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Welcome – Whānau Update 30 January 2024

Jan 26, 2024

Kia ora koutou Parents, Caregivers and Whānau,

Welcome to Garin College 2024; we look forward with excitement to a year of student learning, engagement and fun. 

Welcoming our new and returning learners and staff is always a highlight in our school year. This year we are celebrating our welcome with a school pōwhiri to all Y9, 12, 13 and new students and staff; all families are welcome – a light morning tea will be served in the library for parents afterwards. This will be celebrated on Wednesday, 31 January at 9am. Congratulations to all learners for their success and achievement in their 2023 NCEA results, we are presently reviewing our college NCEA achievement data and look forward to sharing these results with you in the weeks to come.  We thank God for the gift of new life, spirit and energy our new learners and staff bring to the college. I particularly look forward to also welcoming our returning learners with their goals and aspirations for the year ahead. As the year begins we have many new and exciting staff joining us; I trust you will meet and enjoy making connections with these staff in the weeks to come.

We farewell Fr Seph Pijfers as he completes his service as Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Bays Parish (OLOB). Seph has been an outstanding College Chaplain and spiritual director for Garin College and served on the Garin Board for many years. We wish Seph well and pray for him as he continues to serve the Archdiocese of Wellington and our faith community. Fr Seph will be saying his final mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help 35 Williams St Richmond this Sunday, 28 January 9.30am. There will be a morning tea following mass so that we all have an opportunity to farewell Father following his 8 years with our Parish. All are welcome and if you are able to provide a plate of food to share that would be gratefully received.

Welcome to our new teachers

Amelia Bright – History & Social Sciences (HoF)

Sam Currie – Sciences 

Jessica Stock – English 

Richy Taualupe-Vaipulu – Religious Education 

Merin Baillie – Food Technology 

Wandi Le Roux – Social Studies & Economics

Welcome to our new Support staff

Ben Bonoma – Garin College Business Manager

Jacinda Halford – Inclusive Education Teacher Aide

Kerri Haggart –  International Student Teacher Aide

Nicky Van de Geest – NMIT Student Counsellor

Kane Andrew – Laboratory  Technician and Laboratory  Manager

Our starting dates for 2024 are:

Tuesday 30 January – Course confirmation day for senior learners in the gymnasium. Please make your way there during your designated time.  You will have received an email from Mr Bucknall in December 2023 with these instructions: 

9.00am – 10.00am: Compulsory – All Year 13 learners to attend and complete course confirmation

10.00am-11.00am:  Compulsory – All Year 12 learners to attend and complete course confirmation

11.00am-12.00pm: Year 11 learners attend only if they need to make subject changes

Wednesday 31 January Pōwhiri – All Y9, 12, 13 and new students are to attend a school pōwhiri.

Uniform – all learners in school uniform with senior learners wearing formal uniform (a change to summer uniform can be made after the pōwhiri).

8.40am: All incoming year 9’s and new students to Garin in Year 10 – 13, assemble in front of the main office as manuhiri for the Pōwhiri. 

Year 12 and 13’s go directly to their whānau classes.

8.45am: Pōwhiri – All new learners assemble in the car park by the main office in preparation. 

All Y10-13 students have received instructions today via email from Ms Butler. 

12pm: New learners (Year 11 – 13) finish for the day –  except those Yr 12’s who will be supporting junior students

3.10pm:  Year 9 learners dismissed – end of the school day

Buses run as normal

Thursday 1 February  full school day 8.40am – 3.10pm:   

  • 8.40am – Y9, Y12, Y13 go to Whānau Class 
  • 8.40 am – Y10 and Y11 go directly to the Gym for a welcome

The activities/formal classes for the day will vary between year levels; Years 10 – 13 please come prepared to start your classes throughout the day. You will get more detail in the morning regarding this.  Year 9 will continue with separate orientation activities.

Stationery and BYOD

Garin learners require basic pens & pencils for the start of the college year. As learners attend their first subject classes, each teacher will provide further information about study resources such as text books and learning workbooks as they are required. Please also refer to our website homepage pop-up for 2024 stationery requirements.

As a ‘Bring your own Device’ College (BYOD), Garin learners require a digital device. Device specifications on our website will help in your decision to purchase the correct one. 

Points of Contact

If you have any questions or concerns, your first point of contact should either be the classroom or whānau teacher for your learner. You can email the staff member directly or phone the school office to initiate this contact.

Deans for 2024

Māori Dean – Matua Tom Speers  Year 9 Dean – Shaz Murray Year 10 Dean – Ange Thomsen
Year 11 Dean – Katrina Eggers Year 12 Dean – Mhairi Gray Year 13 Dean – Henry Kersten 


School Office:

Open now and school days,  8am-4pm.

The Government has introduced Cell Phone regulations that require all state and state-integrated schools and kura to have student phone rules in use. Rules must be in use as soon as possible in Term 1 2024 and no later than the start of Term 2, 29 April 2024.

What must be in the school rules

The regulations require that schools must ensure students do not use or access a phone while they are attending school, including during lunch time and breaks. This includes students who are on a school course or visit outside the school grounds. Schools must allow students to use or access a phone when:

  • a phone is needed to help a student with a disability or learning support need (for example, to assist with impaired communication); or
  • a teacher requires students to use phones for a specific educational task or purpose (for example, for a class assignment); or
  • the principal decides that they are needed for special circumstances (for example, the student is a teenage parent).

Garin actions in Term 1 to prepare for implementation of phone rules to meet Government Regulations

  1. We will maintain our current phone rules
  2. Students and Parents will be informed of the new regulations.
  3. Garin will develop a Draft Set of Student Phone Rules early term 1.
  4. Garin will consult with the Garin community (Parents, Caregivers, Whānau) as per your board’s usual practice on the Draft Garin Phone Rules mid term 1 2024
  5. Garin will implement its new student phone rules before the start of Term 2, 29 April 2024.

Garin Phone Rules remain unchanged at the start of term 1 – up until new rules are implemented in term 1 2024

Students may bring their phone to school  and use their phones before school and at break times. We will however encourage students not to bring their phones to school or use them at break time.

Student phones and ear pods are to be turned off in class and during class time and stored in their school bag during class time – including whānau time.

The teacher will allow a student (established understanding) to have their phone on in class if it is needed for health reasons (for example, to monitor insulin levels); or

  • a phone is needed to help a student with a disability or learning support need (for example, to assist with impaired communication); or
  • a teacher requires students to use phones for a specific educational task or purpose (for example, for a class assignment)


NZ Uniforms supply all new Garin College uniform items. Please refer to our website homepage pop-up for further information. 

New Second Hand Uniform Shop

Second hand uniform items can be purchased and sold from our Second Hand Uniform shop. Stephanie Fisk runs this important service to our school community. The shop is situated at the rear of the gym. Before school starts, the shop will be open these hours. Regular hours (term time only):

School Transport

Bus routes and information can be found here. TBC Trust will continue to provide a bus service to Richmond for High School students located in Motueka, Lower Moutere and Upper Moutere. 

Attendance – Every School Day – MOE Attendance strategy 2023 – 2026

Our attendance goal in 2024 is to increase regular attendance to 70% – to achieve this result we look forward to receiving the energy and commitment of all Students, Parents, Caregivers, Teachers and Staff, to share in promoting and affirming positive attendance initiatives throughout the year. I look forward to sharing more details with you soon.

Thank you for the care, support and encouragement you provide your learners as they start the new year. I look forward to re-engaging with each of you again throughout the year. I invite all to attend, participate, contribute and engage in as many school activities and events as possible. We will keep you posted of events coming up through our website home page/Media which is often updated – please regularly check it and look for the Principal’s pānui, Upcoming Events and Latest News, and occasional mail drops. I know our learners and staff thrive when sharing college experiences with you all.

As may be necessary, further Parent/Whānau updates will be provided via email communication and the Garin College website.

I love this quote from Mother Teresa, it speaks about our unity and connectedness in community and the contribution we all make. I pray for a successful year in faith, learning and friendship for our learners, staff, parents, whānau and community. 

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” 

Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Ngā mihi nui, 

Ma te atua manaaki

John Maguire


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