Wakatipu High says it’s business time’


Wakatipu High wants local businesses to partner up for mutual benefit. 

The board of trustees, while unveiling the school’s recent $3 million infrastructure upgrade to Queenstown Chamber of Commerce members last week, invited businesspeople to make the most of the new facilities. 

A new multi-purpose performing arts block and recently-upgraded gymnasium will be a community asset – not just for the school, board member Greg Turner says. 

“We want to see the performing arts centre being a community asset, not just a school asset. It could be ideal for non-profit organisations or businesses for small conferences.” 

Turner cites a deal with local clothing store Macpac as an example of a school-business relationship. Wakatipu High gets 10 per cent of the total purchased by school families and friends – and as a result, the outdoor education unit has benefited from $5000 worth of new Macpac equipment. 

The board also wants to establish a business network similar to one at Cromwell College, involving local contractors for required services. 

Board chair Alistair Nicholson: “Those businesses who’re part of our support network will have the opportunity to bid on the various opportunities that present themselves.” 

Turner is excited about yesterday’s announcement of highly-qualified former Wakatipu High teacher Steve Hall as the new principal. 

Hall, chief executive of the Halberg Trust which promotes recreational opportunities for young disabled people, replaces Lyn Cooper, who resigned after a turbulent reign late last year.  

Hall has a citation for bravery from the US Navy in Antarctica in 1992, is a certified ski instructor, aspiring mountain guide, has an MBA from Canterbury University plus Harvard University courses in non-profit management. Hall taught at Wakatipu High in the 1990s and has been keen to return. 

Turner says: “Given the special character of our place, Steve has a clear understanding and feel for the outdoors. So along with obviously his educational background and clear leadership management skills, it’s just an added bonus – you wouldn’t select a principal for that reason but, boy, it’s a nice add-on.” 

For more on the new principal, see .