Tēnā koutou e ngā mātua, e ngā kaitiakii o ā tātou kohine

Further to my letter last week regarding the school’s plan for operation during Alert Level 2, the Prime Minister has announced today that all regions of New Zealand outside Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 from tomorrow (Tuesday 07/09/21) at 11.59pm.

Our plan for only the Senior Students (Year 11 to Year 13) to return to hostel and school remains in place. Our hostel manager Amelia Kaui will send our hostel whānau details of the return. Junior Students (Years 9 and 10) will remain at home and continue with their online learning programme.

We have decided that learning and teaching at the college for seniors will begin this Monday, 13 September.

I want to commend staff, students and whānau for your wonderful efforts to keep teaching and learning happening during lockdown. Having been at Alert Level 4 or 3 since mid-August, it is important that we now all get a chance to service our personal lives. So this week, as we move to Level 2, I want students and their whānau and staff to have the opportunity to spend some time adjusting to Level 2 and taking care of personal needs as shops and services reopen.

So from Wednesday to Friday this week all students will move from our previous online timetable to a programme of personal study at home. Junior Students only who want to connect with their teachers individually online, may do so on Wednesday and this must be arranged with their individual teachers in advance.

The Prime Minister announced some stricter conditions this time for Alert LeveL 2 and I encourage you to visit the official COVID-19 page – https://covid19.govt.nz/ for more information.

We expect the Junior Students to continue working with the online learning and teaching programme for the two weeks they are not at the college. We will review this after the first week to see where the juniors and seniors are at with their learning.

Every subject teacher will work with the Senior Students to reach their targets in NCEA and we believe this is best achieved if the senior students are physically present at school.

We have mapped out a two-week programme that we are certain will be beneficial to them.

Details of this programme have been sent to you by our Deputy Principal Stephanie Clifton, who is in charge of curriculum. Amelia Kaui, our Hostel Manager and our interim chaplain Erice Fairbrother will take care of the pastoral care of our senior and junior students during
the two weeks.

You will be aware that COVID-19 lockdowns have had an impact on the dates for NCEA exams at the end of the year. More details on the changes and other effects of COVID-19 on schedules can be found on the NZQA website – https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/aboutus/news/threshold-set-for-learning-recognition-credits-and-other-nceaue-changes/.

I understand that this does not suit all our students, but the Ministry of Education has made this decision to give all students the opportunity to achieve their best results.

I want to thank you as parents and caregivers again for your support and the way you have responded to these COVID-19 related changes to your kohine and her education.

We are aware that some whānau are finding these lockdowns difficult and Hukarere Girls’ College wants to assure you that we will do everything we can to care for your kohine and to meet their academic and pastoral needs.

If you have any questions regarding this information please email info@hukarere.school.nz

Much love and appreciation to you all, keep well and stay safe – nā reira kia ū ki te pai.

Nāhaku nei
Shona West


Tēnā koutou e ngā mātua, e ngā kaitiakii o ā tātou kohine

With a move to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 likely soon, the school has put together a plan to ensure continuity of learning and an emphasis on achieving academic outcomes.

Firstly, I would like to thank you all for assisting me as Tūmuaki and my staff to maintain learning standards online for our kohine during Alert Levels 4 and 3. Having the support of whānau has meant that they were able to continue their classes and timetables from home in these uncertain times.

The Prime Minister will be reviewing the Alert Levels on Monday, September 6, with the rest of the country (apart from Auckland) poised to move down to Level 2. This means there will be more changes to the way we operate as a school.

We have made the decision that only the Senior Students (Year 11 to Year 13) will return to school when we enter Level 2. I am asking for the patience and tremendous support that we’ve received from parents and caregivers to continue so that we can devote time and energy to help our Seniors achieve their NCEA credits.

Every subject teacher will work with the students to reach their targets in NCEA and we believe this is best achieved if the senior students are physically present at school without any distractions. We have mapped out a two-week programme that we are certain will be beneficial to them. Details of this programme will be sent to you by our Deputy Principal Stephanie Clifton who is in-charge of curriculum. Amelia Kaui our Hostel Manager and our interim chaplain Erice Fairbrother will take care of the pastoral care of our senior and junior students during the two weeks.

Focussing on the senior students at school does not mean that our juniors will be neglected. We have put together a comprehensive online learning programme for our Year 9s and 10s. We already have a system and structure in place to ensure that these students’ pastoral care and academic needs are, and will continue to be, well and truly taken care of.

The hostel will be operational during Level 2 and along with the college these are currently being prepared for the senior girls’ return. We do expect our senior boarders to return to hostel and we will ensure that they receive a high level of care and attention. Our senior day school students will be provided with their usual form of transport to and from the college.

Thank you for your understanding in these matters. We are aware that some whānau are finding these lockdowns difficult and Hukarere Girls’ College wants to assure you that we will do everything we can to care for your daughters and to meet their academic and pastoral needs.

We will follow all guidelines from the Ministries of Health and Education regarding COVID-19, including social distancing and mask-wearing.

If you have any questions regarding this information please email info@hukarere.school.nz
Please keep well and stay safe – nā reira kia ū ki te pai.

Nāhaku nei
Shona West
Hukarere Girls’ College

Online learning and support during Covid-19 Alert Level 4

As we all adjust to our new situation, it is important that our akonga feel cared for and supported in their learning. Over the next 3 days, our akonga will move to an online learning programme. Today, contact will be made through our Ohu mentor and subject teachers, to connect your kohine with her mahi, accessed through the Google Drive. Should online learning be extended beyond these next 3 days, a timetable will be issued in which all akonga will have daily contact with their Ohu mentor and sit 3 virtual online learning classes a day.

Please be assured that all teachers and akonga have been prepared for these situations. It was timely that in our curriculum meeting yesterday afternoon, all teachers went through our directed study, online learning preparations. In this way, we can ensure you that learning and progress continues. If you have any concerns or if your kohine is experiencing anxiety through this online learning programme please make contact with her Ohu teacher. Much love and blessings to you all.

Nāku nei Stephanie Clifton

Update on COVID-19 Alert Level 4 procedures for students 

Kia ora koutou

Our normal routine at Hukarere Girls’ College will change from tomorrow as a result of the Prime Minister’s announcement this evening that New Zealand is going to a COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown for at least three days (Auckland and Coromandel will be seven days).

We want to assure whānau and caregivers that your girls and our students are our top priority, and we will do all we can to ensure they are cared for and safe during these unusual times.

We are working on an online learning structure for the next few days and our Deputy Principal Stephanie Clifton will be in touch with the details.

Unfortunately, at Alert Leve 4, we have been advised by the Ministry of Education that the Hostel will be closed and parents should make arrangements to bring their children home. However, the exception will be if there are boarders who cannot safely return home and who must continue to be cared for (for example, international students). All requirements of Alert Level 4 will be followed at all times and your child will be safe.

We will keep you informed of any developments, but in the meantime keep you and your families safe.

Ma te Atua tatou e manaakii, kia u ki te pai.

Shona West                                         Amelia Kaui

Principal                                               Hostel Manager

Hukarere Girls’ College                      Hukarere Girls’ College

Experienced teacher to lead English at Hukarere


Mandy Jarden may have been teaching English for 36 years, but she is still excited to be heading up the English Department at Hukarere Girls’ College.

Mrs Jarden has joined the Hukarere teaching staff after more than 20 years at Hastings Girls’ High School.

Mrs Jarden said she was excited to be starting at Hukarere at a time of big change and opportunity.

“It’s a school with a very long tradition and the renaissance of the school has to be tied in with the renaissance of te reo and the resurgence of Māori culture.”

“Hukarere’s students are Māori so everything at the school is through a Māori lens. The students are already secure in who they are as Māori so the work that we do just needs to affirm that.”

Mrs Jarden says her role is to ensure her students have the competency in English to succeed in whatever aspect of New Zealand’s society they choose to go into.

Born in England, Mrs Jarden’s family moved to New Zealand when she was nine years old, and she attended Hillneath School in Wairoa. She completed schooling and tertiary study in England before returning to New Zealand in 1982, where she taught English at Wairoa College. Mrs Jarden became Head of Department in 1997, before moving with her family to Hastings in 2000, where she became Head of Department at Hastings Girls’ High School. After relinquishing the role, she remained in a teaching position there until June this year when she resigned to move to Hukarere Girls’ College.

Mrs West says she is excited to be able to have someone of Mrs Jarden’s experience and talent to guide the girls.

“I have known Mandy for years and it is fantastic to be reunited with her. I have no doubt that she will add tremendous value to Hukarere.”

Hukarere Girl’ College is a Māori Anglican school situated in Eskdale, about 15 minutes from Napier.

CAPTION FOR PHOTO: Mandy Jarden has been appointed as Head of English at Hukarere Girls College.

Hukarere Girls’ College is forging ahead


Hukarere Girls’ College Tumuaki Shona West welcomes an announcement by the Government of a $20m Māori Boarding Fund to upgrade the hostels of New Zealand’s four Māori Boarding Schools, including Hukarere.

MP for Ikaroa Rawhiti and Government Minister Meka Whaitiri made the announcement during a visit to the College in Eskdale with fellow Minister and Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education) Kelvin Davis. She said the announcement, made through the Labour Party Maori Caucus, was part of Budget 2021.

Ms Whaitiri said the investment was aimed at turning the hostels into world-class facilities to match the world-class students produced by the schools.

Mrs West says the funding is a step on the road to a much needed rebuild of the entire school.

“I would like to thank the Government for this investment in the lives of our young women by giving their whare an upgrade.”

Mrs West said she attended a breakfast meeting this morning where Government Ministers Willie Jackson and Peeni Henare spoke about $150m which had been earmarked in this year’s Budget for Māori Education.

“Our whole kura needs an upgrade and we are hoping that the Ministry of Education will follow suite from this announcement to contribute to the rebuild of the entire school.”

Mrs West, who was appointed as Principal of Hukarere Girls’ College in January, says the College is forging ahead with many changes and is proud of the students that have gone before, and the students being produced now.

Hukarere Girls’ College Board of Trustee’s Chairpersons Heke Huata says the funding is appreciated as it will improve the students’ living conditions.

She says that Hukarere Girls’ College is able to provide a quality education despite the state of the school buildings, which are in urgent need of renovation.

Hukarere Girls’ was first opened in 1875 and the school has a rich tradition in the Anglican Church and Te Ao Māori. The College strives to uphold the Anglican values of Aroha, Kotahitanga, Manaakitanga, Tautoko, Whakapono and Whanaugatanga.

Hukarere Girls’ College – “Kia Ū Ki Te Pai”

CAPTION FOR PHOTO: Two Government Ministers paid a special visit to Hukarere Girls’ College today. Pictured are (from left) Deputy Head Girl Delta Huata; Minister and MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Meka Whaitiri; Head Girl Josene Brown; Hukarere Girls’ College Tumuaki Shona West; and Minister and Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education), Kelvin Davis.

Hukarere Girls’ College student wins national award

A young Hukarere Girls’ College student’s portrayal of her nana’s battle with Alzheimers disease has earned her a national accolade.

Lenaine Merrylees-Clarke, who is in year 12, won the Editor’s Choice Award in this year’s Write Off Line: Not There but Somewhere Young NZ Writers Secondary School Annual Writing Competition for her prose Forget-Me-Not.

While she says she gave it her all, she did not think she would receive an accolade given she had  never entered any sort of writing competition previously. But seeing her name on the competition’s website was a humbling experience.

Lenaine wrote the story not long after she found out about the competition. The title is a nod to Alzheimers New Zealand’s logo, and is a repeating phrase throughout her story.

At first, she didn’t know what to write about, but when her father suggested her family’s experience with her 83-year-old nana, she says it felt right.

“When you’ve heard the stories behind the memories so often it was kind of easy to put pen to paper.”

Her nana’s diagnosis was only confirmed over the Christmas holidays, but it has become gradually worse over the last four or so years.

“When I first started to notice, I was nine maybe 10-years-old, but even then, you didn’t really notice it that much. It was only a monthly thing that happened but then it got more frequent.”

Lenaine says the main theme of her piece was forgiveness. “It’s not her fault that she has Alzheimers, and she doesn’t need to be frustrated or upset at the fact that she does have it, she just to be accepting with that fact.”

“As I was writing it I did well up just because it was so personal and because my family have to live with it all the time.”

“I really hope it sends a message to people that that whether they have Alzheimer’s or Dementia, or have a family member who suffers with it, that they are not alone, and that it can be forgiven,” she says.

Although Lenaine has not told her nana about the story, she plans to one day.

Judge A.J. Ponder, who is a Sir Julius Vogel Award winner, said the judges thoroughly enjoyed it.

“A stunning prose poem which reflects the ‘somewhere else’ of dementia (memory loss and Alzheimer’s) which, while not exactly speculative, when represented this way, works sufficiently well as magical realism.

“Excellent use of the second person point of view, with only a couple of small shifts out of that perspective which are readily rectified. Poignant and yet full of hope, with its theme of family and forgiveness, this work is especially compelling.”

Her story will be included in an anthology of the best writing, which will be published as both print and e-book versions. She will also attend a Young Writers Day Out in Tauranga in June.

Hukarere Girls’ College Principal Shona West congratulated Lenaine on the award.

“We are very proud of her for having the courage to write about such a personal, but very important, subject.”

“As the newly-appointed Principal it is my goal to showcase the many talents of our girls in the public area.”

Hukarere Girls’ College – “Kia Ū Ki Te Pai”

Pānui mate a Heather Moller

Kei aku rangatira, aku Hākui, aku tuakana, teina, kei ngā ihu oneone o te kaupapa, nei te mihi ki a koutou te whānau o Hukarere, te whānau hoki a Heather.

Ki o tātou mate kua huri ki tua o te ārai, e kotokoto tonu ana a waikamo i te aroha kōmaingo noa ki a koutou ngā kura ka riro. E oki e! Kei te whānau pani tonu, kia manawanui. Kāti rā, ko rātou ki a rātou, ko tātou ki a tātou ngā waihotanga, tēnā anō tātou katoa.

It is with sadness we heard of the passing of Heather Moller, Principal of Hukarere from 2001 to 2013. Heather was a stalwart, mentor, mother, friend, Whaea, kaiako, Tumuaki o Hukarere who passed Friday 14 May 2021 doing what she loved most!

Heather took on the mantle of Principal for Hukarere during a period of great change. Hukarere ki Mataruahou (Napier Terrace site), was deemed unsafe and a new site was purchased at Eskdale. Heather managed the transfer of the school in 2003 to its new location, the establishment of the hostel on site, the dismantling of the chapel and overall the renovation and addition of buildings to service the school. Her leadership was ably supported by many friends and staff who will miss her sunny smile and positive outlook on life.

You are welcome to join Hukarere who will attend Heather’s tangihanga,Thursday 20 May at Te Taumata o Paaraawera Marae, 811 Arapuni Road, Te Awamutu Waikato.

Our Principal, Trustees, Students’, Staff and local Old Girls’ will depart Hukarere ki Herepoho at 6am to whakaeke onto the Marae at 10.30am joined by former Old Girls’ of her era with Kaumatua Tiwana Aranui.

Friday 21st May is rā nehi and a group of staff and students will remain to attend.

For those unable to attend and wish to acknowledge email korero to hukarereoldgirlsassociation@gmail.com and deposit koha to Whitney Olsen Account: 38-9014-03433120-04 – Reference: Maiden Name.

Kia Ū Ki te Pai

Heke Huata

Hukarere Girls’ College Gala a success

Hukarere Girls’ College Gala, held on the school grounds today, was a success with great fun had by all and money raised.


New dawn for Hukarere Girls’ College

It was a new dawn for Hukarere Girls’ College earlier this month as a Pōwhiri was held to welcome new principal Shona West, and incoming students.

The karanga (call) rung through the school grounds as its tangata whenua welcomed manuhiri (visitors) into the hall. Waiata, Whaikōrero, and karakia marked the poignant occasion.

More than 200 staff, students, whānau and friends gathered, including Ms West’s older brother and Hastings District Councillor Henare O’Keefe, former Hastings Girls’ High School’s principal and current Hastings District Councillor Geraldine Travers, as well as other notable leaders in the community.

Ms West, of Ngātiporou and Ngātikahungunu descent, was appointed late last year to the position and has been charged with the responsibility of leading the school in a new direction.

Addressing the crowd, she said she will lead the school as a collective “because it is up to each and everyone of us to shift us to another place”.

She acknowledged the tūāpapa of the school which has a strong Te Ao Māori character and Anglican tradition. “They must be intrinsic in everything we do.”

She thanked the girls’ whānau for trusting them with the responsibility of nurturing their tamariki. “I promise you we will do our utmost to do that.”

The school’s Board of Trustee’s Chairpersons Heke Huata and The Most Reverend Don Tamihere said they are excited for what the future holds and pleased to have Shona at the helm.

“As we enter our 146th year, 2021 signals a fresh beginning for Hukarere,” Heke Huata said.

This year has seen a “significant” intake of new students, bringing the roll to just under 90, up from last year’s 71.

Deputy Principal Stephanie Clifton, and five other staff members have also been welcomed.

Most Rev Tamihere, Bishop of Te Tairāwhiti, Bishop of Aotearoa, and Archbishop and Primate of Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia, said he is excited by the renewed support, and new appointments.

“Hukarere is an incredibly important school with a deep history and it still retains immense value not only to Māori but to Aotearoa as a whole.”

“Really pleased to have been there to support Shona, but most of all we are really looking forward to the wonderful young woman that have started here this year and watching them flourish.

“I am excited about what the future holds.”

Hukarere Girls’ College principal Shona West (left) with Board of Trustee’s Chairpersons The Most Reverend Don Tamihere and Heke Huata.