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Senior Leadership Team

Principal: Richard Barnett
Associate Principal: Rachel Hamlin
Deputy Principal: Murray Saunders
Acting Deputy Principal: Hester Myburgh
Deputy Principal: Suzanne Powar
Deputy Principal: Siosiua Pole
Business Manager: Denis Murphy

Richard Barnett

I joined Pukekohe High School as Principal in July 2018 after 15 years in a variety of roles at Burnside and Cashmere High Schools in Christchurch. Originally trained as a history teacher, I taught at three different schools in the United Kingdom before emigrating with my wife and two daughters in 2003. I believe strongly in the potential of Pukekohe High School to meet the current and future needs of our diverse community. As the only high school serving the town of Pukekohe we have a unique responsibility for all our young people, which is both humbling and exhilarating.

Whaaia te iti kahurangi ki te tuuohu koe me he maunga teitei
Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain

Rachel Hamlin

I joined Pukekohe High School at the end of 2020 having previously worked in educational leadership and advisory positions both in South Auckland, and in Southeast Asia. I am passionate about ensuring that schools are inclusive, positive places which enable all of our rangitahi to excel. As a school it is both our privilege and our responsibility to provide an exceptional education for our students. I am very proud to be working at Pukekohe High School, and to be a part of this vibrant community.

Whaaia te maatauranga hei oranga moo koutou

This whakatauki refers to the importance of learning for it is key to your wellbeing. If you follow the path of learning, the world will be your oyster.

Murray Saunders

I joined Pukekohe High School in July 2023 having recently moved with my family into the Franklin area.  Prior to this I was a Deputy Principal at Onehunga High School and a Whānau House leader and teacher of Social Sciences and Te Reo Māori at Macleans College in East Auckland.  Throughout my teaching career I have been a firm believer in the power of secondary schools in Aotearoa to cater for, and unleash the potential, of all rangatahi both inside and outside of the classroom.  I have been heavily involved in the coaching of sport – football and cricket – and supporting kapa haka.  

Pukekohe High School truly is a school of the community.  I hope to contribute positively to the experience of our students here and work towards enabling rangatahi to realise their potential as members of the school and wider community.

Siosiua Pole

Teena Koutou Teena Koutou Teena Koutou
Ko Puhitahi te maunga
Ko te Moana nui a Kiwa te moana
Ko Ngati Tonga te iwi
No Tongatapu ahau
Kei Otahuhu te kainga
Ko Desiree taku wahine
Ko Kotelia raua ko Fitimoka raua ko Patrick te tamariki
Ko Siosiua Pole taku ingoa
Teena Koutou Teena Koutou Teena Koutou katoa
Kia Ora and Malo e Lelei,
I am a Tongan born Pasifika who migrated here from Tonga at the age of 14 alongside my parents and 6 other siblings. Before arriving here at Pukekohe High School I have previously worked at Tuakau Primary School (1 yr and 2 Terms) as Deputy Principal, Kelston Boys High School (6 years) as Teacher of Mathematics and Wesley College (5 years) as HOD of Mathematics. I am married to Desiree who is also a Secondary School Teacher, and together we have 2 beautiful girls, Kotelia and Fitimoka (ages 8 and 4yr olds) and a son Patrick (11 months old).
I’m very passionate about the education of our tamariki and their future. I hope I can be a valuable contributor to their learnings while being here Pukekohe High School.
Malo ‘aupito

Suzanne Powar

I began my teaching career in 2005 at Pukekohe High School as a teacher of health, physical education and social science, having also taught overseas in the UK and in South Korea.  I have held a variety of leadership positions with the health and physical education faculty and recently as the Specialist Classroom Teacher to support new and experienced teachers to develop their classroom practise. Outside of the classroom I have been involved in coaching and managing girls cricket and football, working with the Community Council in fundraising activities for CanTeen and in leading year 10 camps.

I have a particular interest in leading change related to pedagogy (the ‘how’ we teach) and in student wellbeing. I believe strongly in the potential of all students and view it as our responsibility to the community to support and guide our students  to become confident, connected, lifelong learners who are active participants in their community.

Ko te piko o te maahuri, teeraa te tupu o te raakau

The way the sapling is shaped, determines how the tree grows.

Denis Murphy

I’ve been on the team at Pukekohe High School for 8 months after holding a similar role at James Cook High School, Manurewa. Prior to that I spent around 30 years in the Disability/Mental Health sector in various accounting and management roles firstly for IDEA Services (Previously NZ Society for the Intellectually Handicapped Inc or IHC as it was known) and then for The Goodwood Park Healthcare Group.

My family and I have lived in the Pukekohe area since 1991 and our children were all educated at Pukekohe High. I coached football at the Pukekohe AFC and was the club’s Treasurer for a while. I also served as a member of the St Joseph’s Pukekohe Primary School BOT for 17 years (8 years Treasurer, 9 years Chairman).

It is a real pleasure to be part of the team here at Pukekohe High School. I see my role here as basically a support person for the BOT, Senior Leadership Team and Staff, ensuring that the school’s finances are managed efficiently and that its property resources are in good order and fit for purpose. Pukekohe High School celebrates its 100th year in 2021 so it has a long and proud history and I believe the next 100 years are going to be even better.


News & Events

Puuhoro Waananga Term 3 2023
On Friday the 8th of September thirteen Pukekohe High School (PHS) Puuhoro students went to the term 3 waananga. This program supports Maaori students who…

BYOD for Learning

With the resurfacing of COVID in our region and changes in
Alert Levels causing students to continue their learning from home, having a
reliable device at home to access online learning, remain connected with
teachers, and receive feedback about their work makes 
BYOD more essential than

Click here for a reminder of our BYOD recommendations.