Ōtaki College News July 2016

R_college_rightR_College-top-rightFrom the Principal

Thank You to Parents and Board of Trustees

I would like to sincerely thank the parents of our young people for the contribution that they make to supporting them in their college endeavours. Parenting of young people is not always easy but the positive responses we receive from parents certainly help us in the work that we undertake which is not always just about academic learning but takes on many other forms of social education. One of the key ways that parents/whanau support the College is through service on the Ōtaki College Board of Trustees.

Board of Trustees

We have just completed the final triennium of the previous Board and we have three departing members, Lis Watson (6 years — Chairperson for 3), Andre Baker (Iwi representative for 9 years) and Simone Brooker (6 years). During their time on the Board all three members have committed fully to the roles and the portfolios they have held. They have given tirelessly of their time and knowledge and can leave knowing that the College is in a strong position in terms of its operation and financial position.

The recent election for the new Board of Trustees sees 3 new trustees, Graeme Lundie, Dale Nakhla and Tim Wilson, join us. Each of them brings a unique set of skills that will benefit the Board and a total commitment to Ōtaki College. They will join existing members of the previous Board, Slade Sturmey, Eugene Rewi, Chris Georgetti (teacher representative) and Julia Carpenter (student representative). I look forward to working with this new BoT to continue to build on the successes of the College and the previous BoT. I would also like to sincerely thank everyone that participated in the recent elections.

Strategic Plan 2016 – 2021

One of the first tasks of the new Board will be consulting with whanau and the wider community to ensure that the current strategic intent is a true representation of the community’s wishes.

The following Strategic Intents form the base for this consultation. The College will:

  • Ensure that academic achievement is prioritised in its organisation so that every student is given the opportunity to achieve at their highest possible level (all students will leave with at least NCEA Level Two).
  • Attract, professionally develop, and retain the highest quality staff who share the College’s vision, culture, philosophy and pedagogical approach.
  • Consolidate and build on a culture of care based on strong relational values that are supported through PB4L Respect, ŌC Pride, Active learning and Responsibility.
  • Utilise new and emerging technologies to encourage creative, connected, innovative and collaborative learning and teaching.
  • Use sustainability as an integrating context for curriculum, community partnerships, and college practices.
  • Develop Whanau and community engagement to support, improve and celebrate student learning.
  • Comply with all National Administration Guidelines with respect to resourcing, property expectations and general legislative requirements.


We have once again commenced the CACTUS programme at the college in partnership with Ōtaki Police who are running the programme. Constable Dan Ralph has been leading the planning for this and is supported by Slade Sturmey, Leon Kingi (NZ Army), Joseph Te Wiata from Body & Soul Gym and many others in our community.

What is CACTUS?

CACTUS is an acronym for Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit and Support.

CACTUS is an initiative to develop and support youth to achieve goals and co-operate with others using physical activity as a vehicle.

CACTUS Outcomes

Youth who have completed the course gain a huge sense of achievement and self-belief. Youth have a new sense of challenging themselves and learn to push the boundaries of what they thought they were capable of achieving. An Increased level of fitness is a given, as well as leadership skills, confidence, initiative and a bigger appreciation for what can be achieved as a team.

The programme aims to teach youth

The programme focuses on building the students’ capacity for hard work, self-discipline, communication and motivation. This is achieved by students participating in three sessions each week for eight weeks starting at 5.55am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday Mornings — finishing with ‘The Longest Day’ graduation where participants combine all the skills they have gained and celebrate their successes with family/friends/support networks.

Combined with Police escorts, trained military instructors and the support of defence force volunteers, teachers and youth workers, amazing outcomes are achieved for the youth who complete the programme.

Education Review Office (ERO)

An Education Review Office team will be in the college during week 2 of term 3 to undertake a full review of the College. I am excited about this as it gives us an opportunity to showcase the many positive things that have been put in place since the last review to build on student achievement in the college.