Otaki College news August 2014


From the Principal

Manaaki ki te tangata

Be generous of your skills and talents

Ōtaki College – A positive place full of talent

This college is full of students who just brim with talent!

Last week I was able to go and watch our Year 7&8 students play soccer against St Bernard’s. I was so impressed with how well drilled the team was, the high level of skill all the players exhibited and the way that they positively supported and communicated between one another. Clearly they understood that there was no “I” in team and just played brilliantly to win 12 – 3 over an opposition team that was no push-over despite what the score suggests. This can only come about by great coaching and I want to acknowledge the work and time that Joseph Te Wiata has put into this team. It also comes about because the players are prepared to listen, train and apply themselves! This team will be a force to be reckoned with as they continue to build on their successes.

Last Friday night I had the pleasure of coming along to watch the drama production “Blind Date”. I was blown away by the talent exhibited by the students on stage and the show was just outstanding! There were also other students involved off stage with lighting and other support roles and they too showed great skill and commitment. Students can only have these opportunities through the support of committed staff so I want to thank Anna Groves for all her efforts to put this show on stage, Stephen Aitken for his technical off stage skills and all the other staff who got in behind this and helped out.

These are just two recent examples of the college being filled with positive staff and students and we all know that when you are surrounded by positive people then positive things happen. This leads me into the positive support that we are receiving from our Home and School team and the XŌTAKI Alumni Whanau Trust. The H&S Quiz Night was a fantastic community event and I do not know of anyone that attended this event that did not have a great night out! Our Alumni group are seeing a growing response to people joining and the new scholarships coming from this can only continue to help our students as they move on to future study and careers. A big thanks to both these groups of parents and past students for all your work and effort.

 Past successful students

F_Au_14_Aide-de-Camp-to-the-GGSometimes when you speak to students they have a tendency to doubt their ability to be successful because they come from a small town or a small college. We continually tell them that this is not the case! Success comes in many shapes and forms. To help us illustrate that we would love to hear from you about past students that you think would be useful to profile to show our students that anything is possible if you work hard enough for it so you can live your dream.



All Blacks Visit College

F_Au_14_ABsOn Thursday August 7th, All Blacks Cory Jane, Dane Coles, TJ Perenara and Julian Savea visited Ōtaki College. The visit started with a Whakatau before the players answered questions asked by Ōtaki College students. This was followed with the All Black players signing autographs, taking photos and talking with students. Ōtaki College is grateful for the All Blacks sharing their time and experiences as all students were excited and inspired by the visit.


Year 12 Outdoor Education Alpine Trip

Au_14_MountaineeringFollowing is an extract from an article by Nicholas Su, Year 12 Outdoor Education student:

“On Monday 28th July, the Ōtaki College ODE2 classes went on a joint trip to Mt Ruapehu. The first activity was a snow walk where we learnt the basics on self-arresting so if we ever fell or tripped downhill in the snow we could save and stop ourselves. Later on we went up to the flat location where we were going to build our snow caves and we started piling up some snow to begin them. After lunch we went back out to finish off mounding and digging out the snow caves. We did this for a solid 3-4 hours, when it got darker we headed back to the huts and then the girls headed down for their stay.

The next day the girls came back and said it was amazing but very wet and cold. This got me a little panicky because I’m not really good with tight spaces. Once [the boys] were all in our snow caves it was actually pretty warm and well insulated.

On our final activities day the boys had the morning off to have a rest after a hard night out in the snow. In the afternoon, after the girls came back from their activity, we got geared up to finish off the more advanced techniques of self-arresting and to practice the use of crampons. I found the self-arresting extremely scary because I’m not very confident of going down a snow hill head first backwards.

Overall this Alpine Trip was the best trip I’ve been on so far at Ōtaki College. It was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t have spent it with any other people.”


Liz Thevenard, renowned Outdoor and Physical Educator and Chair of EONZ, recently gave up her time to help on two College Outdoor Education trips.

Writing to the Principal Liz said: “I am writing to you to say how much I appreciated the opportunity to accompany two highly skilled, experienced professionals, Howard Manins and Daniel Riggs. The trips included the Year 13’s trip in the Tararua’s to Kime Hut and the Year 12’s Alpine Trip to Mt Ruapehu. The Otaki College pride and ethos was clearly visible throughout both trips and an emphasis was placed on taking responsibility and caring for each other. The groups were diverse with many of the students having never experienced alpine conditions and snow. On both trips the students were positively engaged in their learning and loved their experiences. The weather conditions proved challenging with rain and wind, however the students were keen and prepared to give things a go. Both Daniel and Howard provided firm expectations, clear guidance and positive leadership. Their effort and energy provided the drive and direction to make the students experiences memorable.”

Blind Date

Au_14_Blind-DateDance and Drama students showcased their fabulous talent during the recent successful performance of “Blind Date” which was directed and produced by teacher Anna Groves. The show kicked off with 3 hilarious short plays created by the Year 10 drama class about dating tips. This lead on to the main play, “Blind Date”, written by NZ playwright Sarah Delahunty, which was performed by the Year 11 drama class. The grand finale was the senior dance class, who danced up a storm while “teenager in love” played and balloons floated across the hall. The show was set in the 1950’s and had the packed hall falling off their seats with laughter. The night was full of music, dance and fun – no one had the chance to get bored! Ms Groves said that it was the best show she’d ever seen at a College and was honoured and proud to teach such talented students.