Principal's Welcome

A quality education today,
so that our children are prepared for tomorrow.

Kia Ora Ko Brenda Tako Ingoa 

Welcome to Waitaria Bay School where our vision is to provide a learning culture that challenges our students to be self-regulated learners through the development of student agency, e-learning and practical tasks. They will strive  for personal excellence, with an active partnership between school, home and community. Our students will become global citizens ready for the future.

We encourage independent thinking, problem solving and use of a range of ICT tools and programs to encourage the love of life learning for our tamariki.

We have an open door policy whereby parents, whanau and families can pop in anytime to see our learning and teaching programs in action. We have a wide range of teaching expertise with two teachers travelling out from Picton to support our teaching and learning, Dep Parker who has a math and science background and Sue Altoft who has junior classroom experience and myself teaching two days a week while also holding the lead principal role for our Kāhui Ako/Community of Schools.

We trap rats and stoats, possums and look after our Kererū Kitchen - where we grow food to attract the Kererū and fruit trees to share with passers by and our local community. We garden on Fridays and take our produce home to share with our families.

We strive to assist our students to  reach their  highest potential and aim for our leaving students to be well adjusted, academically high achievers that succed throughout their high school and tertiary years.

Brenda Sutton, Principal



About Waitaria Bay School


Waitaria Bay School is situated on the northern side of Kenepuru Sound in the heart of Marlborough and is one of the most isolated schools in New Zealand. It lies two and a half hours by road from the closest main town, Blenheim and its students are drawn from a wide area in the Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds. They travel to school by car, motorbike, bus and boat.


Although one of the country's most remote schools, Waitaria Bay School enjoys the speed of a broadband internet link through PacificNet and Araneo. The classrooms are well-equipped with computers, laptops and tablets for the children's use. The computers are networked through a server system set up through the Ministry of Education.

Outside there is a sand pit, adventure playground, play area and hard surface tennis court as well as an extensive grass playing field and a pool.

The School Library is housed in the original old schoolroom (circa 1897) which has been thoroughly modernised. The school shares the space with the Waitaria Bay Community Library which is available for use free by all local residents. Keys are available out of school hours.

The school also makes regular use of the nearby Waitaria Bay Settlers Hall. This is where school assemblies take place.

A School with a History...

The school, which was opened in 1897, was built by the district's early settler families, many of whose descendants still live in the area. A number of children on our current roll of a bear the names of those pioneers.


...Great Resources

Our children aged from five to 13 (Years 1-8) are taught in a two classroom situation by Principal Brenda Sutton and part-time principal release teacher Deb Parker. The buildings consist of the large open plan senior and junior classrooms, staffroom, a resource area and office, which is shared by the Principal and our office administrator. There is also a combined school and public library in the newly refurbished original schoolroom.  Physical activities on the school grounds are catered for by an adventure playground, sandpit, swimming pool, tennis court and extensive grass playing fields.

As we prepare our children for the future we use modern IT equipment. The local network extends into all rooms and is powered by our inhouse server, which holds all data and acts as bridge to the wireless broadband connection.

Both classrooms are equipped with Active Boards, a merger of a white board,  projector and a huge touch screen. It can not only act as a 'normal' drawing board, but can also display students' work or anything other media accessible through the school's server and/ or the Internet.

...And well placed in the Pelorus Cluster of Schools

Because the school is small, it is very important for us to 'join forces" with other schools for bigger events. To this end Waitaria Bay School is a member of the Pelorus Cluster , six primary schools in Marlborough's rural area which come together several times a year at various venues for events such as swimming, gymnastics, athletics and winter sports. This gives the children the chance to socialise and compete in larger groups. Waitaria Bay hosts the annual Pelorus Technology Challenge in which teams of pupils and parents test their skills with practical and mental problems.

Waitaria Bay School is a focus of the community, well-supported by everyone....

Waitaria Bay School Corporate Image

This is our school vision and guides us all in the responsibility we collectively share as a learning community for our tamariki/children. We aspire to create a learning culture and environment that supports our children to fly in their lives and their learning.  This is achieved through high levels of collaboration, a focus on using evidence to inform our decisions, and through explicit development of a positive school culture.

We work hard to acknowledge and celebrate the successes of our children for both learning and behavior. 

Children using the letters from WAITARIA created the values of Wonderings, Achievement, Initiative, Tolerance, Assertiveness , Respect, Inclusiveness, Aspiration.

From there they brainstormed what keywords were associated with each value and then created images from our Waitaria Bay Mural and developed the corporate image. 

Waitaria Bay School Reports

Read our latest ERO report on the: ERO website