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From the Rector

David Bovey - Rector of PNBHS — Image by: PNBHS

At a recent assembly I discussed a series on the television called Home Game which looks at a number of traditional, unique and sometimes dangerous sports from around the world. From the pageantry, history and brutality of the Calcio Storico in Florence, to the Catch Fétiche of the Congo, the series looks at the history and cultural significance of each of these sports. One, the Kok Boru of Kyrgyzstan, has been around in various versions for a thousand years.

While the programmes look at the games themselves, it is more about the interweaving of sport and a people’s culture. Most of the sports featured are unique to one country or even one area or city of that country. The reverence afforded each of the sports by the locals speaks volumes for their importance in the local people’s cultural identity. In some cases, generations of a family have been involved, and the young people are inspired to carry on the family tradition. It is a fascinating and entertaining series.

Schools also have their own unique identity and culture. We place much importance on our school’s history and traditions; for us, they are a guide and an anchor point in an ever-changing world. Our school has a number of young men who are the latest generation of their family to attend: sons, grandsons, great grandsons etc. Those connections are important to us, as are the relationships we have developed over more than a century with a number of other schools. Those schools, our traditional friends and rivals, have traditions of their own that are important to them.

But it is important to remember that holding on to tradition for tradition’s sake can be a hindrance to progress. But when, as Somerset Maugham wrote, “tradition is a guide and not a jailer”, it helps to remind us of why we do things the way we do them. The honourable traditions are the ones worthy of preservation. Gustav Mahler put it wonderfully when he said, “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire”.

And so on our recent Open Day it was wonderful to hear our tour guides for the evening speaking to the Year 8 boys and their whanau about our traditions and what they mean to the young men of the school. The numbers on Open Day were higher than in recent years and we look forward to another group of young men joining the school next year and becoming part of our story and our traditions.

As this is written the country is again about to be challenged by Covid-19 and all the uncertainty that comes with the virus. All we can do is roll with the punches and make sure we look after those important to us, treat people with kindness and patience; let us hope that before too long we can return to the relative normality of recent weeks.


At the end of Term II Ms Mann and Mrs Ruwhiu left on maternity leave and we wish them all the very best. We welcome Mrs Morgan (Science) and Mr McGregor (Te Reo Maori) to the staff for the remainder of the year.

Recently we said auf wiedersehen to Mr Hümpfer, our teaching assistant from Germany. Mr Hümpfer has returned to Bavaria in Germany to begin his teaching career and we thank him for his contribution to the school and wish him all the best.

Open Day

As mentioned above, the recent Open Day saw large numbers visit the school throughout the three sessions, two of which, in particular, saw larger numbers than in recent years. I would like to thank those involved in Open Day; the staff and the many young men who gave their time to ensure Open Day was a success. Special thanks go to Year 9 pupils Johnny Pratt and Nehemiah Su’a who, along with Head Prefect Elyjah Crosswell, spoke at each of the presentations. My thanks also go to those young men who acted as tour guides and did a superb job of providing their groups with information about the school from a young man’s perspective.

Enrolments for 2021 close at 4.30pm on Monday 31 August. Due to the current school roll, we will be limiting the numbers at Year 9 for 2021 so out of zone applications received after the due date may be unsuccessful. If you require further detail, please contact the school office on 06 3545 176 or  The online enrolment forms can be found here: 

NCEA Internal Assessments

The teaching and assessment programme for young men sitting NCEA this year is at the business end of the year. It has been a challenging year with the impact of Covid-19 so it is essential that young men maximise the use of their time so that they can secure a qualification of worth. Impending assessments are advised by weekly communication.

We encourage parents to discuss their son’s assessment schedule with him so that he meets all deadlines and can pass all assessments at a level commensurate with his ability and level of application.

The teaching and assessment programme for young men sitting NCEA is getting to the business end of the year. It is essential that young men maximise the use of their time so that they can secure a qualification of worth.

Internal school examinations are scheduled to take place from Friday 11 September to Friday 18 September and young men need to take these examinations seriously. Effectively these are practice examinations for the externals they will sit in November and it is the last opportunity for them to receive indicators as to their progress. The results of these examinations will also play a significant role in determining prize winners this year.

The results from these examinations will also be used if a young man should require an NZQA derived grade because of bereavement, serious illness or an accident during the external examination period that causes him to miss an external examination. Thus we would stress that young men take these examinations very seriously as every year we have a number of students who need this type of assistance. Sometimes young men think that it will not affect them.

Winter Tournament Week

Hopefully we will be in a position to wish all of our teams competing in Super Eight and other tournaments all the very best as they travel throughout the region in week seven of the term. Fingers crossed.

D M Bovey


Student Achievement and Other News from Recent Weeks:

· Academia – the first semester results for the Year 13 accelerate students have been excellent: 66 A grades (36 A+, 16 A and 14 A-) across papers from Massey, Canterbury, Victoria and Waikato Universities. The top mark was a solid 98% in Calculus (Canterbury).

· Super Eight – the 1st XV beat Hastings 25-8 in the first Super Eight fixture of the season. It was the first win over Hastings for six years. The 2nd XV also won their fixture.

· Swimming – at the Manawatu SSS Championships, swimmers from PNBHS achieved a number of notable results. Among these, Alex Odom broke several Manawatu records. He was part of U14 200m freestyle relay team that took six seconds off the previous Manawatu Championship record.

· S Block – Three labs in S Block are now fully operational with the last two due to be completed soon.

· Rongotai College Exchange – a recent addition to the calendar, the 1st XI football and hockey, as well as the Junior A football team, hosted Rongotai College from Wellington. The 1st XI football won 4-3, the juniors winning 6-0; 1st XI hockey had a 3-0 win.

· Super Eight – both the 1st XV and 2nd XV suffered defeats in Hamilton in their matches against Hamilton BHS.

· New Plymouth Exchange – a truncated exchange this year due to Covid and its after-effects with only the senior teams involved. The 1st XV (10-23) lost, as did the 1st XI football (1-3) and Prem A basketball (64-83), with the 1st XI hockey (6-1) and 2nd XV (27-17) winning.

· Chess- at the Manawatu Regional Schools’ competition, the A team finished first, qualifying for the NZSS Championships later in the year.

· Duathlon – Charlie Hook finished third in the U13 category at the National Duathlon Championships in Pukekohe, with Zachary Lee (U14) 7th in his event, and William Leong (U19) also 7th.

· Music – the ‘Norton Trio’ (Ray Su, Ciaran Carroll, Torrence Cheung) won the Regional Chamber Music competition on the weekend, with ‘Strings Attached’ (Torrence, Ian Teoh and Daniel van der Spuy) finishing runners-up.