Rongotai College

2010 News and Events

Gymnasium Fire - 26 December
In the early hours of the morning of Sunday 26 December the fire brigade were called to Rongotai College to the gymnasium. Unfortunately, all they could do was contain the fire as it was well alight. That night we lost our gymnasium and all its contents.

Due to the hazard presented by roofing iron and small quantities of asbestos and the forecasted high winds, a decision was made to demolish what remained of the building as soon as possible. This occurred within three days of the fire, and the site is now fully cleared of debris.

Plans are in place for the Ministry of Education to provide temporary facilities while a new gymnasium is built. We will post further information on this website once we have confirmed arrangements made.

Many old boys, current students, families and the general public have expressed their shock and disappointment and also a desire to help.

Accordingly, we have opened an account at the ASB for those who wish to give a donation to help with the rebuilding and refurbishment of our gym.

Donations can be made to the college or anonymously into the following bank account - ASB 12-3141-0383117-00.

If you would like a receipt for your donation, please contact Ross Findlay, Sports Director on email

Prizegiving - 9 December
Students, staff, parents, caregivers, and other guests celebrated the achievements of the students at prizegiving held at the Indian Centre in Kilbirnie. During the evening of awards Heron House were announced as the winner of the school House competition, and Tom Baddeley as the Dux for 2010.



Testing Times at Rongotai
Monday 15 November saw NCEA external examinations start for all Year 11, 12 and 13 students throughout New Zealand. Rongotai College was no different. Anxious students lined up ready to enter the Renner Hall, where most of the examinations for our students are sat. These examinations finish on Wednesday 1 December.

Monday 22 November saw Year 9 and 10 students start their examinations. Although not up to the anxiousness of the senior students, there were still a number of anxious students arriving at school each day to sit their examinations.

College Sport Wellington Awards - 7 November
A number of our students were finalists in the College Sport Wellington Sports Awards. Congratulations to all students who were finalists. At the awards dinner Kwame Williams-Accra (AWD) and Hassan Roble (Cross Country) won the overall award for their particular sport.


Congratulations further to Kwame who is a member of the New Zealand Special Olympics team to travel to Athens in July 2011 to compete in the World Special Olympic Games. Kwame will compete in the 100m and 200m track and field events.


Ethnic Food Fair - 5 November
The Parents' Association organised a very Ethnic Food Fair. Members of the school and community attended and enjoyed the great variety of foods on sale. These ranged from Indian, Mexican, German, Greek, Ethiopian, Somali, English, Scottish and many other varieties.



Sports Assembly - 29 October
This was held to celebrate and homour those students who have contributed so well in the sporting arena over the past 12 months. Honours and merit awards were given in the various sports, and those students who gained New Zealand honours were also celebrated.


Cultural Assembly - 22 October
This was held to celebrate and honour those students who have contributed so well over the year to the cultural activities of the school. Several honours awards were given, along with merit awards where applicable. The school were entertained by a variety of groups from within the school.


Foundation for the Future Launch - 14 October
The Rongotai College Foundation for the Future was launched to bring young ‘old boys’ back to the school and to help raise funds for the redevelopment of the gym to create an all purpose Sports Centre. This is expected to cost more than $1.4million. The inaugural event was a charity auction held at the Miramar Links Function Centre, aattracted 150 ‘old boys’ and raised more than $34,000.

The former pupils ranged in age from the youngest at 20, national rugby Sevens hero, Julian Savea who was this year named ‘IRB Junior Player of the Year’ through to some of the older sporting greats like former, All Blacks Clive Currie and Graham Williams as well as former Black Cap, Bruce Edgar. Oceania’s Football Player of the Century, Wynton Rufer was present and donated one of his strips as an All White (capped 38 times) that was auctioned for $1,600.

Current All Black and local Lions and Hurricane player, Ma’a Nonu was there amongst many other national greats, including a number of Tall Blacks, All Whites (Rongotai has produced 13 All Whites), Black Caps and Commonwealth Games medalists.

Principal Youth Court Judge, Andrew Becroft praised his old college and spoke of the importance of school and sport in focusing the minds of youth and keeping them out of his court. Trade Me founder, Sam Morgan is another Rongotai old boy, as is the chairman of the Wellington Phoenix and property developer, Terry Serepisos.

The event was MC’d by TV3’s 60 Minutes reporter, Amanda Millar with auctioneer, TV3’s Chief Political Reporter, Duncan Garner.

Leavers' Ball - 17 September
Year 12 and 13 students had an exciting, fun filled evening at the Leavers' Ball held at the Overseas Terminal.





Tu Tangata Festival - 13 September
Once again, it was a wonderful experience to watch the highly polished performance from the Rongotai College Poly Club. The Opera House was packed to watch the eight schools perform, but everyone had to sit until the final performance to see the Rongotai boys perform. It was a great night of fun and culture.



Production - Cabaret Classics - 2 & 3 September
This year’s Rongotai production was a grand variety show, entitled “Cabaret Classics”. There were scenes from a number of musical shows and movies, with lots of singing and dancing. The Jazz Band, the Barbershop boys, cultural groups and others performed a few favourite musical numbers.

“Cabaret Classics” was performed in the Renner Hall, which was transformed for the season into a cabaret / nightclub space.

Rongotai College Careers Expo - 3 August
The Renner Hall was set up with booths for various institutions to set up their displays. All senior students of Rongotai College were given the opportunity to visit the expo and get useful information on careers of their interest.

Greg Murphy Visit - 30 June
Racing car driver Greg Murphy, spoke to students at a special assembly to deliver the Motor Trade Association's Eliminate the Risk message, in an attempt to curb unnecessary road accidents in the age group most at risk - young drivers.

Link to The Dominion Post article -

Welcome Home to Old Boy - 24 June
The 1st XV rugby team performed a haka in honour of Julian Savea, at the airport, on his return from the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina. Julian was a member of the New Zealand team (known as the Baby Blacks) who won the tournament. He was also named the IRB Junior Player of the Year.


Open Evening - 22 June
A very successful Open Evening was held with many prospective parents and their sons attending. If there is anybody who missed this evening and would like to have a look at the college, please contact the Principal to arrange this.

Rongotai Experience - 18 June
Year 8 boys from contributing schools spent the morning or the afternoon at Rongotai College experiencing what it is like to be a Rongotai student.




Parents' Association Quiz Evening - 16 June
An evening of fun and laughter, resulting in funds raised to assist with projects within the school. Thank you to all those volunteers who made the evening such a success and to all the businesses who donated prizes. Thank you also to Amanda Millar for hosting the evening so well.

Traditionals against St Pat's Silverstream - 16 June
A win and a loss. Rongotai College were the 19-13 winners of the rugby, but unfortunately lost the football 2-4.




Old Boys' Assembly and Lunch - 4 June
A good number of Old Boys attended including foundation student, Mr Ernie Sellens (96 years old). Old Boys and current students enjoyed the talk by Old Boy, Mr John Lister, O.B.E (1952-57). Mr Lister has had a distinguished career in business as General Manager of Watties Exports, and as CEO of New Zealand CCS and latterly the Spirit of Adventure Trust. He talked about what school was like in his day, his life since leaving school, and how to make the most of your opportunities in life.

WYNRS Football Academy Launch - 3 June
Distinguished guests (including old boy Terry Serepisos) and media were entertained in the Board Room over a light lunch, prior to moving to the football fields where another old boy, Wynton Rufer launched the Rongotai College Football Academy. The Academy, which will be overseen by Wynton and a professional coach, will operate a specific Rongotai College programme at lunchtime for identified students that will focus on developing technique and skills. The Academy coach will also work with local primary and intermediate aged children with an after-school and holiday football programme. This is an exciting development for us at Rongotai, and hopefully we will be able to operate academies in other sports in the future.

Link to The Dominion Post article related to this event -

Link to TV3 News item related to this event-

ANZAC Assembly – 26 March
A special assembly was held to recognise our ANZACs and particularly the 93 Rongotai College Old Boys who lost their lives in World War II.

World Cross Country Champs – 21 April
Congratulations to Hassan Roble who finished 19th in the World Secondary Schools’ Cross Country Championship in Slovakia in April. Thank you also to all those who so generously contributed to make this trip possible for Hassan.





Level 2 Biology – 1 April
After having their original date cancelled due to inclement weather, the Level 2 Biology class finally managed to complete their field trip to Kapiti Island on 1 April.

Billy Graham – 30 March
This inspirational speaker addressed our Year 12 and 13 students. Billy was not only entertaining but inspiring.

Pacific Island Level 1 NCEA Day – 17 March
Level 1 NCEA Day for Pacific students focussed on NCEA qualifications and goal setting. PI keynote speakers addressed the students on how to be successful.

Year 9 Camp - 10-12 March
Our Year 9 students enjoyed the outdoor education experience at Palm Grove Camp. Students participated enthusiastically in the range of activities provided by camp staff and our teachers and supporters.



Athletics Regionals – 9 March
Chantra Khoun won the senior long jump and Hassan Roble finished third in the senior 3000m at the Wellington Regional Athletics Championships.

Dragon Boating – 7 March
After being cancelled due to the tsunami warning, the regatta was rescheduled to the following week. Rongotai College paddled their way to win the Petite Final.




Year 9 Parents' Evening – Wednesday 3 March
Parents and caregivers of Year 9 students attended an evening to give them the opportunity to understand the college’s structures and systems, so that they can best assist their son in his learning. The evening was also an opportunity to meet all their son’s teachers and establish contact with them.

McEvedy Shield – 2 March
Another fun day at Newtown Park, competing against our old rivals – Wellington College, St Pat’s Town and St Pat’s Silverstream. St Pat’s Town took out the Shield.





NCEA Week - 22-26 February
In order to ensure that all students entering for NCEA are fully organised and prepared for the assessment programme required, students in Years 11, 12 and 13 were issued with a booklet containing all assessment statements for all subjects and options. Students were also given a tracking sheet to keep a record of the credits they have earned.

An NCEA Information Evening was held on 23 February for parents to enable them to understand the NCEA system and the organisation required by each candidate.

Athletics - 9 & 11 February
Two very successful school athletic days were held at Newtown Park. Students were encouraged to dress in their house colours and some very interesting ‘characters’ were in attendance.

Some school records were broken and some budding young athletes were identified.



Academic Excellence Presentation – 5 February
At the first assembly of the year the Principal briefly outlined the NCEA performance of our students in 2009. In all areas, our students are performing above or at our benchmarks.

Academic Excellence and Merit Awards were presented to those students who gained endorsed certificates for NCEA.

An Academic Excellence certificate was awarded to Josh Wright (Year 13 2009 – Level 3), while the following 2009 Year 11 students were also awarded Academic Excellence Certificates: - Jake Buck, Fionn Cahill-Fleury, Simon Cross, Paresh Dayal, Saif Fawzi, Cameron Goodman-Martin, Jed Harland, Jarrod O’Brien and Joshua Rippon. Congratulations also to the large group of boys who gained Merit endorsements.

2010 Prefects Announced – 5 February
At the first whole school assembly of the year, the Principal, Mr Carter, announced the Prefects for 2010.

Reuben Davidson (Head Prefect)
Geordie Mansford (Deputy Head Prefect)
Nathan Wells (Arts Captain)
Timmy Melesala (Deputy Arts Captain)
Chantra Khoun (Sports Captain)
Luke Bryant (Deputy Sports Captain)

House Captains
Jordan Aquila (Renner)
Wei-Jie Lim (Lock)
Divesh Prakash (Mackay)
Callan Tapine (Heron)

Isaac Barnett
Michael Cook
Rhys Hopkin
Saumani Taimalelagi

A further three prefects were added later in the first term – Andrew Akioka, Ben Lindsay and Henry Williams.

Powhiri – 2 February
We welcomed our new students and staff members with a powhiri in the Renner Hall. Hopefully, this allowed them to feel a part of the Rongotai family from their first day at this school.

In his welcome, the Principal, Mr Carter, pointed out that to get the best out of their time at Rongotai College, our boys
• should aim to be the best they can be at all times;
• should fully embrace and involve themselves in all that the school has to offer;
• should show pride in themselves and the school at all times (particularly through the way they wear the uniform); and
• should aim to have left their mark on the school, and for it to be a better place, when they leave.



Friday 22 June - Winter Food Fair from 5.30pm in the Renner Hall

Thursday 28 June - Poly Club Variety Concert

Friday 6 July - Last day Term 2


Rongotai College boasts a long history of providing excellence in education for students from a wide range of countries.