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18 December 2023 / Category : School

A Night to Remember

Prize Giving 2023 held extra significance this year; we celebrated the remarkable accomplishments of ākonga, bid farewell to our Year 13s, and expressed gratitude to Dr Sandra Hastie as she concluded her eight-year tenure as the school’s Principal. Emotions ran high, excitement for the summer ahead was palpable and the air was filled with a sense of aroha and belonging.

Prize Giving is an opportunity for our wider community to hear from some of our talented performers, and this night was no different. The evening started with our incredible Jazz Band, directed by Lana Law, playing on stage as whānau arrived at the Christchurch Town Hall. Earlier this year the Jazz Band won the Peter Bargh Trophy for the overall festival winners at the Southern Jam Youth Festival in Blenheim, and it was clear to see why.


As the official procession took place, the school’s Kapa Haka group performed with mana and gave a powerful performance. The group is led by talented teacher, Sherilee Herangi-Harrison and continues to go from strength to strength each year.

Chair of the Board, Nicki Carter welcomed guests and shared her Board report. Her insightful and honest address was welcomed by parents and caregivers and whilst not shying away from the challenges the year has brought, she also shared the opportunities the new year brings and her excitement for Rangi Ruru’s bright future. Speaking directly to our students, she asked them to take a moment “to acknowledge your own progress, successes and achievements, and the ways in which you’ve chosen to embrace our Rangi Ruru values”.


After the junior prize giving our Heads of School and Boarding shared insights into their year; the responsibilities, the opportunities, and the highlights.

“As the Head of Boarding for 2023, I’ve experienced countless life lessons taught within the Boarding House. A place where support is unwavering and where we are encouraged to be the best versions of ourselves. Boarding provides not only endless opportunities but a second family, a second home, and new sisters, who each uniquely contribute to the strength of our wings as we soar into the world.” Sarah Griffiths, Head of Boarding 2023

“This year Rangi Ruru achieved highly. We raised a phenomenal $18,000 to be donated to other communities. We broke a world record and came together at multiple different events to perform our school haka with pride. And collectively we have achieved over 12,000 service hours. While these achievements speak volumes about our capabilities, the true essence of our community lies in the warmth you feel when you walk through the school gates and the inspiration you feel when you leave the gates at the end of the school day. It’s this feeling of family that makes us all proud to be a part of the Rangi Ruru community.” Arabella Acland, Head of School 2023.


In between our Year 11, 12 and 13 awards been presented, guests were delighted by the vocal sounds of Resolution singing the glorious song “I am Not Yours’ by David Child and directed by Helen Charlton. The performance gave everyone a taste of why this special group were awarded silver at the NZCF Big Sing national finale held in Auckland in August. Guests also got to hear the incredible sounds of Rangi Sinfonia, directed by Janet Kingsbury. The talent in our orchestra continues to astound those listening, you may as well be listening to a professional orchestra.


Dr Hastie delivered her final Principal’s address with poise and grace. She held students, staff and whānau in the palm of her hands, everyone sharing in her journey and her time at the school. She told us of her first weeks in the job, the pranks that have been played on her and the laughs that have ensued, reminding students “that regardless of where you are in your life’s journey, you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously all the time”. As she shared her final words the traditional call of the haka resonated throughout the hall and in a show of remarkable solidarity, the entire school performed the school Haka one last time in honour of Dr Hastie.


Gold braid awards are the pinnacle prizes for the year, and we congratulated ākonga for their achievements including:

  • Falatoese Cup and the PTA Prize for the Best All Round Student – Lottie Blake-Manson
  • Dux – Juliet Park
  • Proxime Accessit – Emma Comerford
  • The Rangi Ruru Wide Sky Award for Character and Values – Kate Brown
  • The Dorothy Bates Trophy awarded to a pupil who shows outstanding potential during her years at school – Francesca Richards
  • The Principal’s Award for Generosity of Spirit – Nina Cantos
  • The Clarkson Cup for Outstanding Performing Arts Student – Georgia Dann
  • The Sophie Savill Cup for Outstanding Sportswoman – Agatha Weston
  • The McKenzie Cup for Service in the House – Briana Hodgen
  • The Learning Resilience Award for drive and determination overcoming learning challenges – Molly Penberthy