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Feb 282018

Students at Kuranui College got a rare treat last Thursday when two members of the Te Toki Voyaging Trust visited the college to talk about waka voyaging and navigating by the stars, as part of this year’s New Zealand Festival.

While the captain of ‘Aotearoa One’, Kere Mcleod, and ‘Haunui’ crew member Marama Beamish were talking to students, a fleet of waka hourua was sailing the Wairarapa coastline towards Wellington to arrive in time to celebrate the start of the biennial festival.

A Waka Odyssey

Raihania Tipoki, a Kuranui board trustee, was at the helm of ‘Te Matua a Maui’, one of five waka in the fleet. The fleet and their crew are taking part in A Waka Odyssey, a series of festival events that honour and celebrate the legacy of the pacific explorer Kupe.

As part of the festival activity, the students were given the opportunity to explore a huge inflatable planetarium, which was shipped in for the day. This was followed by a brief introduction to the celestial navigational skills that have been safeguarded and passed past down through the centuries by word of mouth.

“Papa Mau Pialug was a navigator from the Caroline Islands and he wanted to share his knowledge so it wouldn’t die out,” explained Beamish. “He shared this knowledge with the condition that it must be passed on.

“Stars are really reliable. If you can identify the Southern Cross and the pointers, you can always find south.”

Mcleod, who took the helm of his waka last November, gave the students some plain advice – “Don’t fall off the waka: it’s pretty simple to remember.” He added that these days there were safety plans in place and that the captain and crew make sure they are prepared for the weather and try to avoid storms.

“We do much better than our ancestors. We have packaged food, pillows and sleeping bags,” he said.

But he also warned “You have to be good at doing homework to be a great navigator: there is lots to learn and lots to study.”

Waka crew not only hail from New Zealand, but also from places like Malaysia, Samoa, the Cook Islands, China and Poland. “There is a balance of genders, ages and personalities. It connects us across the world,” added Beamish. “The waka are messengers of ocean protection and show us how really connected we are in the Pacific.”

Feb 262018

The O’Connell siblings dominated the Kuranui College annual swimming sports, held on a scorching hot day at Greytown Pool. An impressive total of six records were broken, including one which has stood since before any of the school’s current students and some of teachers were born.

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The highlight of the day was Amelia O’Connell’s victory in the U15 girls one-length breaststroke in a time of 22.16 seconds, beating the previous best of 22.40 set by former New Zealand open breaststroke champion Jolie Workman in 1995.

Amelia also swam new times in the two-lengths breaststroke and two-lengths backstroke, comfortably eclipsing the existing record times which have stood since 2010, as well as the one-length freestyle mark from 2002. She was unbeaten in 10 races to win her age group, a feat emulated by her brothers Lachlan (16+ boys) and Charlie (U14 boys).

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Lachlan was also in record-breaking form, setting new standards in the two-lengths butterfly and breaststroke, both several seconds better than the previous times recorded by Sam Pepper in 2011. He finished the day with nine victories in his nine events, while younger brother Charlie had eight wins and two second places to round off a highly-successful day for the O’Connell family.

Other age group winners were Serenity Wilson (U14 girls), Ceejay Dennes (U15 boys), Ruby Fairbrother (U16 girls), Connor Turton (U16 boys) and Meghan Appelman (16+ girls).

O'Connell 1

Feb 192018

Kuranui College’s annual athletics day was held in scorching sunshine and the students certainly came to the party with record numbers participating in events both serious and not-so-serious.

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In the U19  girls, Amelia Butcher dominated on the track, with victories in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m, while Lincoln Williams was equally dominant in the U19 boys, breaking the tape in the 100m and 200m, winning the long jump and finishing as runner-up in the triple jump.

Amelia O’Connell left the opposition in her wake in the U16  girls category, taking out the 100m, 400m, 800m, long jump and triple jump, and rounding out an outstanding set of performances with second places in the 200m and discus. Kyle Green and Connor Turton won two events each in the U16 boys, a feat also achieved by Manish Narayan in the U14 boys.

There was fierce competition amongst the U14 girls, with Holly Evans winning three events and Bonnie Green finishing with two firsts, a second and a third. Aorangi excelled in the house relays, winning three out of four, while Tararua went home with the highly-coveted tug of war trophy.

Kuranui sports coordinator, Donald Yee, was delighted with the day. “It was great to see so many of our students taking part and a good mixture of fun and healthy competition,” he explained. “A big thank you goes to everyone who helped out to make the event run smoothly: students, teachers, parents and helpers.”

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Kuranui Interhouse Athletics 2018 17

Feb 182018

Our Year 13 international student Anje Runga features in a great story about her first solo glider flight at Papawai.

See the Stuff story here.

NCEA Aviation Studies is an option for students at Kuranui and learning to pilot a glider is one of the benefits of attending the college. You can learn more about Aviation Studies at Kuranui College here.

Anje Runge 1

Photo source: Stuff

Feb 132018

Virtual reality could be on the Kuranui College curriculum in the near future if Ryan McCroskery gets his way, with the former Wellington High School chemistry teacher moving to South Wairarapa armed with bucket-loads of experience in this field from his six years in the UK.

I’m definitely interested in getting virtual reality set up here and there’s a few other things that they want me to do,” he explained. “I’ve seen some software in the UK that is really cool, being able to hold atoms and molecules in your hand and just seeing how they would act amongst the world. A piece of plastic can’t really do that, because it’s still and doesn’t really show that.

I know it could be just another piece of technology, but I’ve seen some exciting stuff and I think we need to be pioneers over here. What attracted me to Kuranui College was that they are innovative with their teaching styles and that’s what I believe I do with my lessons.”

Ryan McCroskery Web

McCroskery is also keen to continue travelling, having made the most of his opportunities whilst abroad.

I did a lot of travelling overseas. Having based myself in London, pretty much every holiday I was going to another country. I like Asian history and seeing the relics and those sorts of things and so I’m also keen to visit China and Japan.

I loved visiting Pompeii in particular and loved seeing the lead pipe, seeing the actual early chemistry and why they used those things in those times. I find that really interesting and like to see how chemistry comes into it.”

Having been brought up in the Waikato, McCroskery is experiencing his first taste of the Wairarapa lifestyle. “One thing I’m finding is that it’s really, really friendly. You know they say New Zealand’s friendly, but I think Wairarapa in particular is really friendly. Everyone is going out of their way to be approachable.

Kuranui is different from what I’m used to: it’s a small school, more of a country school. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on relationships, which you don’t find in some other schools.

This is definitely a relationship-orientated college and I think that one of my strengths is definitely getting kids engaged: thinking about not just the subject, but outside the subject.”

Feb 072018

Kuranui Athletic Day – 16th February

Held at Kuranui College starting at 9.15am. (21st February is cancellation day).Parents and care-givers are most welcome to attend, if you are interested in helping with time keeping, contact Mr Yee at the Sports Office.

Kuranui Swimming Sports – 23rd February

Held at the Greytown Memorial Pools at Greytown Park with a starting time of 9.15am, (26th February is cancellation day). Parents/Caregivers are most welcome to come and support this event, time keepers are also required!

Wairarapa Intercollegiate Athletic Meet – 1st March

Held at the Pelorus Athletic Track in Masterton with the 1st event starting at 10.30am.

Swimming Inter-collegiate – 28th March

At the Masterton Indoor Pools, evening event-starting time to be confirmed.

Inter-Collegiate Tennis Competition

If you are interested in playing in the Wairarapa Tennis Interclub College competition played on Thursdays, starting 4pm at the Masterton Tennis Centre Courts, see Mr Yee at the Sports Office.

Boys and Girls Cricket

We have an exciting season ahead. We have 3 planned cricket practices for all players. Simon Roseingrave (Wairarapa Cricket Development Manager) will be in attendance along with his assistants, we invite parents/care-givers to attend. We intend to enter 3 teams this year into the Wairarapa Secondary Schools Competition.  Practices days for all Players on Wednesday’s (Boys & Girls), starting 7th, 14, 21st Feb at Kuranui College, meet out the gym and ready to go at 3.30pm and finish by 5.00pm.  Bring sports shoes and a drink bottle (no cricket gear bag required).


Junior Boys- (Years 9 & 10) played on Saturday morning (home and away).
1st XI Boys- (year 11,12, 13) played on a Saturday afternoon (home and away games). (Dispensation may be given to players new to the cricket to play at a lower grade).
Girls Cricket- One grade- will played on a Thursday afternoon starting at 4pm( with home and away games). Starting competition date to be confirmed.

If you are interested in playing cricket and have not registered, see Mr Yee at the Sports Office.

If Parents/caregivers are interested in getting involved with cricket this season any way such as team management, score keeping etc, please contact me.


Dannevirke High School is hosting an event on 28th February, entry/information form are available from the Sports Office Door.

Wairarapa Intercollegiate Volleyball

ompetition starts Wednesday 14th February at Makoura College. If you are interested in playing or getting a team together, please get a registration form from the Sports Office door.

Volunteer Sports Coaches

We are seeking expression of interest from parents/caregivers and members of the community who may be interested in assisting in coaching our winter sports teams. We would be happy to hear from anyone with an interest in coaching netball, hockey, football and basketball. If you are able assist in specialist coaching in a particular area or assist in refereeing, we would to hear from you!).

‘Boots n all’

Our reserve boot stocks are low. If you have recently updated your rugby/football boots and no longer require your old ones- we want them! Please leave them at the Main Office at Kuranui College between 9am-3pm Mon-Fri.

Mr Donald Yee
Kuranui College Sports Co-ordinator
T: 06 30 49116 x728 E: yeed [at] kuranui-college [dot] school [dot] nz

Feb 052018

There’s a new trophy in the Kuranui College cabinet, with a group of intrepid year 10 students excelling on the open seas during the summer and bringing the prestigious Spirit of Adventure Trust Voyage Award to Greytown.

The 10-strong group spent five days living and working aboard the 45-metre training ship, competing against three other schools for the award, having each raised $1,200 to take part.

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Fundraising was a major challenge and the students found a number of innovative ways to fund their adventure, from selling raffle tickets outside Fresh Choice to organising a hangi. Local charitable organisations also came to the party, with South Wairarapa Rotary Club contributing $200 to each student and other support coming from Greytown Trust Lands.

The students overcame sea sickness, fatigue and the occasional mishap to win the trophy, which was based around a number of team challenges.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” explained Henry Issacs. “I feel like everyone needs to do it if you get the opportunity, because it’s very good fun and you learn lots.

“Cooperating as a team was something I learnt – being able to work with different people that you wouldn’t normally get along with. Also doing some things you wouldn’t normally do, like sitting on the end of a boat, in fact just trying to live on a boat is pretty crazy.”

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Superb teamwork was the key to Kuranui’s success, which was made harder as many in the group didn’t know each other particularly well before the start of the voyage.

“We communicated at all times, when we were doing challenges,” said Francesca Hewison. “We were really positive as a team as well. We just got along with it and got it done.”

“We weren’t too phased about the result,” added Henry. “We were trying to enjoy it – there’s no point in making it ridiculously competitive.”

The group certainly had to dig deep at times during the trip, as Isabella Walker
explains. “My night watch was hard, because I had decided to stay up for three shifts, which was like six hours in one go through the night. Luckily, the day after we flew home, I was just so tired. I’d stayed up for 24 hours.”

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The group was accompanied by Kuranui youth worker Matiu Te Maari, whose role was to support the students rather than direct them.

“He was really good because he was relaxed, and he let us do what we wanted to do,” explained Connor Turton. “He was there for us if we needed him and he was really good at supporting us.

“He was also trying to learn things himself. He let us figure out what do to ourselves in the challenges. If he was telling us what to do the whole time I think we wouldn’t have got along as well as we did.”

Kuranui Spirit Trophy Kids Web