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Toby Gaffaney
by Gerry Atkin - Friday, 17 May 2024, 3:13 PM

Congratulations to Toby Gaffaney who has been selected in the New Zealand Youth Muaythai Blackgloves Team to compete at the IFMA Youth World Amateur Muaythai Championship in Bangkok in September.

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Pink Shirt Day
by Gerry Atkin - Friday, 17 May 2024, 1:00 PM

Today is Pink Shirt Day for 2024, a day to spread aroha, celebrate diversity and work towards ending bullying.

New Zealand, unfortunately, has higher rates of bullying than many of the countries we like to compare ourselves with. The Mental Health Foundation reports that 32% of New Zealand students report being bullied a few times a month, higher than the 23% average across OECD countries. Both of these statistics are appalling and speak to the imperative for change around the world.

Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students made a stand against homophobic bullying that one of their peers was enduring. The Mental Health Foundation have supported Pink Shirt Day in New Zealand since 2012: Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying.

Whether it is physical, verbal, or social (relational) bullying, four widely-accepted factors can be used to identify it:

• Bullying is deliberate - harming another person intentionally

• Bullying involves a misuse of power in a relationship

• Bullying is usually not a one-off - it is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated over time

• Bullying involves behaviour that can cause harm - it is not a normal part of growing up.

Bullying can happen anywhere, in person or online (cyberbullying), at any time, and can be verbal, physical or social (relational). It can be obvious or hidden.

People who bully use their power — such as physical strength, knowing something embarrassing, or popularity — to control or harm others. Bullying is when one student (or a group of students) keeps picking on another student again and again to make them feel bad. They say or do things to upset them, make fun of them, stop them from joining in, or keep hitting or punching them.

Many of the incidents of bullying we deal with begin as mates within a group giving each other a hard time – some banter. This escalates and continues over a period of time until it is no longer a joke and one of, or sometimes both, of the young men involved are really affected by it.

From our young men we frequently hear about the brotherhood at Palmy Boys’. We would hope that our young men do look out for each other as brothers. This would mean not being a bully and not turning a blind eye to bullying behaviour.

It means choosing to move from being a bystander – a person who sees or knows a bullying incident is occurring to someone else – to being an UPSTANDER – a person who uses words or actions that can help someone who is being bullied.

The Mental Health Foundation has identified five acts that Upstanders can take to make a difference:

Awhi/support the person experiencing bullying

• Stand beside them and let them know you’ve got their back. Encourage them to ask a teacher for help or go with them to get help.

• Let them know they’re not alone!


Interrupt the bullying in some way

• Ask the person experiencing bullying if they want to go for a walk or do something else.

• Help them to leave the situation they’re in.

Call it!

• If you feel safe to, let the person/people doing the bullying know what they’re doing isn’t okay.

• Use your words to show aroha and kindness to those involved.

• Don’t stand by and watch. It can be hard to speak up in the moment, but it can make a huge difference.

Leave and act

If you don’t feel safe to step in while the bullying is happening:

• Move away from the situation.

• Later, let the person experiencing the bullying know you saw and ask what might help.

• You might want to have a quiet word with the person doing the bullying.

Get some other help

• Support the person being bullied to get help from others – whānau, teacher, a trusted adult or a helpline and then act on their advice

In New Zealand minority groups are overrepresented as the victims of bullying, especially members of the rainbow community. Young people who are bullied are more likely to experience mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

There is a collective responsibility for us to act together to stop bullying. Respect everyone in our community. Act in ways that align to your values. Behave in a manner that you are proud of.


Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying.

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Co-curricular Participation at PNBHS - Bucking the Trend
by Gerry Atkin - Friday, 17 May 2024, 12:58 PM

Co-curricular Participation at PNBHS - Bucking the Trend

We are incredibly proud that our young men are continuing to 'buck the trend' of falling involvement in co-curricular activities and we are seeing very high levels of participation. So far in 2024, we have recorded more than individual student registrations for sports, a record number and ahead of 2019 (pre-COVID-19).

Registrations to date across a range of sporting codes include:
Badminton - 81
Basketball - 331
Canoe Polo - 29
Cricket - 200
Cycling - 22
Football - 219
Golf - 43
Hockey - 128
Mountain Biking - 19
Rugby - 454
Softball - 19
Squash - 18
Table Tennis - 107
Touch Rugby - 177
Volleyball - 107
Water Polo - 20

A huge thank you to our staff, parents and others from our community who volunteer their time to enable these opportunities for our young men.

Earlier this year a PNBHS Athletics team of 91 young men competed at the Manawatū Inter-Secondary Schools Athletics Championships with 20 of those young men going on to compete in the North Island Secondary Schools Athletics Championships and a PNBHS team of 25 have been selected to compete in the upcoming Manawatū Inter-Secondary Schools Cross Country. More than 50 young men have registered in term one and term two to train in the school weights facilities and the Shand Shield competition has included opportunities for all young men to get involved in Athletics, Road Race and Swimming Championships as well as Cross Country, Junior Monrad Cup, Butler Cup Cricket, Senior Touch, Tennis, and Table Tennis.

In addition to this sporting snapshot, there are significant numbers of young men involved in Kapa Haka (Super Eight - 24 young men, Te Piringa - 8, Māori Department Kapa Haka - 191), the Pasifika Club (94), Junior Musical Theatre (23), Theatre Sports (12), The Rector's Company (15), Stage Band (17), Junior Concert Band (50 - 60), the Symphonia (approximately 50), Senior Concert Band (35 - 40), Manifesto (24), SOAP Choir (approximately 70), as well as a range of other music groups and more than 200 young men receiving tuition each week through the itinerant music programme. Currently, nearly a quarter of all young men in Year 9 are involved in one way or another in our music programmes.

Other school activities include Vex Robotics (18), Chess Club (25 - 30), Clay Target Shooting (32), Smallbore Shooting (31), Senior Production (32), Debating (approximately 15), School Librarians (15), Sim Racing (10) and Motocross (10) and a multitude of other activities. We also know that there are many young men involved in a range of cultural and sporting activities outside of school.

Through our daily assemblies, school newsletters, Stratus, Instagram and Facebook, our young men and other members of our school community can see the very wide range of co-curricular activities we offer. The promotion of these opportunities, and the celebration of student success, is very deliberate. We strongly believe that involvement in co-curricular activities is an essential component of an effective education for young men and a fundamental aspect of developing their character - alongside the many benefits for both physical and mental health and wellbeing.

During term one we shared with our school community data from 2023 that showed young men at PNBHS who are involved in co-curriclar activities attend school more regularly than their peers who are not involved and they achieve at a higher level academically. This pattern was evident at all year levels.

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by Gerry Atkin - Friday, 17 May 2024, 7:16 AM


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Book Review
by Gerry Atkin - Wednesday, 15 May 2024, 12:54 PM

Thank you to Bailey Hakopa who presented this week’s book review in assembly this morning.  Bailey reviewed In the Shadow of Lightning, written by Brian McClellan.

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NZ Selection
by Gerry Atkin - Wednesday, 15 May 2024, 12:45 PM

Congratulations to Joseph Ratcliffe who has been selected in the U17 AWA AOTEAROA Māori Rugby League squad to compete in the New Zealand Māori Rugby League National Tournament.

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IMMC (International Maths Modelling Competition) 2024
by Gerry Atkin - Tuesday, 14 May 2024, 12:12 PM

Scott Sun and Gabriel Crisp competed in the IMMC (International Maths Modelling Competition) 2024 challenge over five days in the first week of the Term 1 school holidays. This year's problem was based on picking the perfect pet and assessing an owner's ability to care for the pet long-term. They created a model for the situation in New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland including future projections for the population of ideal pet owners.

In total 19 teams competed. The work produced was high quality: "The judges were very impressed with the standard of submissions this year." and PNBHS was one of the few public schools that entered the competition. Unfortunately, their submission did not reach the final two, but they are to be commended for the very high standard of work produced.

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Super 8 Kapa Haka
by Gerry Atkin - Tuesday, 14 May 2024, 12:06 PM

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NZ Selection
by Gerry Atkin - Tuesday, 14 May 2024, 11:56 AM

Congratulations to Nicolas Verry who has been selected in the New Zealand Youth Team to attend the World Angus Forum in Australia in 2025.  Nicolas attended a selection weekend during the recent school holidays.  From this, two teams of four have been selected for a 10-day Youth World Teams Challenge which will include events like stock judging, stock handling and farm modules.  Team members need to be aged between 18 and 25 and Nicolas is the only school student selected for the New Zealand team.

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Prefect's Assembly
by Gerry Atkin - Tuesday, 14 May 2024, 10:30 AM

Thank you to Deputy Head Prefect Same Millward who presented a movie review at the Prefect’s Assembly this morning and to Head Prefect Jake Maskill who presented an album review. Our young men were treated to an outstanding performance by the Super Eight Kapa Haka group. These young men and staff have put in a huge amount of time and effort in preparation for the Super Eight Schools Cultural Festival taking place later this week in Taupo and we wish them all the best for this.