Southern Cross Campus

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Southern Cross Campus
Te Kura Taki o Autahi
253 Buckland Road,
Mangere East,
Coordinates 36°57′51″S 174°48′59″E / 36.9642°S 174.8165°E / -36.9642; 174.8165Coordinates: 36°57′51″S 174°48′59″E / 36.9642°S 174.8165°E / -36.9642; 174.8165
Type Composite (Years 1–13)
Motto Inā Te Mahi He Rangatira
(By Deeds A Chief Is Known)
Established 1997
Ministry of Education Institution no. 452
Principal Robin Staples
School roll 1460[1] (August 2018)
Socio-economic decile 1B[2]

Southern Cross Campus (Te Kura Taki o Autahi) is a composite school that caters for students in Years 1-13 in the suburb of Mangere East in Auckland, New Zealand. The school (also referred to as 'SCC', 'The Campus' or 'The Cross') has deep ties to the Mangere East community by providing education, facilities, and programmes for the wider use of the whole school. It is a Māori and Pacific Islands ethnic school, with students of European (Pākehā), Asian, and other ethnicities as a 0.5% minority.

Southern Cross Campus is a fairly new school to Auckland, by being an institute amalgamated with three previous schools in the area: Southern Cross Primary School, Mangere Intermediate School, and Nga Tapuwae College. Southern Cross Campus was founded by Terry Bates (MA (Hons), MPhil (Hons), DipTchg (NZ)), the first Campus Director of the school. It now comprises four schools: Southern Cross Junior School (Primary, Years 1–6), Southern Cross Middle School (Intermediate, Years 7–9), Southern Cross Senior School (Years 10–13), and Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae (a total-immersion school for Māori-language education, Years 1–13).


The formation of the Campus began to take shape after a decision made by the New Zealand government's Ministry of Education concern for the school. Mr Terry Bates, an educational advisor of the Ministry, implemented an idea that the three schools in the area should integrate to create a seamless branch of education to cater for the students of this community. The decision was taken to the Ministry, and was then passed, seeing that this school would be the first of its kind in New Zealand.

After years of planning from the early 1990s, the Board Members of all the schools were disbanded, and a new Board was set to cater for all four schools, chaired by the late Ms Levuana Tanuvasa. Mr Bill McCook was the Commissioner of the Campus, and his role was to oversee the plans for the new school and to also make sure that the school was meeting government standards and satisfaction. Southern Cross Campus was born in 1995, and officially opened in 1998.

Southern Cross Campus Junior School[edit]

Southern Cross Junior School is the primary education sector of the Campus that provides for students Years 1-6. The Junior School is situated in the northernmost point of the Campus and is separated from the upper levels of the school and divided by the Junior/Middle School fields.

The Junior School is managed by two Deputy Directors who take care of the two aspects of school life: Ms Brenda Woolly is Deputy Director of Pastoral Care and Mrs Padma Krishnan is Deputy Director of Teaching and Learning.

Southern Cross Campus College[edit]

Southern Cross Campus College caters for the eldest students of the student body from Years 7 - 13. The school itself is the reincarnation of the old Nga Tapuwae College, however historical aspects of the old school do not exist in the modern Senior School of today. The Senior School, along with the school motto, also aspire themselves with two other adages: "if it is to be, it is up to me" to contemplate the idea of leadership and perseverance; as well as a line from the school’s alma mater, "Honour, Strength, and Pride", which empowers the students to motivate and achieve. Since the amalgamation of the Campus the Senior School has gone through many changes, including the school structure, policies, conduct and student atmosphere.

Academically, the College continues to grow with positive results, as well as advanced expectations. Since the educational programme of national secondary schools changed from School Certificate to the new National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), the school has steadfastly attained positive results and academic achievement. The number of school leavers who leave without any qualification (e.g., NCEA Levels 1–3/School Cert., Sixth Form Cert. and Bursary) has dropped from 70% to 2%. In the sporting arena, the Senior School have excelled in netball, rugby union, rugby league and waka ama (outrigger canoeing).

The Senior School has a strong Pasifika heritage, contributed by the diverse Pacific Islander student body. The students participate in the annual ASB Bank Māori and Pacific Islands Cultural Festivals held in Manukau each year, sending performers of Tongan, Samoan, Cook Islands, and Niuean heritage to compete in the competition. Musically, the school has a strong tradition in string, guitar, and singing instruments, as well as a growing brass and percussion bands. The school is new to the drama concept, but delivers productions that are of a congratulatory calibre.

The Senior School also participate in regional and local youth events, such as speech competitions, debates, symposia and international health forums. The school is well known for their orators, who have represented New Zealand at regional, national and international levels.


A Senior Management Team and the Senior School Prefects maintain the pastoral care of the students. The Senior Management Team, which consists of the two Deputy Directors, Campus Directors and Deans of each level engage themselves in providing proper well-being and services for a functional school. The Senior School Prefects, who consist of the two Head Prefects, two Deputy Head Prefects, two Sports Captains and six School Prefects, maintain playground duties, morning and afternoon gate patrolling, lifting school and spirit morale, managing student programmes and activities, managing school assemblies, and are responsible to each respective year group. The student leaders in the Senior School do not just come from the Prefects core group. Students from the Senior Levels (Years 12 and 13) also provide leadership for programmes in the school. However, the Prefects are responsible for any activity that the student body wishes to do. The Student Representative to the Board of Trustees is usually chosen from the Year 12 class (who move on to Year 13 the following year, in which they carry out their term) but it can be chosen from anyone Years 7–13.

The Senior Management Team for the Senior School is Mr Colin Gray, Deputy Director of Pastoral Care, and Ms Heather Muir, Deputy Director of Teaching and Learning.

Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae[edit]

Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae is a Māori-immersion school for years 1–13. The school emphasises the concept of whanau centred on the marae. The curriculum comprises core learning topics in te reo Maori and culture in addition to standard curricular subjects. The school is supported by the alumni group Nga Tapuwae o Mataoho and the parents committee Te Huarahi Hou.

Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae is headed by Arihia Stirling, daughter of founders Pani (Ngati Porou) and Te Kepa Stirling (Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Ngati Porou, Ngai Tahu) and former teacher who has the distinction of being the youngest director in New Zealand at the time of her appointment.

In late 2010 the school was granted independent status by the Ministry of Education under the National John Key-led central government. This means the school will now constitute a stand-alone school within the environs of Southern Cross Campus and will continue to share communal facilities. Additional funding is expected to be made available for the school to upgrade its facilities to more modern permanent buildings.

On Thursday, 3 February 2011, the school will celebrate a re-dedication with hundreds of alumni expected to join the school community in celebrating the many years of hard work and excellent results enjoyed by all over the years.[needs update]

House/Whare system[edit]

The House/Whare systems of Southern Cross Campus start from the Junior School right through to Senior School. House sorting is randomly selected at the younger year levels of Junior School. New students of subsequent years are also randomly placed in these Houses. The Houses compete in a wide range of House Competitions, such as House Chants, Talent Quest, Swimming Carnivals, Athletics Carnivals, Academic Challenges, and Top Town Icebreakers. Each house is led by House Deans with associated school tutors. Students are placed into House Tutor Classes with a mix of younger and older peers. There are five tutor classes per House. In the Middle and Senior Schools each House is run by three Prefects – two School Prefects and one of either the Head Boy/Girl or the Deputy Head Boy/Girl. They help lead each house and are given responsibilities such as organizing events, competitions, student advocacy, house chants and endorsing House pride.

Students are encouraged to participate in all House activities and challenges. Houses are awarded House Points accumulated after House Competitions. Students are also individually awarded House Points based on academic merits, school service, and at the discretion of class teachers and Deputy Directors.

Mainstream Southern Cross Campus House system
House Kauri Pohutukawa Rimu Totara
Motto Integrity and Effort Knowledge and Pride Mana and Aroha Honour and Wisdom
Colours Blue and Purple          Red and Green          Green and Pink          Yellow and Orange         

Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae also have a Whare (House) system, enhancing the sense of whānau in the school. The Whare Wars (House competitions) consist of Swimming, Athletics, Chants, Kapa Haka and Rumaki (Primary School) challenges. The whare of Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae are named after deities of Māori folklore.

Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae
House Tawhirimatea Rongomatane Tangaroa Tane-Mahuta
Description Māori deity of the Four Winds Māori deity of Peace and Harmony Māori deity of the Oceans Māori deity of the Forests and Nature


The different schools of Southern Cross Campus have excelled in sports such as rugby union, touch rugby and netball, while providing many others. Sports uniforms reflect the school colours of peacock teal, charcoal grey, black and white. The school mascot represents the Southern Cross Chiefs. Julie Wharton is the Campus Sports Director.

Alma mater[edit]

The Alma Mater, "Southern Cross, our Guiding Star", was composed and lyricised by students from the Senior School in 2001. It is sung before school assemblies start during the procession of the Senior Management. It is accompanied by piano, flute and brass.


Southern Cross Campus is headed by Mr Robin Staples (Campus Director). The Campus Director is assisted by three other Directors: Director of Teaching and Learning Dir. Karen Mose, Director of Pastoral Care and Well-being Dir. Warren Waetford, and Director of Matauranga Maori and Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae Ma Arihia Stirling.

Past campus directors[edit]

  • 1998–2000: Mr Terry Bates
  • 2001: Mr Alan Burton
  • 2002–2006: Mr John Clark
  • 2007: Mr Bill Gavin
  • 2007–present: Mr Robin Staples

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 13 September 2018". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.