All posts by Ian Morrison

Dangers of vaping

I feel it is important for our community to be as well informed as possible about a dangerous new trend which is potentially very harmful to the health of our students. I believe we all need to send the same message to our children to keep them safe as there may be some mixed messages coming from a number of sources which confuse the situation. 


In essence while vaping may be a useful, short-term method to stop smoking it is dangerous for young people to try and some students may think that if it is advertised or if it is used for that purpose it is OK or safe for them to use. The short answer is, it is not and a growing number of young people, ironically, are becoming addicted to nicotine after using e-cigarettes.


Vaping (and smoking) is not permitted in schools in New Zealand. The school views vaping in a negative light and deals with students who bring a vaping device to school severely as it may cause a risk to other students’ health and safety. 


Please ensure if you, or members of your household use e-cigarettes that your children get a clear message of the risks of using them and cannot have access to them.

Here is a simple message from the Ministry of Health website:

Children, young people and non-smokers should not vape (use e-cigarettes)

  • people who do not smoke should not vape
  • vaping products are not risk-free 
  • the long-term health effects of vaping are unknown 
  • vaping products contain nicotine which is highly addictive.

More detailed information can be found from an article published online from the John Hopkins Medicine website entitled “5 Vaping Facts You Need to Know” by Michael Blaha.


1: Vaping Is Less Harmful Than Smoking, but It’s Still Not Safe

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other vaping devices) are being used by adults who are trying to give up smoking. However e-cigarettes contain nicotine, flavourings and other chemicals, many of which are toxic. Vaping products may also be modified to contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the harmful ingredient in marijuana.

2: Research Suggests Vaping Is Bad for Your Heart and Lungs

Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive. It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is also a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack.

In addition many of the chemicals used in e-cigarettes have not been tested properly yet to understand their long term effect or damage.

3: Electronic Cigarettes Are Just As Addictive As Traditional Ones

Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which research suggests may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. What’s worse, says Blaha, many e-cigarette users get even more nicotine than they would from a tobacco product — you can buy extra-strength cartridges, which have a higher concentration of nicotine, or you can increase the e-cigarette’s voltage to get a greater “hit” of the substance.

4: Electronic Cigarettes Aren’t the Best Smoking Cessation Tool

Although they’ve been marketed as an aid to help you quit smoking, e-cigarettes have not received Food and Drug Administration approval as smoking cessation devices. A recent study found that most people who intended to use e-cigarettes to kick the nicotine habit ended up continuing to smoke both traditional and e-cigarettes.

5: A New Generation Is Getting Hooked on Nicotine

“What I find most concerning about the rise of vaping is that people who would’ve never smoked otherwise, especially youth, are taking up the habit,” says Blaha. “It’s one thing if you convert from cigarette smoking to vaping. It’s quite another thing to start up nicotine use with vaping. And, it often leads to using traditional tobacco products down the road.”


I trust this information will help you to address this potentially dangerous and harmful issue. A similar message will be provided to our students by Whānau Leaders and the topic will be addressed in our Health and PE classes as it can affect students’ hauora.

Kia kaha


Ian Morrison



Students drive safety improvements

On Tuesday 30 March Dr Anae Neru Leavasa visited our school to introduce himself and meet three of our students who petitioned his office last year to reduce speeding around the school. This was part of a learning context led by Mrs Selagan last year when the students were in her Global Studies class researching problems and solutions to problems in our community. The boys made a presentation to Dr Leavasa who was very impressed by the quality of the boy’s exploration, analysis and suggestions. As a result he has set up a meeting with the school, local council and Auckland Transport to develop and implement some of the boys’ ideas.

This is an excellent example of authentic learning and while the process is not complete we could see the visible growth of our students.

Growing greatness – Kia mana ake!

Left to right: Mrs Selagan, Ayush Singh, Ethan Pelayo, Mason Kanthavong, Dr Anae Neru Leavasa

This month on SchoolTV – Raising Girls

Raising girls in today’s modern world can be a difficult path for parents and carers to navigate. These days, girls are transitioning to puberty a lot earlier than they used to and the physical, psychological and emotional changes they experience are challenging. 

Some parents and carers may feel uncertain about how best to support their daughter through the ups and downs of adolescence and how to keep the lines of communication open. With the rise of social media and technology, mental health difficulties in girls are increasing as often they are faced with online images that make it difficult to see themselves as acceptable. Ensuring a daughter’s opinions are heard and her views listened to, will go a long way towards making her feel loved and supported as she tries to establish her own identity.

In this edition of SchoolTV, adult carers will attain a clearer picture of what girls are wanting from their adult carers and how best to support them through adolescence. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this month’s edition, and we always welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to this month’s edition

COVID update 5 March

Alert levels return to Level 2 in Auckland from 6am Sunday 7 March.
This means we will return to school on Monday. As before please exercise the well publicised safety guidelines at home and at school.
– stay at home if showing flu-like symptoms
– wash hands
– do not share equipment
– sneeze or cough into the elbow
– maintain a safe distance where possible
– avoid physical contact.
The school will also have its regular cleaning schedule restored so surfaces are sanitised.
If parents have to come to the school please come to reception via the Jeffs Road entrance and scan the QV code.
We will follow our normal timetable and scheduled events including Year 7 Camp and other trips that have been planned.
Please follow Ministry of Health advice if you are contacted by them directly and inform the school – do not send children to school if they are supposed to be in self-isolation and use reliable sources of information like the COVID web site for updates.
Kia kaha
Ian Morrison

COVID update 28 Feb 2021

Following the PM announcement that Auckland is at alert level 3 for the week starting Monday 1 March, please note that, as before, the school is closed until further notice except for students of parents of “essential” services. If your child/ren need/s supervision at school please notify the relevant Whānau Leader before 5 pm today so arrangements can be made.
These students are to report directly to the library and have lunch, charged device and other learning equipment with them. Masks are recommended but not compulsory.
The rest of the school will kick into distance learning and further information will be sent to students via the Whānau Leaders.
While this is frustrating it is necessary and we thank you once again for your patience and support.
Kia kaha
Ian Morrison


COVID update Tuesday 23 February, 8.30 pm

Latest COVID update contains the following information following a positive test of a worker at Kmart Botany who is related to the Papatoetoe cluster.
Please contact your child’s Whānau Leader if he/she will be away from school tomorrow following the advice received below:
“If you were at Kmart Botany between 4pm and 10pm on Friday February 19 and Saturday February 20 you are considered a casual plus contact.
If you are a casual plus contact, you are advised to immediately isolate at home and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on isolation timeframes and testing requirements.”
Ian Morrison

Message from the MoE regarding face masks.

Face coverings are not required at school or on any school transport. But they must be worn on all public transport, including by any school children aged 12 and over.
At any alert level, children, young people or teachers and other staff who want to wear face coverings at schools or early learning services may do so. They are entitled to make this decision and should not be criticised for doing so.

10th anniversary of the Christchurch Earthquake

I am sure our community will join me in pausing a moment at 12.51 to remember and reflect on this traumatic event.
We reach out to the survivors, emergency response workers and families of those who died or were injured and who still carry the physical and mental scars. And we also acknowledge the amazing resilience and determination of a community which has rebuilt a shattered city.
Kia kaha