Hero photograph
Photo by Sally-Ann Goodman

Principal's report

Phil Holstein —

Tēnā koutou e te whānau

Well, what a year 2022 was! This year’s mantra: Ka whati te tī, ka wana te tī, ka rito te tī : When ti kōuka is tested by the elements, it builds inner strength, then begins to grow again, helped us navigate the challenges and the restrictions that the pandemic brought. Well done and thank you to the BHS Community for the way you responded, making the best of the situation we found ourselves in; maintaining your motivation to learn; and participating in school life.

In spite of everything we faced, it has been a year of successes in academic work, in cultural activities, in the arts, in sport, in leadership, and in service. Many students achieved outstanding results; and hopefully all attained higher levels than before, tested themselves in new areas and approached things with the determination to be the best they can be.

A real highlight in Term 4 was being able to hold our celebratory prizegiving and graduation events. The Sports Prizegiving, Music Prizegiving, Year 11 and 12 Prizegiving, the Year 13 Graduation and Prizegiving at the Christchurch Town Hall, the Poroporoaki and Fia Fai were all wonderful occasions. We look forward to Year 9 and 10 Prizegiving on the final day of the term. Congratulations to everyone involved in these special occasions and to all our prizewinners.


Long-serving staff are important and valued, helping shape and retain the ethos and values of our school. We acknowledge the following loyal staff members who are leaving our community after significant service:

Mr Robert Hughes, HOD Commerce and 46 years of service - an extraordinary contribution

Ms Jane McCone, Science Technician for 25 years

Mr Bern Christeller, Health and Physical Education/Outdoor Education for 22 years

Ms Karen Healey, English for 8 years

Mrs Jacqui Doogan, Head of Careers for 7 years

Ms Sophie Kamariera, Database Administrator for 6 years

We also farewell two members of our 24/7 Youth Worker team. Nate Loong, 6 years’ service; and Gene Kweon, 3 years’ service.

Thank you all for the positive influence you have had on so many young lives here at Burnside High School.

In addition to our teaching and support staff, we are very fortunate to have a skilled and committed group of volunteer parents who give their time for the benefit of the school. Thank you to our Board, especially to Mr Chris Dann, Presiding Member. The PTA of Mr Matt Darnbrough, Chairperson, Mrs Rebecca Matheson, Secretary, Mrs Sally McMorran, Treasurer, and Mrs Jema Tuazon- Nartea, Uniform Shop Coordinator, make a great team and support us in many ways throughout the year. Thank you very much for all the hours of service you have given this year.

Swimming Pool Completed

Image by: Sally-Ann Goodman

The pool project is now completed, with students enjoying their first swim on Monday 28 November. The swimming pool looks amazing, is heated, and we can return to our water safety and activities programme. Landscaping work is being finalised, and I know this complex is going to be a fantastic asset for the school.

BHS Campus Development - Construction Stage 1

Pukehinau - 25 learning spaces Science and Technology Block

The contract is close to being formalised with the MOE and the Contractors Naylor Love Ltd. They are expected to be on site once this is signed. Initial activity will be confined to below ground works and excavation of the building site.

A special ‘sod turning ceremony’ will be held to formalise the start of the project.


To our Year 13 and other leavers, I wish you all the very best for the next stages of your education. Our school motto Recte sic dirige cursumKōwhiria te huanui tika – along this path direct your journey correctly, links strongly to ti kōuka, the centuries-old guiding point in our school’s landscape. I hope you feel you have been guided through Burnside High School - that you have attained the qualifications you were capable of and that you needed, and that you developed the personal qualities and confidence to choose the right pathways in life. I hope you will remember with pride and affection the security, support, shelter, and strength of your ‘cabbage tree’ years.

To those returning next year we look forward to seeing you back in February, refreshed and ready to tackle another year of opportunities and challenges.

Best Wishes

To all those who have, directly or indirectly, enriched the lives of our students this year: teaching and support staff, Board and PTA members, coaches, tutors, community volunteers, whānau, I extend my sincere thanks and best wishes.

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini

Success is not the work of one, but the efforts of us all.

You will be aware that, after eight years, I have resigned from my position as Principal of Burnside High School, effective at the end of this school year. To all who have been part of my time at Burnside, thank you for your care, your dedication, and for everything you do that contributes to our great school. I look forward to whatever the future holds, but leaving is a wrench. I do love Burnside High School; and believe absolutely in its ability to make a positive difference to young people, by providing them with an excellent learning environment and boundless opportunities. I am really proud of this school, its great students, great teachers and wonderful families. I feel honoured and grateful for the privilege of serving this community for the past eight years, and wish you all the very best for the future.

I leave you with our School Vision, a phrase which encompasses all that I believe in: “Personal excellence and care for others”.

Kia hora te marino

Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana

Kia tere te karohirohi i mua i to huarahi

May the calm be widespread

May the sea glisten like greenstone

And may the sun always dance in front of your pathway

Ngā mihi nui

Phil Holstein

Tumuaki Principal