Headmasters Welcome

When prospective parents ask me about the Waihi of today, I tell them that the successes of our students are the result of our three simple “Rules to Live By’.

  • Work Hard - Hard work, giving 100%, is the basis of all success, and a strong work ethic is displayed by students and teachers at Waihi.  Aspiration and excellence are encouraged throughout the school. We want everyone to be their best version of themselves.
  • Get Involved - We all know that a happy child learns more effectively than an unhappy one. There is a very wide range of activities and opportunities on offer here at Waihi and staff work hard to make both lessons and co-curricular experiences inspiring and aspirational. Involvement and participation in all aspects of school life helps students discover their passions and builds confidence and resilience.
  • Be Kind - Kindness is no trite buzzword. Being kind requires a higher level of behavioural expectation than merely tolerance or respect. We believe in a positive and generous approach, in collaboration and cooperation, and that leadership, both staff and student, is about compassion and service.

As our Year Eight students prepared to move on to High School at the end of the year, it was humbling hearing them articulate in different ways all three of these ‘rules’ in their leavers’ speeches. I have the confidence that Waihi is producing young people, boys and girls, of good character and I am looking forward to hearing of their future successes. 

Waihi punches above its weight, academically, culturally and on the sports field. We have innovative programmes in Music, STEM, Outdoor Education and Equestrian. Our Choir, Kapa Haka, Jump Jam and Production have all received great recognition and our sports teams and individuals have enjoyed much success locally and nationally - including a victorious set of North Island tour results playing against larger schools, and several medals including gold at National events. Perhaps the most amazing sporting statistic however is that in my thirteen years here Waihi has never lost an inter-school 1st XI Hockey fixture, on the North or South Island, in fact, we have only given up one draw (Whanganui 2021) over that time. The strength of the Waihi hockey legacy was highlighted when four boys from our 2018 1st XI were named in the Junior Black Sticks training squad.

Three years ago in the midst of the ongoing global pandemic, the school was about to embark on a new chapter in its history with the move to coeducation. The starting roll for 2021 was 76, including the first five girls.  As we look forward, three years later, we have a stable and growing staff team of the highest quality. Our roll has increased by almost 60%, starting in 2024 at over 120 for the first time in the school’s history, Girls represent almost a third of all students and the school’s reputation both locally and nationally is blossoming due to the quality of our students and their experiences and achievements. Waihi is a happy thriving place to be.

I am often asked the question “Why Waihi?” It is tempting to describe what we do and how we do it, however the essence of Waihi is in what we believe. 

We believe... by offering every student a broad holistic experience, they will discover their talents and passions – everyone does everything. 

We believe... that learning to fail is important; Tu Igitur Perfer Adversa – our children have the resources, attitude, and resilience to cope with life.

We believe... in expecting every student to give 100% in everything they do – expect to be your best,
not the best.

We believe... in celebrating successes, but not judging people by them, nothing is more important than your character – our aim is to nurture good young men and women. 

I invite you to visit us and discover what is ‘Behind the Hedge’ for your child, you will be sure to find a warm welcome.


Kind regards

Allan Short