Reference Number: 8128aa

Location: Queenstown

Wakatipu High School - Reach For Your Heights | Kā Mauka Whakatipu

  • Visionary Leadership, delivering Aotearoa’s best all-round education
  • A highly committed, motivated and cohesive team
  • Leading Queenstown’s only high school, in the heart of the community


About the School:

After 10 years of strong and transformational leadership, Wakatipu High School is searching for a new Principal to continue our vision to deliver  Aotearoa New Zealand’s best all-round education.

Our values:         Excellence – Panekiretanga, Respect - Te whakaute, Responsibility – Takohanga, Resilience - Te manawanui me te ū, Inclusion – Kotahitanga.


Our aspirational goal challenges us to strive to deliver the very best possible opportunities and outcomes for all of our students each and every day.

As well as setting aspirational academic goals, a key part of our all-round education is the wide range of extra and co-curricular opportunities that we offer, including sport, arts, music, culture, outdoors, community and leadership. From our Ski Academy and rowing, to our jazz band, school musical, Kapa Haka group and Duke of Edinburgh programme, our students have an incredible range of opportunities in which to participate and excel, as well as to grow and develop holistically. Furthermore, the Wakatipu Basin and its unique environment enables us to offer great outdoor education programmes.

Our ‘Ākonga Profile’ outlines what we want for our students in their time at WHS, and encapsulates the all-round nature of our vision. The Ākonga Profile includes not only every student gaining their best possible qualification, but essential competencies and knowledge, and holistic development as a young person - underpinned by our school values.

Integral to the Ākonga Profile and our vision is student learning, progress and achievement, and our strong academic results are testament to our significant success in this area. Students are also supported to achieve in vocational pathways, which include our Trades Academy, Gateway and Central Otago Youth Employment programmes. In addition, we provide learning support in literacy and numeracy, and have a Gifted Education programme. 

Student engagement and wellbeing are key elements of our strategic plan, and we work hard to support our students. We have a comprehensive pastoral care support system. 

The campus is 3 years old with extensions scheduled to be complete late 2022 providing us with additional teaching, sporting and learning spaces for 1800 students in an Innovative Learning Environment.

As a one high school town, Wakatipu High School is an integral part of the community that is generously supported by the WHS Foundation - enabling our high achievement. 


The Role: 

The Principal/Tumuaki is responsible for the overall strategic leadership of the school, formulating and implementing strategic plans for development and improvement, whilst providing highly effective leadership across the organisation to ensure the achievement of agreed vision, mission and purpose.

You will be working with a very cohesive and experienced Senior Leadership Team and be leading a highly motivated and committed team of 120 staff.

Our new Principal/Tumuaki will be:

  • A strategic thinker, understanding and supporting our WHS vision
  • Experienced in leading strategy execution
  • Excited by the opportunities roll growth brings, with the ability to handle growth challenges, move the school forward, and balance continuity for staff
  • A person who knows and listens to our students, keeping them at the heart of decision-making
  • Skilled in navigating conflict and negotiating
  • Process oriented with a continuous improvement mindset
  • Relationship focussed, getting the best out of people
  • Calm, with a ‘no surprises’ approach
  • Committed to an all-round education for our students.


Our new Principal/Tumuaki will have:

  • Experience running a large organisation/school. WHS now has 120+ staff, 1200+ students, Budget ~$9m (incl $4.8m staffing)
  • A track record of success in leading others – high trust, distributive leadership, growing leaders and empowering
  • Strengths in planning and organising and turning strategy into action
  • Excellent communication skills and experience dealing effectively with the media
  • Proven leadership of learning, with an understanding of, and ideally experience in open plan learning (ILE) environments
  • Bicultural competence and confidence in te ao Māori and te reo Māori
  • Experience in engaging with a wide range of stakeholders – students, staff, whānau, and a track record of success connecting with the wider community
  • Strong integrity, and values/morals
  • A sense of humour
  • Energy, enthusiasm, resilience and the ability to keep going, handling the unexpected
  • Courage and conviction, making the tough decisions that may be unpopular but are in the best interests of WHS.


To apply in strict confidence now, please complete the ‘apply for this job’ application form, attaching your cover letter and CV. Applications close on 16 May 2022.  Emails will be electronically acknowledged and further correspondence may be by email.

Click here to view the Candidate Briefing document.

For more information please phone Andrea Bankier on +64 (0)274 478 102.


To apply use application form or email

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