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Aug 242018

A competition run by Youth Gliding New Zealand has resulted in two Kuranui students winning a day of gliding at the Greytown Soaring Centre.

Joshua Wiegman and Sarah Hyde were presented the prize by former international student Anja Runge, who during her time at the college and in a space of one year, became a Qualified Glider Pilot.

Kuranui is one of only three colleges in New Zealand to offer Aviation Studies, and the only secondary school in New Zealand to offer glider flight training at NCEA.

The competition aimed at encouraging more youth into gliding. The Greytown Soaring Centre based at Papawai is a partnership between Wairarapa and Wellington Gliding Clubs, and Brian Sharpe, Wellington Gliding Club President, sees the competition as a way of giving back to the community and local youth.

Brian believes that gliding can build character and is suitable for people with different backgrounds and disabilities, “Besides, where else can you explore the sky?” he said.

Kuranui Aviation Studies Teacher and Wairarapa Gliding President, Vern Grant, agrees “This programme has gone from strength to strength at Kuranui and we’re even getting interest from overseas.”

Gliding emphasises team work and collaboration and can lead into other areas such as engineering and aeronautics, “Learning about being responsible and working with others is vital in gliding,” added Grant.

Youth Gliding NZ

Kuranui students Joshua Wiegman and Sarah Hyde with Youth Gliding NZ President Tim Tarbotten and Wairarapa Gliding President Vern Grant. Photo: Janet Davies

Kuranui Year 9 student, Joshua, knew about the gliding course at the college through a friend. “I wanted to be a commercial pilot, but now I’d like to do gliding because of the view and excitement I get from flying. Winning a day of gliding has been the highlight of his year so far.”

For Sarah, a Year 10 student, her grandad’s love of flying model aeroplanes prompted her to give it a go. “I am considering a career in the Air Force or Navy and gliding seemed a logical place to start,” she said.

Youth Gliding will be holding a camp for aspiring pilots at Papawai Marae over Labour Weekend.

Interested in taking up gliding? Check out the Youth Gliding video at or call Vern Grant at Kuranui College.

Anje Runge Gliding

Former Kuranui International student Anje Runge gliding over Papawai. Photo: Jose Antonio Blanco

Aug 222018

Sitting on 98 goals after 13 games this season, Kuranui put away another 5 goals last night against Rathkeale Rams to make it 103 for the season with 2 more games to be played in the College Boys Division 1 Wairarapa competition.

A slow start to the game by the Kuranui boys as play was spent mostly in the mid-field. Tighter marking and speed to the ball gave Kuranui the upper-hand and led 3-1 at the break. A further 2 more goals were scored winning 5-1.
Goal scorers: Jarrod Yee 4, Jack Stokes 1.

Jarrod Yee

Jarrod Yee

Players of the day went Rhys Kill who made many fine saves in goal and Jack Stokes who played a great game in an unfamiliar position of left wing and scored a goal!

Co-coaches Donald Yee and Andrew Hosnell and Manager Matt Spicer are thrilled the Kuranui Boys are already through to the final against Rathkeale College 2nd XI on 11th September at Clareville and look forward seeing you all there for your support!

Cameron Wilson

Cameron Wilson

Josh Taylor

Josh Taylor

Jonty Spicer

Jonty Spicer

Aug 202018

An enthusiastic team of Kurunui College eco-warriors recently assisted in prepping the site of the new Kuratawhiti Riverside Park in Greytown.

Eco Warriors

The three-hectare block located at the end of Kuratawhiti St is currently controlled by Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), but the work is being coordinated by Friends of the Waiohine (FOTW); a local community group helping to improve the banks along the Waiohine river.

Preparation was done by a GWRC contractor who mulched the existing scrub and blackberry and also pre-dug holes for the planting. Members of the college’s Enviro Club and students from Level 1 Agriculture and Horticulture took time out on a Friday afternoon to prepare holes for a planting day to be held the following Sunday.

“The students were asked and were very keen to help. We loaded up the van with shovels and spades and students and spent a good 45 minutes on ground preparation, they worked well preparing about 10 -15 holes each,” explained AgHort Teacher Cheryl Iro. “The Friends were very pleased to have this work done before the Sunday and were impressed with the students diligence.

“We are delighted to be involved with our community and hope that we will be included again,” added Iro.

Some of the students joined other community volunteers planting hundreds of native trees close to the Wireshed. To date, over 500 trees have been planted within the area designated for the park.

“This was done in high spirits by a diverse group, aged from 4 to 80-plus years!,” explained FOTW’s Interim Chair Ron Sharpe. “It was heartening to see college and primary students, as well as Mums and Dads with their toddlers, who wanted their children to see the start of this multi-generational venture.”

The community will be given the opportunity to voice their aspirations for the new park at a public meeting, planned for late September.

Aug 162018

Kuranui was represented by Anthony Rowe-Penny and Amelia O’Connell at a recent College Sport Wellington Secondary Schools Road Champs held at Trentham Memorial Park in Upper Hutt.

Anthony was placed 11th in the Senior Boys 6km event and Amelia was placed 13th in the Intermediate Gilrs 3km Event.

Great results!


Amelia O’Connell in action at the College Sport Wellington Secondary Schools Road Champs. Photo: Donald Yee


Anthony Rowe-Penny in action at the College Sport Wellington Secondary Schools Road Champs. Photo: Donald Yee

Aug 132018

Kuranui College and Jazz in Martinborough came together on Friday to present their annual event “Fresh Jam”, held in the Kuranui auditorium.

Jazz Jam Kikorangi

Ririn Tanaka and Amethyst Sutherland jam with their band Kikorangi. Photo Catherine Rossiter-Stead

From its origins back in 2011, the popular jazz festival has grown to a progamme of more than 30 free concerts to be held on the weekend of 30 September-2 October and Fresh Jam is now firmly established as the lead-up event. It provides an opportunity for the South Wairarapa community to engage and support college students interested in jazz.

Friday night’s event showcased their considerable talents and gave them the opportunity to perform in front of large audience, which was an invaluable experience. Wairarapa College, St Matthew’s, Chanel and Makoura were also involved, which gave the students the chance to meet other young jazz musicians from around the region.

Kuranui music teacher Mr Saali Marks believes that this was a good way for students to learn and collaborate with one another. “They learned how to cooperate with people they don’t know, how to listen, be punctual and have respect for their fellow musicians, with jazz, it is important to be aware of the work of others in group, since there is an element of improvisation to it.”

The students also enjoyed a workshop run by renowned jazz specialist and New Zealand School of Music lecturer Dr Rodger Fox. He went through their songs and tunes, and gave feedback and suggestions on where they can improve. “This workshop had a big impact on the way students view their music,” explained Marks. “It gave them a chance to explore music forms and progress with their instruments.”

Kuranui student Sacha Francis Murray who plays drums, enjoys jazz as it has helped him learn different styles and has led to him learning how to play the saxophone. “I like working with other people who are musically-minded; it’s a lot of fun. Learning the theory behind jazz has made me appreciate it a lot more.”

Jazz Jam Sacha

Kuranui’s Sacha Francis Murray plays drums as part of Fresh Jam. Photo Catherine Rossiter-Stead

Aug 092018

Kuranui College were crowned inaugural winners of the Showquest Wellington final at the Opera House on Tuesday night.

Showquest 4

The performance team of 60 students was led by Kuranui Year 13 student, A.J Southey, who composed and crafted a piece based around the Maori Battalion and Mehaka Rewi. “My great-grandfather fought in World War II and it wasn’t until he passed away that I realised I never really knew who he was,” explained Southey. “I used the platform of Showquest to tell the story of the Maori battalion, through the actions of my great-grandfather Mehaka Rewi”.

This set Southey on a journey of self-discovery and creating the central idea for the team’s Showquest theme. The students wanted to honour those that had fought in the war and come home, but especially those that had sadly not returned.

“I wrote a story structure around my grandmother and my dad as a kid at the grave of Mehaka. I wanted this to frame the story around the tombstone, with no one understanding, and then ending on the characters being changed through reading his war diaries, seeing the actions of the war unfold in dance and drama, and remembering the battalion with manaakitanga.”

“It’s a story that isn’t often told, as we do not honour the Maori battalion as much as we should.”

Southey acknowledged that working with choreographers Awhina Southey, Betsy Laybourn and Amelia Butcher was extraordinary. “I could tell them an idea, and they could communicate it with dance, working it into a moving dance piece. It was really cool to see them take my ideas and convert them to movements.”

Showquest judges noted that schools that showed a connection to family and friends were often the most powerful on stage. “The audience was moved to tears,” said Kuranui’s Performing Arts teacher, Juanita McLellan. “The whole entire piece gripped them all from start to finish.”

As part of the entry criteria, each school had to include all four aspects of the arts, as well as utilising technology in the form of a video backdrop to their performance.

“Kuranui’s video wall had to be carefully integrated within the whole entire piece. We used black and white photos of the Maori Battalion merged in with present day, as well as sand art,’ added McLellan. “It sent a strong message about who we are and where we’ve come from.”

Funded by the Ministry of Education, Showquest replaces the very successful Stage Challenge, which was axed because of mounting costs and dwindling sponsorship funding. Stage Challenge had become the highlight of the school cultural calendar and attracted more than 500,000 students over its 25 years. The Ministry has provided a one-off grant of $800,000 to the organisers of Rockquest to run the new event.

To reduce venue hire costs, the National Final of the new event will be judged on-line by a new panel of judges. Videos of all the regional finalists will be presented to the judges in September to determine the overall winner.

The Kuranui team were presented awards for choreography, theme, production, lighting, wardrobe and enhancement.

Showquest 1

Showquest 3

Showquest 2

Aug 082018

Kuranui College has retained one of their most coveted pieces of silverware, the Bailey Trophy, after defeating Tararua College by four wins to three in their annual sports exchange, held this year at the Pahiatua Sports Complex.

Trophy Web

Sports leaders from Kuranui: Lachlan O’ Connell and Danielle Turton and Tararua: Barbara McCool and Sam Newman.

All the school’s top teams across five different sports took a day away from their studies to travel north for a highly competitive day of action, played in an excellent spirit throughout.

Kuranui Sports Co-ordinator Donald Yee was delighted with the day, which was a credit to the students, coaches and supporters. “This was a great day of sport, played in a fine spirit and obviously we’re proud to have come out on top once again,” he said. “A big thank you goes to all the parent supporters who came along, as well coaches taking the day off to be with their teams.”

Kuranui were triumphant in the boys 1st XI hockey, boys and girls 1st XI football and boys 1st XV rugby, with Tararua winning both boys and girls senior basketball, along with girls senior A netball. The girls 1st XI hockey match ended in a 1-1 draw.

The two football games resulted in comprehensive Kuranui victories, emphasising the depth of talent at the school. The boys 1st X1 headed onto the field with the inspirational speech of their captain for the day, year 10 Lachie Taylor, ringing in their ears. Tararua got off to an unlucky start with an own goal, and then Kuranui showed their dominance against a somewhat overmatched, but spirited, Tararua team.

Mac Regnault came racing up off the backline for two corners and scored headers from both. Lachie slotted a great shot from the side of the box, and further goals from Lincoln Williams, Connor Turton and Luke Rodger pushed out the total.

To the home team’s credit, they never let their heads drop and battled all game long, scoring with a cracker of a drive and side-step of the keeper, for a final score of 10-1 to Kuranui. Player of the day was Lachie Taylor for stepping up to being captain and making a great job of it.

Their female counterparts went one better, with an 11-0 win. The girls showed good passing and finished their chances well, with both teams exhibiting excellent sportsmanship. Player of the day was Dylen King for good movement in the midfield and creating chances in the final third.

The boys hockey fixture was one of the hardest-fought games of the day, with Kuranui building a 3-1 half time lead and eventually going on to win 4-1. Jack Morgan and AJ Southey bagged two goals apiece and player of the day went to Cameron Wilson for a strong game on defence.

Full Results

1st XI Boys Hockey 4-1 Kuranui
1st XI Girls Hockey 1-1
1st XI Boys Football 10-1 Kuranui
1st XI Girls Football 11-0 Kuranui
Senior A Netball 30-27 Tararua
1st XV Rugby 20-10 Kuranui
Senior Girls Basketball 84-11 Tararua
Senior Boys Basketball 64-48 Tararua

Soccer Web

Rugby Scrum Web