Category Archives: School News

Teachers and support staff – what can we do to show them that they are valued?

I am sure the MHJC community is well aware of the strike action planned for Wednesday 29 May. Some of the issues that have been publicised include salary increments that have not kept pace with inflation and working conditions which have caused many to seek other employment or which have caused significant health concerns.


I am pleased to be working with a Board of Trustees which takes its responsibility as a “good employer” seriously and has supported several initiatives to promote staff wellbeing. Some strategies include membership of the Employee Assistance Programme; showing a compassionate approach to leave requests; paying support staff a “living wage” which is above rates specified in the collective agreement; support of teachers going on study leave and supporting management with initiatives which assist teachers and support staff to maintain a work/life balance. Our mentoring system has also been very successful in responding to the needs of our staff before the situation becomes damaging and the schools within school/whānau system is a very effective means of providing emotional support to our staff as well as our students. I continue to work with our Senior Leadership Team at ways in which we can lighten the load on our staff and commit to this on a daily basis.


While planning this message I wondered what our community can do to support our teaching and support staff while the union leaders and Education Minister lock horns. I note in the many articles and news reports that many teachers and support staff describe their situations in different ways often because of the context in which they work. I am pleased that in general our students and caregivers provide wonderful support to our staff. While working conditions overall could improve it is so important that our staff are and feel valued. We can all show this by following our values of integrity/pono and compassion/awhinatanga. Let us show our appreciation and gratitude for what our teachers and support staff do on a daily basis whether it be phoning in an absence, replying to a reminder about homework completion or simply meeting and greeting a coach/manager at an academic competition, sporting or cultural event. Just a few kind words on these occasions may not fill the bank account but they will fill the well of goodwill and put a smile on the face and a spring in the step for a community that is doing a great job but needs a boost right now.

Growing greatness – Kia mana ake!

Kindness Week

This week we look forward to a number of activities which will promote our school’s values of integrity and compassion. We believe that by cultivating a better understanding of our differences and celebrating our wonderful cultural diversity we can send a positive message to our community. The week will finish with Pink Shirt Day which has become a rallying cry for us to treat each other with respect and manage ourselves so that we remain calm and respond appropriately if offended. The most important change we wish to see after analysing a recent survey is for students to become more equipped to articulate their feelings and for bystanders who witness hurtful actions or words to make a stand and indicate their disapproval. This has been documented to be one of the most powerful ways to combat bullying.


The following web site has more information which may provide us with greater insight:


Our view is that while we respond to any reports of anti-social behaviour we also wish to promote a positive message of seeking ways to be kind and compassionate which help create a culture of acceptance and celebration of our differences. The Student Executive Council has created a slogan “#be kind, be you” which I think sums up our message superbly.

Growing Greatness – Kia Mana Ake!


MHJC students Saniya Lal (8W1) and Andrew Ma 10W2 were both selected to read their poems at the Auckland War Memorial Museum as part of the ANZAC Day commemorative poetry competition. Both read their poems, based on the brief: The idea of peace reflecting on the theme: War is over…if you want it.Earlier that morning Saniya also read her winning essay to the crowd gathered for the Civil Service at Stockade Hill in Howick. 
Here is the news article that appeared in the local paper on ANZAC day:

Parent Representatives (5) for MHJC BoT Elections

Nominations are invited for the election of 5 Parent representatives to the Board of Trustees.

A nomination form and a notice calling for nominations will be posted to all eligible voters.
You can nominate another person to stand as a candidate, or you can nominate yourself. Both parts of the form must be signed. Additional nomination forms can be obtained from the school office.

Nominations close at noon on Friday 24 May, 2019 and may be accompanied by a signed candidate statement and photograph. The voting roll is open for inspection at the school and can be viewed during normal school hours. There will also be a list of candidates’ names, as they come to hand, for inspection at the school. Voting closes at noon on Friday 7 June, 2019.

Signed: A Young, Returning Officer

10th Birthday Celebrations – Community Day postponement

It is with regret that I have decided to postpone the Saturday morning community event scheduled for 6 April. This decision was made after consultation with organisers and Board of Trustees. Several factors have caused this action, the most important being the timing of an event we wish to enjoy but which would have proceeded against a backdrop of national turmoil and grief following the tragic loss of life in Christchurch last Friday.

I realise that there has been a lot of work done by staff and students to prepare for the morning but this will not be lost as we will set a date later in the year when things are back to normal and we can focus on the celebrations free of other considerations.

My sincere apologies to anyone inconvenienced by this decision.

Race Relations Day 2019: Our people, our cultures, our language

Race Relations Day is observed around the world, annually on March 21 in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The day was initially recognised to commemorate the 69 people – including 10 children – who were killed while peacefully protesting Apartheid laws in Sharpeville in 1960. 

This year’s theme for Race Relations Day is: Our people, our cultures, our languages – O tātou iwi, ō tātou ahurea, ō tātou reo. We are celebrating Race Relations Day at MHJC by taking the opportunity to acknowledge and experience many of New Zealand’s more than 200 ethnic communities in our classrooms if possible. Have a good day, everyone!

New Teachers for 2019

Introducing the new Mission Heights Junior College teachers for 2019.

From left to right;

Douglas Choong- Coast Whanau, Maths and Science
Logan Dobson- Coast Whanau, Global Studies and English
Jan Newbold- Mountains Whanau, Visual Arts Specialist
Erin Steel- Water Whanau, Global Studies and Drama
Iris Brandauer- Forest Whanau, Science Term 1 for Gillian Bartlett
Sahara Singh- Forest Whanau, English and Global Studies