Karamu High School

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Karamu High School
Windsor Avenue,
New Zealand
Coordinates 39°38′48″S 176°52′01″E / 39.6467°S 176.8669°E / -39.6467; 176.8669Coordinates: 39°38′48″S 176°52′01″E / 39.6467°S 176.8669°E / -39.6467; 176.8669
Type Co-ed state secondary (Year 9-13)
Motto Knowledge is strength
Established 1962
Ministry of Education Institution no. 229
Principal Michael Leitch
School roll 891[1] (February 2017)
Socio-economic decile 4J[2]

Karamu High School is a co-educational state high school in Hastings, New Zealand for students in Years 9 to 13. The school is the main co-ed secondary school within Hastings City itself. The school’s campus is located to the easternmost end of Hastings City, adjacent to Windsor Park to the west and the Heretaunga Plains’ orchards to the east.


Karamu High School opened in 1962. Like many New Zealand secondary schools built in the 1960s, the school was originally built to the Nelson common design plan, characterised by two-storey H-shaped classroom blocks. While Karamu's two Nelson plan classroom blocks were demolished in 2010-11, the school retains its Nelson plan administration/hall block and its Nelson plan library building.

School life[edit]

Traditionally the school has always had a strong focus on cultural pursuits. It maintains a good reputation in dance and music competitions and provides a wide range of opportunities to students to this end.

There is also wide participation in extra-curricular sporting activities and the school provides opportunities in over 20 sports with varying levels of success. In recent times the schools top teams in Netball, rugby and canoe polo have enjoyed considerable success.

Karamu’s student body is subdivided in four houses Kaweka (yellow), Tukituki (blue), Te Mata (orange) and Heretaunga (red). The houses are named after local landmarks. The school stages a range of full-school events such as swimming sports, cross-country running, athletic sports and music competitions in which houses compete against each other. The school does not operate a prefect system, however, does appoint a head girl and boy, plus a deputy to each, and other school leaders: Sports Captains, Cultural Leaders, Community Leaders, Academic Leaders, Maori Cultural Leaders and House Leaders.

The high school’s yearbook, ‘Tira Ora,’ is named after a branch of the karamu tree used in Māori ceremonies and produced by a group of students and teachers.

The tira ora also forms the logo of the school itself, appearing in the school badge and on official correspondence.

Karamu High School's current Principal is Michael Leitch

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 6 March 2017". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Singh, Anendra (30 July 2016). "A hard row for golden moment". Hawke's Bay Today. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Meka Whaitiri". New Zealand Labour Party. Retrieved 29 June 2013.