Waitara High School

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Waitara High School
Princess St,
New Zealand
Type State Co-ed Secondary (Year 9-13)
Motto Ulterius Tende
"Keep on Striving"
Established 1947
Ministry of Education Institution no. 170
Principal Daryl Warburton[1]
School roll 327[2] (July 2017)
Socio-economic decile 3G[3]

Waitara High School is a state secondary school in Waitara, Taranaki, New Zealand, founded in 1947.


On 1 December 1944, the Taranaki Education Board wrote to the Education Department seeking approval to open a high school. The department in reply asked the board to submit a report on the matter of acquisition of a site, construction of buildings and inauguration of a system of conveyance. On 18 January, eight acres were selected, partly of the Bayly Estate and owned by Mrs O.H. Taylor, as the most suitable site. On 8 June the board forwarded the plans and estimates to the Education Department.

On 28 November 1946 contributing schools were notified that Mr Massey had been appointed headmaster from 1 February 1947 and the school opened on that date with a roll of 120 third, fourth and fifth form pupils in five classrooms, a laboratory, a general purpose room and subsidiary accommodation. A further three classrooms and a library were approved in principle in July 1947 and in December of the same year the board was authorised to call tenders for a new manual building comprising a cookery room and woodwork room with a metalwork bay.[4]

The badge[edit]

The two shades of blue were decided upon by the founding advisory committee. They chose Cambridge blue (light blue) and Oxford blue (dark blue). It was decided that a heraldic style badge was not appropriate for a new school of the era. Instead it was decided to simply use a shield with interlocking letters. The initial WDHS (Waitara District High School) was later replaced with the present WHS. The founding principal, Mr Massey, looked for a motto in Maori which would say - Strive on or Fight on. Mr Rangi Makawe (a member of the committee) was also in favour of this as the school was stood on an old battlefield. Many word combinations were suggested and rejected so finally the words "Whawhai Tonu" were settled on. This was sent to a Maori scholar for his opinion and there concern as the phrase could be interpreted as "Slaughter on". Eventually Mr Massey requested a Latin translation from Victoria University. The university provided a quotation from Virgil containing the words "Ulterius Tende" meaning to "strive on".[5]

The bell[edit]

The school bell was presented to the school from the London County Council in 1946. It is from the Avonmore School at Fulham which was destroyed during the air raids of 1940.[6]


Period Name Qualifications
1947 - 1962 Mr EWP Massey BA, DipEd
1962 - 1970 Mr JF Sharkey MBE, MA
1970 - 1973 Mr DF Audley BA, DipEd
1974 - 1987 Mr RJ Kivell MA, DipEd
1987 - 1994 Mr Nevill Jessep BA (Hons), DipTchg
1995 - 2006 Mr H Cast BA, DipTCHG, DipSM
2007 - 2014 Mrs Jenny Gellen TTC
2014 - 2016 Mr Graeme Hood BAgSci, Dip Tchg, TTC
2017 - Present Mr Daryl Warburton M.Ed (Hons), B.Ed

Notable alumni[edit]


The school has two sports exchanges annually, one with Forest View High School in Tokoroa and another with Taumarunui High School in Taumarunui.

Student Achievement[edit]

Dux Litterarum[edit]

To perpetuate the memory of Te Rangi Hīroa (Sir Peter Buck), the great Maori scholar, a medal was struck by the trustees to be presented to the Dux of Waitara High School. This silver medal was two inches in diameter. Engraved in the centre was the prow of the canoe, which marks the burial spot of Te Rangi Hīroa at Otoki. Around the edge were the words "Sir Peter Buck - Te Rangi Hīroa". On the reverse, inscribed within a wreath of laurel leaves, is the name of the pupil to whom the medal was given. Shirlie Squires was the first recipient in 1958.[7]

Year Name Notes
1947 Ron Sinclair Trained as school teacher and later became a farmer
1948 Rex Dowman School teacher and later headmaster
1949 Joy Reid School teacher
1950 Barry Bishop Stock agent
1951 Merie Pennington School teacher
1952 Elsie Nicholas School teacher
1953 Delia Shewry Bank clerk
1954 Mary Hart School teacher
1956 Ngaio Smith MA. Librarian.
1957 Malcolm McGregor BA. School teacher
1958 Shirlie Squires School teacher
1959 Doris Dowman School teacher
1960 Rodney Arms BSc, MSc, PhD Physics - University of California, Berkley
1961 Lindsay Main BSc, MSc (Hons), PhD Physics and Chemistry - University of Auckland. Fulbright Scholar.
1962 Sir Richard Faull Brain Researcher. Director of the Neurological Foundation Douglas Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland. Rutherford Medal Winner (2007)
1963 Darrell Simpson BA. Flight-Lieutenant RNZAF.
1964 Rosemary Whittaker BSc (Hons), MSc. School teacher.
1965 Barbara Gosnell School teacher
1966 Ann Whittaker BA
1967 John Millard BSc
1968 Judith Howell
1969 Yvonne Sorenson BA
1970 Pauline McLennan School teacher
1971 John Dunbar


  1. ^ "Father of four appointed as new principal at Waitara High School". Taranaki Daily News. 18 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 2 August 2017". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  3. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Twenty-Fifth Jubilee of Waitara High School. Waitara Library. 1972. 
  5. ^ Twenty-Fifth Jubilee of Waitara High School. Waitara Library. 1972. 
  6. ^ Twenty-Fifth Jubilee of Waitara High School. Waitara Library. 1972. 
  7. ^ Twenty-Fifth Jubilee of Waitara High School (1947-1972). Waitara Library. 1972. 

Coordinates: 38°59′49″S 174°14′41″E / 38.9970°S 174.2446°E / -38.9970; 174.2446