Principal overview



Karamea Area School caters for students from school entry to year 13. Currently we have 74 students on roll. KAS is an isolated, rural school with the nearest population centre of more than 5,000 approximately 100km south. By road there is just one way in and out of Karamea.The school is situated in beautiful surroundings near the gateway to the Kahurangi National Park.


A recent history of sound governance and management has resulted in the school being very well resourced, and the envy of other teachers who visit.


All primary classrooms have networked and internet capable computers. There are 10 netbooks for casual surfing for research and educational games, as well as 14 brand new laptops with the latest software. The staff and students in the primary school also make effective use of an interactive whiteboard.


The secondary access a pod of 9 Windows based computers that are also networked and internet capable. There are two portable pieces of kit called "Mimio" that turn any hard surface into an interactive whiteboard, these are available for all teachers to use with their classes.


School Roll

During the last five years the roll has hovered around the 80-110 mark. Today the roll stands at 74 and is set to rise to 81 by the end of the year. This figure is forecast to stay approximately the same for forseeable future.


The majority of our students are in years 1-8. We have 8 students working at NCEA level. Around 15% of the school roll are of Maori or Pacific Island descent.


School Organisation

The school has 8  teaching staff and 7 support staff.


There are 2 primary classrooms all of which are composite classes. Nikau has students in years 0-3 and Matai years 3-6.  We also operate a home room for year 7-8 in Rimu class and for years 9-10 in tarata class. Our most senior students, years 11-13 are known as Kauri class and also operate out ouf a homeroom. Secondary teachers often take students from across the school for specialist teaching such as technology and science.


Academic Achievement

For the past four years external examination results have shown some very good results particularly in the NCEA examinations. In 2009 KAS had a 100% pass rate for NCEA level 1.


In the junior area from years 4-8, students have obtained distinctions and credits in outside examinations such as the Australian Maths Competition, Winners of the 2007, 2008 West-a-math competition, 1st place in the Mawhera Young Writers Competition and the list goes on.


A great deal of strategic thought and resourcing is put into ensuring that physical isolation is not a barrier to learning. The staff are always looking for opportunities to include students in learning experiences outside of the classroom, Karamea and the Buller area.


The school makes good use of the Video Conferencing equipment by delivering and receiving NCEA courses and. Students can also access a ‘world class’ outdoor education programme. By year 12 the secondary students have the opportunity to participate in the traditional Heaphy Track and Wangapeka Track camps, river and sea kayaking, caving, snow survival, leadership, outdoor pursuit and orienteering camps.



There is a core of experienced teachers and a group of able young teachers presently at the school. 


Management of the school is devolved through the Principal to the Deputy Principal, the Team Leader Primary and the Team Leader Secondary. The management team  meet regularly and work together effectively. Teachers and support staff are kept informed of all that happens at the school.


Donna Donnelly




Karamea Area School has a vision to be at the forefront of education in New Zealand for both its pupils and teachers. We aim to be a learning community that is preparing children to be life-long learners, creative thinkers, skilled communicators, responsible individuals and cooperative team members who will continue to strive for success

Misson statement

Mission Statement

“Future through Education”

Karamea Area School provides an exciting and comprehensive learning environment to empower students to be positive contributors to society.

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