Mana prin­ci­pal rel­ishes new role


Mana Col­lege has a new prin­ci­pal and a bright fu­ture.

John Mur­doch was wel­comed into his new role as prin­ci­pal with a powhiri last Fri­day.

‘‘I was look­ing for­ward to the cer­e­mony, but I want to get on with the work,’’ he said.

The col­lege is get­ting more staff, more fund­ing and a flash new class­room, and that’s just the start.

Mur­doch has al­ready se­cured $500,000 of fund­ing for the school for new teach­ing and sup­port staff.

Next month the soil will be turned for a mod­ern learn­ing hub in the school grounds.

‘‘It’s a new way of learn­ing in a build­ing made es­pe­cially for the stu­dents,’’ he said.

Mur­doch left his job as prin­ci­pal of Taita Col­lege last month and said Mana’s po­ten­tial ap­pealed to him.

‘‘A chal­lenge is an op­por­tu­nity and it was the right time for a new one.

‘‘The school is a can­vas that I’m ex­cited about colour­ing in.’’

NCEA pass rates more than dou­bled at Taita Col­lege dur­ing Mur­doch’s six-year ten­ure.

‘‘That’s what I’m most proud of and what I want for Mana.’’

Mur­doch said the chal­lenge he rel­ished most was chang­ing the per­cep­tion of Mana Col­lege.

The school was placed un­der statu­tory man­age­ment last year be­cause of a plum­met­ing roll and poor fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions.

He said per­cep­tion of the col­lege would change when peo­ple saw how well it was per­form­ing. When that hap­pened, the roll would blos­som as par­ents took no­tice.

‘‘Porirua and Ti­tahi Bay par­ents are smart peo­ple who want the best for their kids.

‘‘They will look for the best and we will pro­vide it.’’

He said the most im­por­tant thing was to de­liver good qual­ity in teach­ing and col­lege pro­grammes.

‘When we do that, peo­ple will come.’’

Mur­doch said he al­ways wanted to be a prin­ci­pal and be­lieved that all teenagers wanted to learn.

‘‘It’s in their DNA and we just have to teach them bet­ter.’’

Mur­doch and his wife, Alissa, have three chil­dren, which he said made for a busy life.

He wants to see in­no­va­tion in the sec­ondary school sec­tor and can’t wait to bring the change to Mana.

‘‘There’s gold in them thar hills.’’


John Mur­doch, who is ready for his next chal­lenge as a prin­ci­pal.

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