production camp) and virtually all EOTC activities. If a student is not vaccinated and wishes to participate in these activities next year, then this is something that needs to be carefully considered. 

Once again, we are posting a Retrospective of the school year. This will give you the opportunity to reminisce about the year that was; by browsing through each term, that includes highlights, videos, photos and write-ups, all in one handy location.

It can be found here Insert the Link

I hope that you all have a good break. Next year we look forward to welcoming our new Year 9s, which again will be a very large group of approximately 240 students.

Ngā mihi nui

Grant Jones

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

5 November 2021

Ka mahi te tawa

uho ki te riri

(Well done, you whose courage is like the heart of a Tawa tree)

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

I have chosen this whakatauki as it points to people with grit and determination.  At this time of the year, when so much is happening it is easy to become overwhelmed. However, grit and determination will carry us all a long way.

Term 4 is always a “full on” term, as we celebrate our students’ successes, report their progress, and farewell our students before they leave for NCEA.  This year, our seniors have stayed at school a bit longer as the NCEA examinations have been pushed back to November 22.  This has allowed us some extra teaching time and I am pleased to report that with over 80% of internal standards completed (not all of them are attempted) across all groupings, (Year Levels, Gender, Ethnicity), 87% of these have been successfully achieved.

We have also been celebrating our students’ successes.  Unfortunately, parents have not been able to attend these functions in person because of the social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 restriction. However, we have live streamed these events and I am pleased that we have received positive feedback, and a high uptake of the opportunity.

The Celebration of Sport was the first of our Awards evenings. Despite a truncated season for some sports, we were still able to complete most of competitions, albeit without spectators.  Curtis Imre, a former student who competed at the recent Olympics was to be our guest speaker, but unfortunately he is based in Cambridge and was in lockdown.  We were pleased to receive his speech remotely and screen it at the evening.

Some of our premier award winners were:

Coach of the Year Award:            Tavana Taefu, her Junior A Volleyball team won Premier 2

Team of the Year                        1st XI Girls Football – Premier 2 Champions

                                                Newlands 10 Netball – Collegiate 3B Winners

AWD Athlete of the Year              Tiffany Natta

Junior Sports Person of the Year  Cara McCully and Bayley Puha-Harris

Sportspersons of the Year           Tania Guttenbeil and Jonathan Cottle.


Another of our annual events is the NOSCARS, a showcase of the films made by the Media Studies students. This event is usually help at the Embassy Theatre at the end of Term 3, but due to the lockdown restrictions, we ended up holding it at school on Tuesday.  It was a well-attended event and the extremely supportive audience enjoyed viewing seventeen films of different genre.  Some of the award winners this year were:

Best Performance                               Jack Bedford-Evans, Quentin is Going to Make it into The Noscars

Best Director                                     Stella Blomfield, Not Here,

Best Script                                         Cheron Fourie, A Better Goodbye,

Audience Choice and Best Film         JackBedford-Evans and William Peterson-Claridge, Quentin is Going to Make it into The Noscars 


The Arts Awards, also held with a limited audience and livestreamed, had other restrictions placed on them as well.  Not only was social distancing required, we were unable to present live performances and singing.  Despite these restriction we were able to celebrate the achievements of our students in the different disciplines found in the Arts.  Some of the recipients to the main awards were;

Creative Writer of the Year                                                 Ronelle Pieterse
Toastmasters Cup for Public Speaking                                 Kristina Taefu
Public Speaker of the Year - Afeaki Cup                               Anush Goel
Kapa Haka Person of the Year                                            Rose Aldridge
Polyclub Person of the Year - The Tiatia Trophy       Taupou Tauafiafi-Muagututi'a
The Mona Williams Cup for Dance                                       Chloe Faulkner-Ball
Media Person of the Year                                                   Stella Blomfield
Shakespearean Actor of the Year

The Tompkinson Owen Cup                                               Kiri Sim
Musician of the Year - Anne-Marie Ward Memorial Trophy     Laura Stone
Actor of the Year - New Players Theatre                              Timothy Johnston


As in previous years were able to hold our Spring Serenade albeit at lunchtime with students only and the Art Exhibition (next Monday also students only).  This enables our faculties to showcase the students’ achievements in their curriculum area.

Next week our farewell to our senior students will be take place on Tuesday 9 November. The College’s Prize Giving will be the following evening, Wednesday10 November. Again, this will be a student only event and will be livestreamed.

Other news includes, our building work is now underway in earnest, with the demolition of the staffroom underway, and the replacing of the A Block roof.  NCEA begins on November 22, and a reminder that there is a Ministry of Education mandated Teacher Only Day on Wednesday December 1st.

I would like to wish all the students who are undertaking NCEA all the very best.

Ngā manaakitanga

Grant Jones

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