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Senior Leadership Team

Principal: Richard Barnett
Associate Principal: Rachel Hamlin
Deputy Principal: Carolyn Cornu
Deputy Principal: Renée Neville
Deputy Principal: Gerard Tindling
Deputy Principal: Suzanne Williams
Acting Deputy Principal: Hannibal Ikahihifo
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.

Carolyn Cornu

My Pukekohe High School journey began as a recent graduate from Te Whare Wananga o Waikato – The University of Waikato, as a first year English teacher. From classroom teacher to Head of English Faculty, I’ve held various roles leading me to this position, where I enjoy the connection with students and whaanau. Outside of the classroom, I have been the editor of The Hill – our school magazine, for several years, and enjoyed stage-managing school productions such as ‘Harbouring Ghosts’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. In the classroom, I continue to enjoy the evolution of how we learn and the demand this places on me to adapt and lead as a life-long learner, particularly in a digital and culturally sustainable environment. As a school leader, I am passionate about how we open up life opportunities for our students both within and beyond Pukekohe High School and see the design of curriculum as key to meaningful learning and qualification for the future.

My family attend local schools and Kohanga Reo, and their various activities keep me busy when not at school, with involvement in tennis, swimming and football. Learning languages is an important part of our bilingual family, which has also led to a keen interest in indigenous studies.

I recall putting this quote up on my wall as a first year teacher. It carries even greater relevance now, this many years down the track:

The limits of my language mean the limits of my world – Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Renée Neville

Ko Tararua ngaa pae maunga
Ko Ruamahanga te awa
Ko Takitimu te waka
Ko Ngaati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa te iwi
Ko Papawai tooku marae
Ko Renée Neville tooku ingoa
Teenaa koutou, teenaa koutou, teenaa koutou katoa

I began my career in education as an Art teacher in 2004. Since then I have had the opportunity to explore many branches of education, teaching in schools in London, England, and South Auckland, New Zealand. Through my journey I have discovered a keen interest in Maaori education and critical pedagogy. I have over 10 years experience leading educational initiatives to improve the experience of Maaori learners in mainstream secondary schools; and over 5 years as Specialist Classroom Teacher (SCT) developing and implementing programmes of professional learning and responsibility for appraisal. In 2017 I completed my Master of Education through the University of Auckland, which aimed to develop a better understanding of the affect of racial-ethnic identity on teaching practices for Maaori learners in South Auckland secondary schools.

I am excited by education and the power that it has to release the inherent potential in all of our young people. I believe in our Pukekohe High School values of manaakitanga, kotahitanga, and ako; growing relationships of care, working together, and having high expectations for learning.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.

Gerard Tindling

Kia Ora, Malo e Lelei, Talofa Lava, Ko na Mauri, Faakalofa Atu, Bula Vinaka and Kia Orana. I arrived at Pukekohe in February of 2018, after a number of years at Tamaki College in Auckland and, before that, Tawa College in Wellington. A Wairarapa boy born and bred I attended Kuranui College, a small school that largely served the farming communities of the South Wairarapa.

Eventually I followed in my father’s footsteps into the teaching profession. It was on section at my father’s former school Rongotai College, under the guidance of two great Pasifika educators Gabby Makisi and Ana Eagle that my choice of education as a career was confirmed.

In my time in teaching I have developed a genuine belief that all students can attain Excellence in whatever field or pathway they chose, it is just our job to help them find their passion.

My areas of responsibility at Pukekohe High School include, Attendance, Achievement for Years 11-13 and Pasifika Achievement. I am proud to work at Pukekohe High School and serve the increasingly diverse communities that feed us, and I am excited about the changes that are occurring both here at school and in our community.

Ua fetaui lelei fola o le ‘alia

Great accomplishments are only possible when members of a team, or society “fit” together like the watertight planks of the canoe

Suzanne Williams

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.

Hannibal Ikahihifo

Malo e lelei and Kia Orana,

I have joined Pukekohe High School as Acting Deputy Principal for 2021. I am arriving at PHS after being Deputy Principal at Te Kuuiti High School for the past two years. Prior to that I lived in Te Wai Pounamu (South Island) and worked at Waimate High School, Linwood College and Cheviot Area School. Through my time as an educator, I have broadened my view of what education looks like in New Zealand and have witnessed the transformational impact it can have on our young people’s lives.

I am a proud Aucklander where much of my childhood I grew up in Pakuranga and attended Edgewater College. My teaching and leadership in education is stabilised by the values that are built from my Tongan and Pukapukan heritage. I have worked in other industries such as the Trades, Fitness and Hospitality prior to becoming a teacher. These experiences have given me the foresight to continue placing a high value on all pathways and encourage our young people to pursue their passions no matter how hard it may be.

As a NZ born Pacific Island educator having taught in both the North and South Island and in urban and rural settings, the quote below is what has guided me to learn from and empower others;

“Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto“- Terence

“I am a human being. I consider nothing human is alien to me”

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

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.