Friday, 30 June 2023

1. Principals Notice - Week 10, Term 2 2023

Dear Parents and Whanau


When I arrived last term, it was with great promise and expectation that we would be a hive of building activity and optimism.

  • We had funding of 3.7 million dollars approved from the Policy & Property Group
  • Tender Documents had been finalised
  • Tender partners had been approved.
  • All classes had packed up materials and resources and in one case had physically moved blocks from the two-story block.
As far as the parish, school community, staff and pupils were concerned, we were waiting for development to start.  During the course of the term, I become more despondent and anxious as conversations from different courts suggested a halting of proceedings but nothing official or in writing from Bishop Michael.

Late on Tuesday, our Board of Trustees received a letter from Bishop Michael.  His letter stated:

  • We would not be getting a rebuild in the foreseeable future
  • Minor work would be completed in the Steam Room (room opposite the hall) and Library to bring the rooms up to a fit-for-purpose standard.
  • The corridor between the hall and the library to receive a refresh
  • The original two-storied block is to remain
  • The Boards of St Joseph's and St Kevin's have pledged to work together to create a joint vision for Catholic Education in North Otago.

This was not the news we wanted to hear, however, it gives us a definite answer in order for us to move forward.

Principal Appointment
Given the letter we received from the Bishop, the Board has progressed in their planning to appoint a new principal.  We have engaged a consultant to prepare material in order for us to advertise for a permanent principal.  I have committed to the end of the year or earlier if we can appoint a principal prior to this.

Talent Quest
We were entertained by a wide variety of acts last Thursday.  The children showed great courage and confidence.  Thank you to the audience who supported all of our performances.

Oral Presentations
On Tuesday of this week, we had another opportunity to showcase our children and their work.  Four children from each class presented their speeches based around migration.  We had topics spreading from individual Mihis to Maori urbanisation.  All of the children did particularly well.  They overcame their fears to present particularly well.

Today is the eve of the term two holiday break.  We have another busy term of learning planned for term three.  We re-start on Monday 17th July at 9.00 am.  I trust that you can arrange to have some quality time with your children over the break.

Take Care
Allan Mitchell
Acting Principal

2. Faith Facts - Week 10, Term 2 2023

 Welcome to the End of Week 10 Term 2

Our Mass this week included a Welcoming Rite of Acceptance into the Catholic church for our lovely Michaela Coetzee. Michaela has formerly been baptised in the Christian faith and has now chosen to become a Catholic and begin her Catholic Sacramental journey.

At the beginning of Term 3, I will be calling for and inviting students year 4 and above who are ready to receive the Sacraments of Confirmation, Reconciliation and 1st Holy Communion.

Blessings to you and your whanau as your children enjoy a well-deserved 2 week holiday.

Nga mihi nui

Leanne Brookes  DRS

Week 10 26th - 30th  June














St Irenaeus





Mid-Winter Holidays

The word holiday comes from the words Holy Day and was originally a religious day to rest and celebrate a significant day in the church like Christmas day or Easter Sunday. It was a day of recreation. So let’s hope that in today’s world that the original meaning is still very relevant and these Holidays can be a time of rest, joy and recreation for all. We pray that all may have an opportunity to holiday and relax. That all have the vision to make this a priority at these special holy times in life.

3. School Notices - Week 10, Term 2 2023


Birthday Greetings to:
Milah A, Ryan B, Mary B, Michaela C, Victoria F, Kaycee-Mae G, Kayden H, Ellie J, Asher M, Angelina P and Dhairya S.

Absent Children
Please let the office know the reason why your child is absent from school when you leave a message.  Also if you have changed your address or contact details recently, please let us know.  Thank you.

Chocolate Fundraiser
Next term in week 2, all families will be given a box of chocolate to sell as a fundraiser for our Pasifika Cultural group. If you think you can sell more than one box per family, please let the school know.  Mrs Adrienne Spillane will be overseeing this fundraiser.

Polyfest & Fiefia Evenings
A copy of this letter was sent out to all families this week.

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

This year our Pasifika Cultural group will be participating in the Polyfest for 2023 and also the Fiefia Night. The polyfest will be next Term from September 11 to 19 (Week 9). Fiefia Night will be in week 10 of Term 3. We are looking forward to starting teaching our items at the beginning of Term 3. 

We have a Pasifika mother who will be teaching our children and preparing them for performing at the Polyfest and Fiefia Night. This is who we are, our mana, and are proud to be representing our school by showcasing our talents in Pasifika performing art.  

We are open to taking children from Yr 3 up, who show interest in wanting to learn about Pasifika cultural dance. Be aware that we need full commitment from your child and participate fully during practices. 

If your child is keen to take part in the performance and be part of the group. Please reply to this email on  or by ringing the school office on 03 434 8856 if your child wants to perform at the Polyfest and the Fiefia Night. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards, Tua Misiloi, Pasifika Liason

Parish Freezer
Yesterday, Mrs Spillane and our intermediate children prepared and cooked food for the Parish Freezer. These meals are handed out to any parish or school families in times of need and are always appreciated by the recipients. Thank you to Mrs Spillane for your organisation and preparation for these meals.

The sports draw for week 1 in term 3 for basketball, miniball and netball will be emailed on the Monday of term 3.  The netball goal-athon cards need to be returned to Mrs Brien at the school office by Friday 21st July.

St Joseph's Yr 3/4 netball team on the dress up day

We warmly welcome Eidyn A who started school this week to our new entrants class.
Laudato Si’ reflection
Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.” [Mt 10:40]
The flow of hospitality, care and manaakitanga, from and for people and planet enriches all
of us.
Pope Francis notes that ‘…The human person grows more… to the extent that he or she
enters into relationships, going out from themselves to live in communion with God, with
others and with all creatures…. Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a
spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.’ [ LS 240]

Community Notices
  • Matariki Brochure - attached to the email is a brochure about Matariki and what is happening within the Waitaki District.
  • Noel Leeming Family Deals - please see the flyer attached to the email.
  • Basketball Camp - The Otago Nuggets and the Southern Hoiho professional basketball teams will be hosting our July School Holidays Camp. 


    Otago Nuggets and Southern Hoiho July School Holidays Basketball Camp



    Monday 10 & Tuesday 11 July – Years 4-6 only

    Wednesday 12 & Thursday 13 July – Years 7-13 only



    12noon to 3pm



    Edgar Centre, Portsmouth Drive, Dunedin


    Cost: $40.00 per day


    Register online:


    Contact email:

4. Diary Dates - Week 10, Term 4 2023

  Diary Dates – Week 10  Term 2 2023 


Friday 30

School finishes for term 2 


Monday 17

School starts for term 3 

Wednesday 19

Technology for Yr 7 & 8 

Thursday 20

School Parish Mass at 9.15 am *

Wednesday 26

Technology for Yr 7 & 8 *


Wednesday 2

Technology for Yr 7 & 8 *

Tuesday 8

Board of Trustee Meeting at 5.30 pm *

Sunday 13

Sacrament of Confirmation *

Tuesday 15

Parent Teacher Interviews *


Monday 11

Polyfest *

Tuesday 12

Polyfest *

Wednesday 13

Polyfest *

Thursday 14

Polyfest *

Friday 15

Polyfest *

Friday 22

Term 3 ends *


Monday 9

Term 4 starts *

School Photos *

Thursday 26

School Camp for Yr 6 *

Friday 27

School Camp for Yr 6 *


Sunday 5

Sacrament of First Holy Communion *

Wednesday 22

Yr 7 & 8 camp *

Thursday 23

Yr 7 & 8 camp *

Friday 24

Yr 7 & 8 camp *


Wednesday 20

Last day of school *

Friday, 16 June 2023

1. Principal's News - Week 8, Term 2 2023

Kia Ora Parents and Whanau

Primary Teachers Award Negotiation
I am delighted to confirm that the primary teachers have accepted the terms from the Ministry of Education around their award negotiations.  This will remove the threat and impact on most students' disruption to learning.  Unfortunately, our secondary colleagues have not settled their agreement.  This will have some effect on our year 7/8 class attending technology at St Kevin's College.  This group will miss one period of technology (12.20 to 1.20 pm) and will return to school earlier on Wednesday.

We appreciate your support over this time and the members believe that conditions of learning and the ability to retain and recruit teachers have improved through the settlement.

Quadrangular Tournament
Last Wednesday, 17 senior students and two staff were up early to travel to Dunedin for this quadrangular tournament with catholic schools from throughout Otago and Southland.  We performed with spirit and distinction in the netball and futsal competition.

The Barrientos Family
On the 7th June, a devastating fire gutted a home in Kurow that had been recently occupied by one of our school and parish families.  The devastation was a total loss of home and belongings of the Barrientos Family.  Thank you for your generous support of our mufti day on Wednesday which raised $262.00.  This was a wonderful contribution which was in turn generously matched personally by Fr Wayne.  I am very pleased to be able to deliver these funds to help support the family today.  We have also been through the efforts of the Young Vinnies to have frozen meals and treats delivered to the family.

The true spirit of a Parish Community and values of a catholic school are so evident and a pleasure to be part of when times of hardship are faced by our special community.

School Choir
I was very proud of our choir of 33 children on Tuesday night.  They were so well presented and well rehearsed.  They provided excellent support for the massed choir and wonderful items for their individual performance.  I would like to publically thank Mrs Leanne Brookes for all her hard mahi in preparing the choir.

Talent Quest
On Thursday 22nd June, our senior students are hosting a Talent Quest.  Students have auditioned for three available places in each class.  You are warmly invited to join us in the school hall from 1.30 pm to enjoy the wide range of talents on show.

Board of Trustees
I am pleased to announce that we have a full complement of Board of Trustee members as of Tuesday night's meeting.  We have recently had three Proprietor's Representatives appointed to our Board by Bishop Michael.  These members are: Catherine Gardner (an ex-student of St Joseph's), Kevin Kearney (also another ex-student of St Joseph's and a past Board Chair at St Kevin's) and Lisa Baillie (her children attended St Joseph's and she was a previous Board of Trustee Chair at St Joseph's Temuka).

We have our first full Board meeting with them on Tuesday 20th July at 6.30 pm in the school staffroom.  These are always open meetings that you are most welcome and encouraged to attend.

Take care and enjoy the weekend ahead.

Nga Mihi
Allan Mitchell
Acting Principal

2. Faith Facts - Week 8, Term 2 2023

Welcome to the End of Week 8 

Week 8: 12th to 16th June









The Most Holy BODY and BLOOD of CHRIST (Corpus Christi) 




St Anthony of Padua




The Most SACRED HEART of Jesus


The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The feast of Corpus Christ or The Body and Blood of Christ was on Sunday.

This is the Holy Day to remember the Sacrament of the Eucharist or Holy Communion.

Many Parishes have children making their First Communion on this day.

Let’s pray for them as they journey to becoming full and active members of our Catholic community.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is a 13th century image of Jesus to show his humanness and love for humanity.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is a 13th century image of Jesus to show his humanness and love for humanity.

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a name used to refer to Mary’s joys and sorrows, her virtues, and above all, her love for God, her love for her son Jesus, and her compassionate love for everyone.