At Whakatane High School we understand the importance of education in helping young people to meet the challenges and demands of our rapidly changing world. We aim for each of our students to leave Whakatane High School as responsible citizens of the world, enthusiastic about life and learning with the best possible qualifications.
Despite rapid changes in society, we believe that respect, responsibility, and achievement are central to citizenship. These values have been championed for each of our 98 years and will continue to ensure that Whakatane High School provides an excellent education for young people of Whakatane and its district. Whakatane High School’s unrelenting focus on student achievement has resulted in student success in academic, cultural and sporting fields. We are proud of the achievements of all our students, both past and present.
A well qualified, enthusiastic and professional teaching staff provide a wide range of courses that together offer the best possible opportunity for academic excellence. A well structured pastoral care network helps to ensure each person in our large community is valued, supported and encouraged to do their best.
The school crest was adopted in 1950 when Whakatane High School ended its association with the District High School, established in 1920. The crest depicts “Pohaturoa”, the rock sacred to Ngati Awa in the centre of Whakatane CBD, resplendent in Pohutukawa blossom. The river and sea signify the importance of water as lifesustaining, both spiritually and economically. “Kia Whakatane Au I Ahau” the famous words exclaimed by Wairaka, daughter of Toroa the chief of the ancestral Mataatua canoe, give the
school its motto.
Whakatane is a town in the eastern Bay of Plenty Region, in the North Island of New Zealand. Whakatane is 90 km east of Tauranga and 89 km north-east of Rotorua, at the mouth of the Whakatane River. The town has a population of 18,750, with another 15,650 people living within the greater Whakatane District. Of the 34,400 people in the District, around 40 % have Maori ancestry. The District has a land area of 4,442.07 km² (1,715.09 sq mi). The Whakatane District was declared in 1976.