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Principal's Message

Kia ora,

PNINS is the largest intermediate school in the heart of Palmerston North, providing high quality education to over 700 fantastic students.

Since opening in 1940, PNINS has had an unwavering reputation for excellence. As the first intermediate school in the region, our expectations have remained high across all areas of school life.

Our traditional values ensure that our students have a confident and capable ‘can do’ attitude to life, enabling them to contribute positively to our learning community. Our values of PERSISTENCE, RESILIENCE, ORGANISATION, CONFIDENCE and GETTING ALONG arm our students for success in whatever endeavours they choose to pursue.

As the new Principal, I am amazed at the number of opportunities that are on offer at PNINS. Whether it be sports, performing arts or one of our many academic opportunities, our students are consistently supported, challenged and extended.

We believe in participating in many local and national events, and enjoy seeing our students testing their capabilities and rising to different challenges.

We are a ‘team orientated’ school, with passionate and caring educators who strive to make a genuine difference to each and every student. We are extremely fortunate to have a high level of support from parents and various community groups, which enables us to offer such a rich and diverse curriculum.

We use technology to enhance and organise our learning, with our BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programme enabling students to access a range of digital devices. These devices are used in a well-considered and thoughtful manner, allowing for greater authenticity and ‘real life’ learning experiences to occur.

The school roll at PNINS includes 22 different nationalities. We believe this diverse student-pool provides a culturally inclusive environment where students care, learn about and respect difference. This has created a large interest for our language classes, in which we offer French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese and Te Reo Maori.

Our Performing Arts programme is outstanding, and is a real point of difference for our school. The music, dance and drama programmes are of extremely high quality, which is reflected in the attendance and popularity of the school’s productions, cultural exchanges and school assemblies. This is supported by the community music school - a community of over 400 students - that operates on a Saturday morning on our school site.

As a ‘Normal’ School (from l’ecole Normale) the school has a close association with the Massey University Institute of Education. Throughout the year, our school works closely with Massey University, to facilitate programmes which benefit our students and prepare trainees for teaching.

I am extremely honoured and proud to be only the sixth principal appointed in this school’s long history, and am committed to continuing our focus on excellence in all areas of school life. Our aim is that each student has the opportunity to reach their full potential, with my role being to help create a culture of collaboration, reflection and improvement. I enjoy being visible and available to staff, students and the community, and your feedback is always welcome.

Hamish Ruawai


Board of Trustees

The early adolescent years are a critical time in a young person’s life. At Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School, we focus on the needs of this unique age group through a responsive and challenging curriculum.

The landscape of education is changing. Your children will likely have come from various types of classrooms, based on different learning philosophies. PNINS is uniquely and proudly able to offer students a wide variety of learning environments. Regardless of the type of learning environment your child is in at PNINS; traditional values, high expectations, being cared about and receiving the best education to prepare them for their secondary school years, remains paramount. We want every student to be the best they can be, in an environment where there is a real emphasis on supportive, caring and encouraging relationships.

Great learning for your child starts with great teachers and support staff. We have an excellent staff expertly lead by our Principal, Hamish Ruawai. Our teachers are committed and dedicated. They are experts in teaching pre-adolescents, and understanding their developments, needs and behaviours. They value the importance of positive relationships and strive to ensure this is a consistent focus. They bring to the school a wide range of knowledge and talents, which is evident in the long list of experiences we can offer.

As a board, we are committed to providing our staff with the resources and professional learning required to meet the changing needs of education and more specifically, the needs of this special age group.

Your child will have access to exceptional specialist teachers, who will extend and ignite interests in science, technology, soft materials, food and nutrition, visual arts, music, drama and InfoCom (Informative communications).

At PNINS we build upon the work of your child’s primary school in advancing their literacy and numeracy skills. Part of our role is to prepare students for their secondary years, by providing the knowledge, attitudes and skills which enable them to learn for themselves - to become independent and resilient learners.

At PNINS we proudly provide opportunities for students to sample a wide range of academic, sporting and cultural activities. We celebrate and acknowledge student achievements across all areas of learning, and across aspects of citizenship and attitude. The 5 Keys to School Success is one of the ways we support the social, emotional, and academic outcomes of all our students.

The opportunities available to you and your child through PNINS are immense. We ask that you encourage your sons and daughters to make the most of their years at Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School, and take full advantage of everything school life has to offer. We look forward to your family becoming connected with our school, and we look forward to working together for the benefit of your child.

We are confident that with your support, and your children’s active involvement in the learning programmes we offer, their two years at Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School will provide a wonderful platform for their secondary schooling and the years beyond.

Nau mai rā ki tō tātou kura, Welcome to our school.


Carletta Macdonald and Darryn Joseph
Board Co-Chairs



Members of Staff




  • Carletta Macdonald

  • Dr Darryn Joseph


  • Anita Bidlake

  • Ashley Gurney

  • James Cameron

  • Barb Pritchard (Staff Rep)

  • Hamish Ruawai (Principal)

Financial Consultant

  • Education Services Central

Board Secretary

  • Heidi Rea

Senior Management 


  • Hamish Ruawai

Deputy Principal

  • Vicki James

Assistant Principals

  • Maryanne Kensington, Anna Stephenson

Teaching (Teams)


  • Finn Barnett (Team Leader)

  • Ashleigh Marfell

  • Natalie Dean

  • Tania Popata



  • Joanne Parker (Team Leader)

  • Vicki-Marie Buchanan

  • Jo Donaldson



  • Barb Pritchard (Team Leader)

  • Lisa Ahern

  • Ahnna Stewart

  • Matt McEwen



  • Deb McDonald (Team Leader)

  • Sarah Lonsdale

  • Emma Baker

  • Mayana Karena



  • Patrick Hurly (Team Leader)

  • Kat Wills

  • Kate Taffs

  • Paige Sly



  • Maria Donald (Team Leader)

  • Kaye Webber

  • Mia Mason

  • Matt Budd


Teacher Aides

  • Belinda Ruebe

  • Sheryll Sinclair

  • Roxanne Freeman

  • Susanne Frickleton

  • Julie Khan

  • Maya Rai

  • Paola Hapeta

  • Te Ihinga Mar

Technology / Arts


  • Barry Jones


Visual Art

  • Jackie Spriggs


Materials Technology / Structures & Mechanisms

  • Jeff Smith


Food/Soft Materials Technology

  • Helen Fotheringham


Drama, Informative Communication

  • Gillian Collett



  • Warwick Grady

Arohanui Team

Literacy Support

  • Leanne Green



  • Barb Drake



  • Jane Walker


Numeracy Support / Professional Learning

  • Anna Stephenson


Office Executive/Principal's Secretary

  • Heidi Rea


Office Assistant

  • Nicola McFarlane


School Secretary

  • Ann Classen



  • Chris Sanson



  • Alan Dingley


Library Assistant

  • Judith McKenna


Property Supervisor

  • Geoff Phillips


Dental Therapists

  • Mid Central Health Dental Therapists and Assistants