The Whanau Centre is based within the school and supports students and their whanau by way of the school nurse, social worker, and other staff attached alongside some other agencies in the community.

The Whānau Centre gives families a place to meet and to work on ways to support their children’s education and address the health needs to ensure there are no barriers with engagement whilst in the classroom.

Students’ feedback has been positive with comments such as: being helpful, supportive with a wide range of problems, a youth friendly service, a place where they are able to seek medical advice and treatment, help for their whānau, getting information on other social/health services available, and being a safe place to go.

Whānau Centre programmes include:

  • Youth Health Council

  • Health Initiatives & programmes for the students such as Village Collective & Cook for Life

  • We work along other community services to provide support in a way of mentoring/counselling to the students and provide information on other social services to their whanau should it be required

  • Keeping Safe Guidelines and Advice for Students by developing policies with our rangatahi to ensure our mahi has a youth focus


  • The “Break Free” project is a culturally responsive intervention which aims to develop new pathways for students who present with a range of behaviours and/or histories which create major barriers to engagement in learning.  The purpose of the project is to personalise the response and support to the specific needs of each student to enable them to break free from the transcript they believe they have to follow or live up to, and develop a new story (restorying), by determining and agreeing on the way forward.   The Break Free Project was implemented in 2013, and is led by Whānau Centre staff together with teachers and whānau.

  • Youth Health Council has gained momentum over the years and we are keen to support them further by giving them those opportunities to lead others, promote health and wellbeing and be role models in the school.  They are senior representatives of all of our areas in the school.

  • Our “Breakfast Club” is supported by “Kickstart” and manned by our school teaching staff and is from 8am – 8.30am Monday – Friday in the Fale Pasifika. Students are encouraged to come and relax while they have some breakfast and catch up with other students before starting school. We are hoping to increase the number of students attending.


The following people are working in the Whānau Centre.

Derryn Milne-Tupe: Senior Social Worker – Whānau Centre Director

  • Derryn works alongside students and their whanau in many areas where support or plans are needed. Derryn coordinates services that are coming into school to visit students or run programs with the students. Derryn also assists other staff running the school Wharekai during kappa haka and works alongside whanau and students in this setting also.

School Social Worker Contact: 09 274 5807 ext 719

Sheridan Hattaway-Martin: Youth Health Nurse

  • Sheridan helps students deal with all their primary health care issues.  She is able to prescribe medications to some students with both long term and acute medical issues utilising her prescribing endorsement and standing orders.  Sheridan completes referrals to GP services, other external health/social services when required, and all secondary referrals to ensure all health needs are addressed in a timely manner allowing the student to remain within the classroom to achieve their educational goals.  She completes full comprehensive health assessments on all our Year 9 students and also opportunistic screens when needed.  The nurse is available Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm.  

Youth Health Nurse Contact: 09 274 5807 ext 704

Ian Milne: Attendance Support

Ngarimu Waru: SWiS

  • (Social Worker in Schools) scheme funded by MOE through local providers – Te Tai Awa o Te Ora.  Ngarimu works with Ys 7-8 students and is here 2 morning a week (Wednesday & Fridays from 9am – 12pm)

We have had numerous social work students come to the Whānau Centre to complete three month placements while they are studying to become social workers over the years as well as counselling students. We have found these students have gain a lot of knowledge over and above their placement criteria due to being part of the school and learning from our students and our kaupapa.