Newsletter for alumni of Manurewa High School

Alumni Newsletter

September 2015

Update from the Principal

Dear Alumni,

Thank you for making the connection with your old school. I am very proud of the significant place Manurewa High School holds in New Zealand education. It is the largest multi-cultural school in the country. It has a roll of close to 2000 students which includes some 70% Maori and Pacifica students. The achievements of the school compare well with any school in New Zealand. Alongside sporting and performance achievements, the school has students achieving very well academically.

What has been demonstrated in many cases is that when our students are given extra support, they can lift their performance even higher. To build on the success of our students, alumni input is a real boost. An example of this is the work of John and Leonie Hynds. Their scholarships provide students with opportunities for further education in engineering, trades, entrepreneurship and community leadership. It was their support that started the success of our students in the Young Enterprise Scheme, which is now embedded in the school. They are also proving support for the development of our alumni network by funding Leanne Gibson to expand the connections. 

Through this network, I know you will enjoy connecting with school friends. I am also sure you will enjoy getting to know the current students who are the new look of Manurewa High School and who are keen to know more about the people who used to sit at the desks in which they are now seated.
Salvatore Gargiulo, Principal


Celebrate good times

A celebration weekend is planned for alumni from the 1990s era over Labour Weekend, with the organisational skills and support of alumni Kareem Brown and Marcus Winter.

They have put together a fantastic programme over two days, with opportunities to reconnect at a Mix n Mingle Pizza Night on Friday, 23 October. On Saturday, 24 October, there will be alumni sports games, and an old-school dance in the hall with live music and DJs. We look forward to welcoming alumni and their partners at this event.

Please register here

All surplus funds raised at the reunion will help us to realise our vision for the MHS Business Academy, to develop the creative, enterprising and entrepreneurial businesspeople who can transform the lives of their families, and communities.

Helping our students to become role models

Jessie Chen has just learnt she will be able to pursue her dream of university study next year with the support of alumni Mike Bennetts (1975-1979) and his wife Karen. She is the third MHS student to benefit from a Bennetts scholarship, with Ebony Komene and Solinna Toull nearing the end of their first years at uni.
Mike says their belief in the value of education to future success has encouraged them to give back to the Manurewa community. “Education is the best way to open up a wider set of opportunities for the future, especially for those who may be the first in their family to attend university.  Accessing tertiary education is more complex and costly than in our day which is why we provide both funding and mentoring to help students succeed at a pivotal time in their lives.”
However, Mike notes students are uncertain about what the future holds for them and how they can effectively shape that for themselves.  “That's not a surprise which is why we offer mentoring support. The other notable aspect is how attending university is more than just something for themselves - they are very mindful about role modelling for their whanau and how they can give back to their communities after graduating.  It is quite inspiring to hear that consistently from all of the candidates.”

Mike and Karen say their criteria include students who have the capability to attend university but may have social or economic concerns or limitations with following that pathway. They also look for students who are already making a positive contribution to their community, within MHS or outside of school. 
“Each student we have interviewed has a unique and compelling back story so making a choice is very difficult.  We usually go for the students that are most likely to leverage the opportunity, ie they will get more from this than just a degree.

"All of the students are a tremendous credit to MHS and seem much more impressive than we would have been at that age.”

Achieving more - with a quiet place to study

Without a quiet place at home to study, it’s much harder for students to do the homework necessary to improve academic performance. "It’s a real problem," says student Tamera Ketika Pulefolau, "particularly in Auckland where housing pressures can lead to overcrowding."
This challenge brought out the creativity of Tamera and her class-mates in the MHS Business Academy - Cedric Wiremu, Pearl Hamo Rhind, Kaaibo Tiare and Jacob Harris.
They came up with a concept for a collapsible desk while brainstorming ideas for their Young Enterprise Scheme business, Pivot Point Solutions. 

Single desks in classrooms and now making way for group workstations, which enable collaboration.
“We wanted to do something useful with the old desks, and solve a real problem in our homes where there may not be any space in a bedroom for a desk,” says Tamera.
The upcycled school desk, called a ‘bedesk’, is the result of testing a number of prototypes. Now with a final design, and a stock of desks provided by Taupaki School, the bedesk is ready for manufacture in a facility at the Wiri Men's Prison. 
“The  bedesk can easily be stored under or beside your bed,” Cedric says. “In a comfortable and convenient environment for study, we expect that greater numbers of students can be successful.”

The bedesk’s development is timely. Research on "The Material Wellbeing of Households", which has data from 40 countries, ranks New Zealand homes negatively in being much less likely to have a quiet place for a student to study.
Follow Pivot Point Solutions on Facebook
The Pivot Point Solutions team during Young Enterprise Dragon's Den heats at the Vodafone Events Centre.

The Kite Stories

Manurewa High School's kite logo was designed in consultation with students, parents, staff and local kaumatua. The logo can be interpreted in a number of ways:

Keywords - bird, kite, whanau, four directions, community, flying as a flock.


Alumni in flight:

Nick Voke

Promising golfer Nick Voke has been doing well in amateur tournaments over the American summer, and is now starting his third year at Iowa State University.

On a new website, he writes he will never forget the overwhelming support he received when he first contemplated the idea of going to College in the US. "I am now reflecting on the past two years and still pinch myself when I think about the opportunity I have been given to not only pursue my passion but to be able to live my life to it’s fullest potential."

Ryan King
Studying business continues to bring opportunities for Ryan King. Now in his third year at the University of Auckland, Ryan was chosen to lead CAPM, the university's Commerce Association of Pacific and Maori Students. He was also one of 35 students selected globally to attend the ASES Summit at Stanford University in California. This event brings together young entrepreneurs from around the world to develop their business skills, knowledge and networks.
Ryan is the recipient of a scholarship from the Hynds Education Fund, established by alumni John and Leonie Hynds to support students' educational opportunities, so that they can benefit the Manurewa community.

Naotia Atiana
Another Hynds 
scholarship recipient, Naotia Atiana, was an inspiring speaker at the 2015 Festival for the Future earlier this month. Naotia is one of four members of Black Bulb Co, formed for the Young Enterprise Scheme. The group won a Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Award in 2014, acknowledging the tremendous effort they put into developing and marketing their product, Black Garlic Aioli.

She spoke about the challenges of being a young entrepreneur from South Auckland, and the resilience she has developed.

John Hynds

John was recently interviewed for the Radio Live business programme, discussing how Manurewa has benefited his life and business success.

Jacklin Pillay

Jacklin was a member of the Tool Blacks team which competed in Sao Paulo, Brazil last month in the World Skills Challenge. She was one of 1200 competitors worldwide, and was selected following competitions in New Zealand. Her skill is Cooking, which has been honed in the Hospitality and Catering Academy at MHS, as well as MIT and the kitchen of Urban Soul in Manukau. Jacklin is about to start a new role as chef in a new bistro at Karaka.

Jordan Carter
Jordan Carter is chief executive of Internet NZ, the advocacy body for all things Internet in New Zealand. Jordan is often quoted in the media as a commentator on internet issues - law, access, technology, security and use.
He was Dux of MHS in 1996.






Tim Nanai Williams

Tim has been selected to play for Manu Samoa at the Rugby World Cup.

At MHS, Tim was an original member of the Rugby Academy established by alumni Andrew Talaimanu, former Counties Manukau player & NPC Coach. Tim was a star of the 1st XV, especially in 2006 when it was undefeated. Tim plays for the Chiefs, and has also represented New Zealand and Counties Manukau sevens teams. Tim is pictured with his Chiefs and former MHS team mate, Bundee Aki.


While on the subject of rugby, we are very proud of our current students, who this season are champions in five competitions (1st XV Girls and Boys 1st XV, U15, U14 and Division One). This was front-page news in the Manukau Courier.


In Memoriam

Randel Tikitiki (MHS 1976-1980)
Randel passed away in a microlight accident in South Canterbury in January this year, which also took the life of his friend. There was extensive media coverage of the accident.

A loving father of twin girls and Senior Sergeant in the Police for 28 years, he was a hugely respected and valued member of his community. Canterbury Police District Commander, Superintendent Gary Knowles, said “This tragic and sudden loss of life has rocked not only the community in Timaru but everyone at Canterbury Police.  Randel was a valued friend and colleague to many in New Zealand Police and a respected member of the community in Timaru."

Paul Lees - Staff

The glorious 35 year reign of  the Emperor Richard Paul Lees as an educator at Manurewa High School crossed over two centuries, spanned more than three decades and came to an end partway through Term 1 this year. He passed away on Tuesday, 9 June after an illness. Mr Phil Muir, deputy principal, had the honour of speaking on behalf of thousands of students and staff at his funeral:

Known by many as Caesar, Paul championed all students from the highest performing, intellectually capable through to those who struggled with basics. He worked equally hard with all his subjects.

Paul was involved in a range of student activities, which included Amnesty international. This would see students in cages in the hall foyer, or chained to drainpipes – educating the masses to the reality of the world and the horrors of inequity. 

A particularly memorable adventure he led was in 1989 – Emperor Lees’s Odyssey to Turkey, Greece and Italy – taking a large group of students to the cradle of civilization and leaving at the height of the first gulf war – he challenged the naysayers and made great things happen. 

Taking students to the opera, running legendary Classics and Art History camps at Waharau, complete with massive feasts, of which he was the chef, and the ubiquitous toga parties – memories your students will never forget.

From Homer’s Iliad comes the following – “let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter”. The Facebook feeds tell us of Paul’s faithful slaves – recording your legacy for all to see – a modern, interactive Iliad. 

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School magazines online

Our archivist, Mr David Voisey, is gradually digitising the School Magazine, and loading online.




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