Stacey Waaka

Stacey Waaka
NZ Black Ferns (




STACEY WAAKA joins an illustrious group of players who have won both the Women’s Rugby World Cup and the Sevens Rugby World Cup and is known as being a fast and evasive back.
Waaka made her debut for the Black Ferns in 2015. She was first selected in the Black Ferns Sevens team in 2016, the same year she was named the Junior Maori Sportswoman of the Year. She then re-joined the Black Ferns for their successful 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign in the longer format.
A natural athlete, Waaka has also represented New Zealand in touch rugby and at provincial level in netball, hockey and athletics. 
Off the field she has a Bachelor of Sport and Leisure Studies from Waikato University.
Sevens rugby runs in the family – her brother Beaudein Waaka has been part of the All Blacks Sevens team and the Taranaki Mitre 10 Cup squad.

Karen Hanlen

Karen Hanlen
Olympic                        Mountain Biker


2012 London Olympics, 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2012 NZ Mountain Bike Champion and Oceania Mountain Bike Champion


Mountain Biking

Former student, Karen Hanlen, shot to the top of mountain bike racing in 2010, after switching from mountain running to mountain biking, buying her first performance bike on TradeMe.

Glasgow 2014 was the second Commonwealth Games for Karen after she competed at the 2010 Games in Delhi. Karen also competed at the London Olympic Games in 2012.

In the same year, Karen placed 1st in the New Zealand Mountain Bike Championships, 1st in the New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup, 1st at the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships.


Lisa Carrington

Lisa Carrington
Canoe Sprint World Champion, Olympic Gold Medallist





2012 Gold K1 200m
2016 Gold K1 200m
2016 Bronze K1 500m
World championships
2011 Gold K1 200m
2012 Gold K1 200m
2013 Gold K1 200m, Bronze K1 500m
2014 Gold K1 200m, Silver K1 500m
2015 Gold K1 200m, Gold K1 500m
2016 Gold K1 200m x 2, Gold K1 500m, Silver K1 500m

Lisa competed in the Czech Republic in 2017 at the Canoe Sprint World Championships and gained the K2 500 gold, the K1 200 gold, the K1 500 silver and the K4 500 bronze medals. 

2015 World Canoe Sprint Champion and 2012 Olympic Champion, Lisa Carrington, took up kayaking to improve her surf lifesaving skills, as a teenager at Ohope Beach - while attending Whakatane High School.

Between 2009-2011 Lisa won World Cup medals in senior team disciplines.

In 2011, Lisa also had a breakout year as an individual, winning K-1 200 Gold at the World Championships.



Jozef Klaassen

Jozef Klaassen
NZ Rowing





After attending Whakatane High School, Jozef Klaassen undertook a rowing scholarship in Boston among the highly competitive University rowing scene.

He has rowed in the Netherland Mens 8 in two Olympic Games in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London placing 4th and 5th respectively.

Klassen has spent time back in Whakatane training at the local club and sharing his knowledge with the club's upcoming talent.

Klaassen hopes to represent New Zealand at the Rio Olympics.

Benji Marshall

Benji Marshall
Rugby League Player (Wikipedia)


Professional Rugby League Footballer for NRL Club St George Illawarra Dragons.


Rugby League

Former Whakatane High School student, Benji Marshall, is a professional rugby league footballer, currently playing for NRL club the St George Illawarra Dragons.

He was briefly a professional rugby union player with the Blues of the Super 15.

He was the captain of the New Zealand national team, with whom he won the 2008 World Cup and 2010 Four Nations tournaments.

Marshall played for ten seasons in the National Rugby League for Sydney club Wests Tigers, with whom he won the 2005 NRL Premiership.

He has been noted for his flamboyant attack, including sidesteps, no-look passes and flick-passes. In 2010 Marshall won the Golden Boot Award for the world's best player.

Nathan Twaddle

Nathan Twaddle
World Champion Rower and Olympic Bronze Medallist (Wikipedia)


Bronze Medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2005 World Coxless Pair Champions



Robert Nathan Twaddle, MNZM (born 21 August 1976), is a rower from New Zealand and Olympic medallist.

He competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, in the coxless pair rowing with his partner George Bridgewater and came away with a bronze medal.

Twaddle and Bridgewater were world champions in 2005 and silver medalists in 2006 & 2007.


Ingrid Hipkiss

Ingrid Hipkiss
TV3 Weather Presenter


Political Reporter turned Weather Presenter


Weather Presenter

Ingrid Hipkiss attended Whakatane High School and went on to start her 3 News career as a political reporter in Wellington around a decade ago.

Ingrid is now based in Auckland, along with her family, and is the weekday weather presenter.


Ashlee Tulloch

Ashlee Tulloch
TV Presenter


News Presenter



Ashlee is a news and sport reporter for 3 News.

After graduating from Whakatane High School, she studied at AUT in 2010 - graduating with a Bachelor of Communications and started at 3 News in early 2011.

You'll often see her courtside at a netball game or, if she's lucky, on the beach covering surfing. Ashlee's proud to be part Māori and from "the real bay" - the Bay of Plenty.


Margaret Mahy

Margaret Mahy
Author (Wikipedia)


Among former Whakatane High School student, Margaret Mahy’s awards are;The biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award conferred by the International Board on Books for Young People is the highest recognition available to a writer or illustrator of children's books. Mahy received the writing award in 2006.



Jury president Jeffrey Garrett wrote in the press release:

In awarding the 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Writing to Margaret Mahy, the jury has recognized one of the world's most original re-inventors of language. Mahy's language is rich in poetic imagery, magic, and supernatural elements. Her oeuvre provides a vast, numinous, but intensely personal metaphorical arena for the expression and experience of childhood and adolescence. Equally important, however, are her rhymes and poems for children. Mahy's works are known to children and young adults all over the world.

Mahy won the Carnegie Medal in 1982 for The Haunting. In 1984 she won the medal again for The Changeover.

The Margaret Mahy Award, named for Mahy, is presented annually to "a person who has made a significant contribution to the broad field of children's literature and literacy". Mahy was the first recipient of the award in 1991. Lectures by the winners are published, the standard of which was set by Mahy's inaugural lecture, Surprising Moments.

In 2013, the top prize for young adult fiction at the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards was renamed the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award.

The Whakatane High School Library is named after Margaret Mahy.

John Vernon

John Vernon
Head QSM, Anti-landmines Activist (Wikipedia)


Founder of CALM, Queens Service Medal for Public Services



John Vernon Head (1927–2007) after a 40-year teaching career, founded CALM, the New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines in 1993.

He boosted New Zealand's awareness of the scale of worldwide landmine problems and his efforts were the catalyst for the Anti-Personnel Mines Prohibition Act 1988, which became New Zealand law early in 1999.

He was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for Public Services (QSM) the following year.

Brett Sinkinson

Brett Sinkinson
Rugby Union Player (Wikipedia)


Played Rugby Union for the Welsh National Team


Rugby Union

Brett David Sinkinson (born 30 December 1971) is a New Zealand born rugby union player who played for the Wales national rugby union team.

A flanker, he was known for his mobility and hard tackling. He never played for New Zealand.

After representing Wales it was discovered that he was ineligible to play for Wales when he revealed his grandfather Sydney Sinkinson was born in Oldham in England instead of Carmarthen in Wales as had previously been indicated by him.

The scandal that followed was termed "grannygate".

Sinkinson was barred from playing for Wales but later returned to the Wales team after legally qualifying through the residency rules.

Sir Alan Stewart

Sir Alan Stewart
Founding Vice-Chancellor, Massey University (Wikipedia)


Sir Alan Stewart KBE (8 December 1917 – 1 September 2004) was a New Zealand Educator and University Administrator.


Educator and University Administrator

Born 1917. Attended Whakatane District High School 1930–1933.

He was principal of Massey Agricultural College from 1959 to 1963 and founding vice-chancellor of Massey University from 1964 to 1983.

During this time he guided the institution's transition from agricultural college to full university.

He is noted for building the university's internationally recognised agricultural programme, as well as for greatly expanding the university's extramural programme to make tertiary education available to rural New Zealanders.

He was knighted in 1981 for services to education.

Whakatane High School Archives;

Ian Shearer

Ian Shearer

Former National Party MP (born 1941), Former National MP (Wikipedia)



Shearer was born at Whakatane in 1941.

He received his education from Whakatane Primary, Whakatane High School,Massey University, and the University of Nottingham.

He represented the Hamilton East electorate in Parliament from 1975 to 1984, when he was defeated by Bill Dillon.

Under Robert Muldoon, he was Minister for the Environment, Minister of Science and Technology, and Minister of Broadcasting.

In 1985, Shearer publicly questioned the National Party on membership and finances, which resulted in the suspension of his membership in October of that year.

Although the suspension was lifted, Shearer resigned all his party roles in December 1985.

Charles Bentley Cato

Charles Bentley Cato                                                       




Awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in 1974.  Graduated B.C.L 1st class in 1976. A Barrister of the High Court of New Zealand. He became a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Auckland. Charles Cato is a well-regarded academic practising Lawyer.



Whakatane High School Archives;


Gary McAdams

Gary McAdams  


First attended Whakatane High School in 1981.



Was an Under 23 years New Zealand Rowing Representative in 1989 for Single Sculling. Rowing for the Elite x8 Sculling in 1989 and 1990. Gary and his team won gold in the 1994 Commonwealth Games for Britain, rowing with the “Great Britain 8”.


Interview with Brian Morpeth, Whakatane Rowing Club, 2015; Whakatane High School Archives



Jon-Paul Tobin

Jon-Paul "JP" Tobin






Jon-Paul is an Internationally recognised New Zealand Windsurfer. He competed in Windsurfing at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.Tobin has twice previously been ranked No.1 in the world.


Wikipedia; Whakatane High School Archives


James Douglas Watson

James Douglas (Jim) Watson

1943-2017, CNZM , Scientist and Innovator

Attended Whakatane High School 1956-1960.

Dr Jim Watson credits WHS with nurturing his passion for science which led to a PhD in microbiology from Auckland University at the young age of 23.  He moved to the USA for post-doctoral research work at Syntex and Salk Institutes and was a professor at the College of Medicine at the University of California.  He returned to New Zealand in 1994 and founded the Department of Molecular Medicine at Auckland University and then went on to found the country’s first biotech company Genesis, followed by Lanzatech, Bio Joule and Caldera.  His research and discoveries ranged from gene technology and renewable fuels to hormonal cancers.

Wybo Veldman

Wybo Veldman






Attended Whakatane High School from 1960-1962. Wybo is a former New Zealand Olympic Rower who won Gold at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. He won a silver medal in the following year with Noel Mills in the Coxless Pairs at Moscow in the World Championships. Weldman had previously been in the crew of the eight that finished fourth at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Veldman won a then record 21 New Zealand National rowing titles.


Wikipedia; Whakatane High School Archives





Noel Mills

Noel Mills






First attended Whakatane High School 1958. Noel was a former New Zealand Rower who won an Olympic silver medal at 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, also winning a silver medal with Wybo Veldman in the Coxless pairs in the World Championships at Moscow in 1973. He teamed with Dick Tonks, Dudley Storey and Ross Collinge to win the Silver medal in the coxless four. He also won a Bronze medal in the eights at the 1978 World Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro, New Zealand. Mills moved to Brisbane, Australia in the 1990s.


Wikipedia; Whakatane Rowing Club; Whakatane High School Archives


Toni Jeffs

Toni Jeffs  


Born 1968. Attended Whakatane High School from 1982-1985. 



A freestyle swimmer. Toni won two Commonwealth Games bronze medals in 50m freestyle in 1998 and 2002. She also competed in the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. 


Wikipedia; Whakatane High School Archives


Dr Sophie Hart

Dr. Sophie Hart






A Multisport Athlete. Won the national Coast to Coast longest day event in 2013. She is a member of Team Seagate, the current world champion adventure racing team (2015). Sophie is a G.P in the South Island, New Zealand.


Whakatane High School Archives;


Richard Conway

Richard James Conway


Known as "Red" Conway. Born 1935 in Whakatane.


Rugby Union

First  attended Whakatane High School in 1948. ‘Red’ played ten tests for the New Zealand All Blacks between 1959 and 1965 at number 8. In 1960 he had a finger amputated so he could take part in a tour of South Africa. Conway played 72 games for Bay of Plenty from 1962 to 1968.


Wikipedia;; Whakatane High School Archives

Philip Clode

Philip Clode


Born 1965. Attended Whakatane High School 1979-1983.



A Middle Distance Athlete. He represented New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games in 1990 for the 5000m event and in 1994 for the 10,000m event.


Wikipedia; Whakatane High School Archives


Lacey Wilson

Lacey Wilson


Born 1987. Attended Whakatane high School 2002 - 2004.



A Journalist, former TVNZ Reporter for One News and TVNZ’s Breakfast show.; Whakatane High School Archives




Paul Steel

Paul Steel  


Born 1970 in Whakatane. Attended Whakatane High School 1984-1988.  



He is a squash coach and a former professional player. As a player, Paul was a ten-time New Zealand national champion 1992 - 2001 and reached a career-high world ranking of World No.15. In 1991,92,95,97,99 and 2001 he was New Zealand representative in the World team Squash Championships. In 1998 he was a member of New Zealand Commonwealth Games Team in Kuala Lumpur. In November 2011 he was added to the New Zealand Squash Hall of Fame.


Wikipedia; Whakatane High School Archives

Tama Waipara

Tama Waipara


First attended Whakatane High School in 1992.


Musician, Vocalist, Actor

Accepted to study a Masters Degree at New York’s Manhattan School of Music, a renowned New Zealand Musician, Vocalist, Clarinetist and Actor Performer. Won the Best Roots Album at the 2014 New Zealand Music Awards.


Whakatane High School Archives

Dave Molesworth

Dave Molesworth

N.Z Rowing Representative; at the European Championships at Amsterdam in 1964 and in Australia in 1965 for double sculls with Tom Reid.

M. Shaw- N.Z Rowing Representative

Gary Reid- N.Z Rowing Representative (son)

Tom Reid- N.Z Representative Coach (father) at the European Championships at Amsterdam in 1964 and in Australia in 1965 for double sculls with D.Molesworth.

As they say “back in the day” redcoats were awarded to the winners of Senior Class(now called Premier) winners in the single sculls, double sculls, pair oar(coxless), four our(coxed) and eight oar races. I was the first rower to get a redcoat in every event, not bad for a rower who started out as a lightweight.

— Dave Molesworth (Whakatane Rowing Club website)


Jaimee Lovett

Jaimee Lovett

Olympic Canoe Women's K4

With roots in the Ohope Surf Lifesaving Club, local girl Jaimee Lovett attended WHS from 2002 - 2006. A Youth Olympian in 2007, Jaimee Lovett has waited patiently for nine years to finally graduate to the full Olympic Games.

A year older than her friend and clubmate, Lisa Carrington, Lovett has qualified for Rio de Janeiro with a women's K4 boat that also features Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie.

The quartet had a breakthrough year in 2015 under Danish-born coach Rene Olsen, winning the K4 500m at the World Cup round in Portugal and making the final at the world championships in Milan.; Whakatane High School Archives


Army Servicemen


1931 Brigadier Jack Conolly (staff)

1947 Major Huia Woods          DECEASED

1951 L. Col John Mills             NOT KNOWN

1955 L. Col I. Duthie                NOT KNOWN

1957 L. Col Wira Gardnier       ALIVE

1958 Major Roger Maxwell     ALIVE

1961 Major Graeme Flavell     DECEASED

1967 Major Tom O’Reilly         ALIVE

1969 major Keith Schollum     NOT KNOWN


Headmaster- C.C Southey (Military Medal & Military Cross)

Special Mentions

Special Mentions

Rob Hamill - N.Z Colts

Marty Clarke- Para Olympian, Represented N.Z at the Winter Olympic Games in Austria in 1984, competing in the Disabled Slalam, Giant Slalam and the Downhill; his combined result placed him at 15th overall.

David Allan- N.Z Gymnastics Coach & International Gymnastics Judge, Davis qualified as an International Judge in 1984, he is one of only seven New Zealanders at the time to hold this distinction. He has also been a member of the N.Z Men’s Technical Committee since 1982.


Ben Rowan

Ben Rowan

Industrial Design

Former WHS student, Ben Rowan, is now a director at industrial design consultancy firm PriestmanGoode in London.

Previously the Creative Head of Aviation, Ben became an Associate Director in 2013 and a Director in 2016. Ben has a Bachelor of Design from the Wellington School of Design, New Zealand.

He joined PriestmanGoode in 2003 and has worked on projects with Itec, Three, Hitachi, Rotary, Airbus A3XX , Malaysia Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, British Telecoms, Air France, United Airlines and Qatar Airways. In April 2016, the company made the transition to an employee-owned company. PriestmanGoode is now majority owned by its talented staff. Paul Priestman, Nigel Goode and Luke Hawes remain at the helm of the studio, along with newly appointed directors Kirsty Dias, Chris Parker and Ben Rowan.

Ben’s father, Mike Rowan, is in his 40th year of teaching at Whakatane High School, previously as a graphics design teacher and currently as a reliever. He says that he thinks Ben graduated in 1995 as a prefect.

Sam Clark

Sam Clark:  Multi-Sporter, Coast to Coast Winner

Attended Whakatane High School 2004-2008.


Sam’s entry in the school’s  2008 yearbook column stated, “In 10 years time you’ll find me winning the Coast to Coast”.  He achieved his goal ahead of schedule in 2016 and defended the title in 2017.

Dolan Cox

Dolan Cox



Cox was dux of Whakatane High School, finished his Master of Business Management in 2015, and now has a Bachelor of Music with Honours. During his time at Waikato he’s increased his piano-performance opportunities, winning awards and coming second in the prestigious Sydney Eisteddfod Musica Viva Chamber Competition in Australia as a member of the University’s Contrasts Trio. He was also an intern at the George Town Festival in Malaysia – an event that celebrates arts, culture, heritage and community.

If that wasn’t enough, Dolan was a winner of the Sir Edmund Hillary Step Higher Award which meant he went to Nepal with three other top achievers to see what Sir Ed achieved and to work with communities there.

In reaction to the award, Dolan commented “I was both surprised and grateful to hear I'd been awarded the medal. Past winners of the medal include many of my friends and role models; people who excel not only in athletic and artistic performance, but in the way they inspire others. To be recognised alongside those scholars is incredibly humbling."



Keith Farquhar

Keith Farquhar - Professor of Law

LL.B, LL.M (Hons) (Wellington), LL.M (Michigan). Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (non-practising).

Attended Whakatane High School 1955 – 1958

Born in Whakatane in 1942. After attending Whakatane High School, attended Auckland Grammar School in 1959 and won a National University Scholarship. Had a lengthy career teaching in Canadian Law Schools, serving on a variety of law reform agencies both national and provincial, and publishing widely in both academic journals and reports to governments. Currently Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of British Columbia.


Rosemary Stirling

Rosemary Stirling



Rosemary started her running career at the Whakatane Domain and went on to win the 800m at the 1970 Commonwealth Games.

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Term dates

2024 Term Dates

Term 1 -  Wednesday 31 January to Friday 12 April

Term 2 - Monday 29 April to Friday 5 July

Term 3 - Monday 22 July to Friday 27 September

Term 4 - Monday 14 October to Wednesday 11 December