Greetings, Kia ora, Kia orana, Talofa, Mālō e lelei,  Namaste, Ni Hao, Bula, Hola, Kumusta

Dear Families

As another school term draws to a close, it is hard to believe that we are half way through another year.

A special WELCOME to all the new families who have joined our Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School family this term. We hope your time with our school will be an enjoyable and blessed one for you and your children. We strive to be a school which reflects Jesus’ great love through the care and love we show one another and the commitment we all make to give of our very best. We hope you are experiencing this as you settle into our school.

It has been a very busy Term 2 with so much being achieved. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank the staff, children, school families, our Parish Priests and our wider community for the great work that is being done.  A special thanks to Peta Lindstrom, our Principal, and the staff team for the wonderful work being done for our children on a daily basis in the learning communities. The time, thought and effort, that you put into our children’s learning, is bearing great fruit!

Board of Trustees

On 7 June, the national triennial elections for Boards of Trustees were held. A special thank you to all those who put their names forward to be considered for our new Board and to all those parents who voted. As a result of the election, our Board of Trustees for the next three years is as follows:

Parent Elected Representatives: Tony Nawisielski, Vavae Nuia, Krissy Bishop, Kosta James, Sel Seluone

Bishop’s Appointees: Philip Cortesi ( Chairperson), Father Peter Murphy, Anna Soo Choon, Apaula Fruean-Lautua

Staff Elected Representative: Maria Speechlay

Principal: Peta Lindstrom

We especially welcome Krissy Bishop, Kosta James and Sel Seluone as new members to the Board and Maria Speechlay as staff representative. It is great to have you all on the team and we look forward to the valuable contribution you are going to make to the work of our Board.

Our new Board took office on 14 June and have had their first meeting, and an induction workshop for our new members.

As a Board of Trustees, we are ultimately responsible and accountable for the school’s performance and in particular student achievement and is required to set the direction for the school and monitor the progress towards achieving the goals set.

The Board’s governance determines:

the “what”- designing the school’s future

the “ends” – the outcomes to be achieved

the “policies” – statements of what is expected

The Principal’s management as professional leader of the school determines:

the “how”- designing how to get there

the “means”- strategies to achieve the desired outcomes

the “procedures” – steps to be taken to meet the expectations.

In fulfilling our respective roles, we must never lose sight of our prime responsibility, which is the achievement of our children and as a Catholic school, providing them with the best Catholic education we possibly can.

Catholic Special Character

In a recent letter from Bishop Patrick Dunn, the Bishop of Auckland, Boards of Trustees are reminded that the Catholic Special Character is central to all that we do and is at the heart of the school. It provides the foundation as we live out our vision of Learn, Love and Serve- Ka Ako, Ka Aroha, Ka Manaaki- in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Schools must provide a holistic education which enables our students to have the values, attitudes, knowledge/qualifications and skills that will enable them to move confidently to the next stage of their lives. Being a Catholic school, we are charged with an even greater responsibility of providing an  education where students can foster a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and helping them become Disciples of Christ. Our Catholic schools are an integral part of the evangelising mission of the Church.

Our Catholic schools have an excellent reputation and highly sought after, and Holy Trinity is no exception. When parents are asked why they want their children at our school, we hear the reply that it is not only the high quality of education provided, where we strive to achieve high academic standards, but also the Gospel values that are lived and promoted in the school and the strong pastoral care that is given to ensure that the children are safe, known and cared for as individuals.

As we continue to develop and nurture the Catholic Special Character of our school as a living reality, we are reminded that we cannot do this alone. It is about the school, parish and community working  as one to provide a Catholic education to be proud of, as we fulfil our school vision and the evangelising mission of the Church.

Community Consultation

Part of our school’s on-going development and progress is the engagement and consultation with the community. The education of our children is a team effort and we appreciate the input from our school whānau, so together we can meet their needs.

During the course of the year, the Board and staff are providing a range of opportunities for you to have input into the school’s direction and what you would like to see developing for your children. To date we have had …

  • a community social gathering early in Term 1
  • a school wide community meeting where we started gathering “community voice” around needs and aspirations for our school, which was continued on the day of our school Fun Run
  • on-line surveys
  • gathering of our Pasifika families for a  meal and sharing
  • a Family Learning Evening on Cybersafety

Further opportunities for community engagement and sharing are planned for Term 3, including a Hui for our Maori whānau/families and another family learning workshop.

All the ideas gathered through this consultation and community engagement process, will help us move forward with our Strategic Planning into 2020 and beyond. Again, this is a great way to be involved in the development of our school and your children’s learning.

The Playground!

It is great to see our fields now in full use, with the children enjoying the extra space.

Our adventure playground plans are progressing. We have accepted a plan and quote from Park Supplies and are now waiting on news regarding an application we have made to Transpower for a grant. Our thanks go to Nicky Welch for the great work she has done in preparing the application and also to Brad Rudsits for his input.  We should know the outcome at the end of July. As the owners of the property, the Catholic Diocese of Auckland are very supportive of this project, but have asked us to wait until we have all the funds together before we proceed. We are getting there!

A BIG THANK YOU goes to our PTFA for a very successful Fun Run last term, which raised $14,000 to go towards our adventure playground.  An amazing effort  for a small school! A BIG THANK YOU also goes to our families and friends who sponsored the children- without you we would not have such a wonderful amount raised. It will be great to see that in the form of a playground for our children.


Our school is blessed to have a great group of parents, albeit very small, who make up our hard working PTFA. They have had some very successful fundraisers so far this year, including sausage sizzles, pizza lunch, discos and of course our Fun Run. With the group being very small in number, the PTFA needs more members, so the organisation of such events does not fall on a few. We work on the principle of TEAMTogether Everyone Achieves More. This was very evident in the very successful disco held last Friday evening- a BIG THANK YOU to all those people who put up their hands to help with this event- great team work!

Being on the PTFA is a great way to become involved in the life of the school and your children’s education. It is also a good way to get to know other families in our growing community. Please have a think about it- it just maybe a calling for you.

PTFA meetings are always advertised in the school newsletters.

School Donations

There has been a lot in the news media lately about school donations being asked from parents and caregivers. The 2019 Government Budget is giving Decile 1-7 schools, (Holy Trinity is Decile 3), the option for Boards of Trustees to choose to receive a $150 per student per year payment instead of seeking donations from parents. This policy is being implemented in 2020 and Boards who decide to make the decision to opt into this scheme must do so by mid-November. The Ministry of Education will be providing more information about the scheme in July.

As a Catholic school, it is important to note two points:

  1. The Attendance Dues you pay for your children to attend a Catholic school are not donations, but are compulsory.
  2. Although schools who opt into the scheme are not able to seek additional donations from parents, the Proprietor of Integrated Schools retains the right to seek donations. For us this means that the Bishop of Auckland as the Proprietor of our school, will still be seeking donations such as the Catholic Special Character Contribution.

As we get more detailed information, the Board will keep you informed and consult with you as we move towards making a decision on this option.

Primary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Primary principals across the country have voted to reject the government’s offer for settlement of their negotiations. The government failed to make an offer that addresses their key issues. There is grave concern that little is being done to ensure that being a primary principal is seen as an attractive career option.

A major concern of the offer is that it would have seen some principals in smaller schools paid less than some teachers in larger schools. It’s important that all communities are able to attract teachers into becoming principals, and that won’t happen if they can earn more as a teacher.

As a sign of their concern primary principals have voted to withdraw the goodwill they extend to the Ministry of Education work that is additional to their day to day role running schools. Principals continue to hope that the government will hear them and address their issues. 

We thank our parent community for their continued support of the teaching profession.

THANK YOU again to one and all for the on-going support you give to the life of our school. It is much appreciated. May our God continue to bless you all.


Kind regards and blessings

Philip Cortesi
Board of Trustees