Potential Tsunami Threat

8.57am Update from Civil Defence - The potential threat for marine and beach areas has been CANCELLED following the 7.7m earthquake in the Solomons Islands at 6.38am NZ Time. We advise the public who intend to carry out activities in or on the water today, especially along the west coast of both the North and South Islands, that there could be strong and unusual currents for the rest of the day. Therefore, MCDEM advise people to stay out of the water.

8.33am Good Morning - School is open today. We will be monitoring the potential tsunami threat via Civil Defence. We will update this post through out the day should the situation change. It is your choice as parents if you do not wish to send your child to school today. Please note that the Hei 2 Heritage Hunt has been cancelled.

We recommend that families download the Red Cross Hazard App to keep up to date also…/disaster-manageme…/hazard-app/

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Updated Tsunami Modelling for Whitianga

Updated Tsunami Modelling for Whitianga

I have attended a number of meetings recently on the updated modelling work around “worst case” Tsunami situations for Mercury Bay – Whitianga in particular.  Two images have been shared along with some information which I have replicated below.  The major “take home point” for me is that we will need to review our response to a tsunami alert. I will commence this review early in the new year and will hold some parental forums to gather parent voice for our revised protocol, which we will develop during term 1.

The following information has been shared with me – and now hence with you. I have not edited it at all. It is important to note that there are two significant scenarios – a “near” source event (we would have 1 hours’ notice as a community) – the Tonga-Kermadec Trench earthquake at a magnitude 9 scale; and a “distant” source event – 12 hours’ notice or so – from South America/Japan etc.

“New modelling of tsunami hazards has been completed for Mercury Bay as a part of the Eastern Coromandel Tsunami Strategy, a joint project between Thames Coromandel District Council and Waikato Regional Council

The modelling shows that:

·         For the Tonga-Kermadec Trench (just above East Cape): there is significant inundation of Whitianga from a tsunami generated by a large (magnitude 9) earthquake. Despite this, there is limited threat of inundation to the school, due mainly to its distance from the foreshore. An event of this size from the Tonga-Kermadec Trench would be accompanied by significant shaking, and tsunami waves will take around one hour to arrive in Whitianga

·         For distant tsunami events (particularly from South America): there is limited inundation around the Whitianga foreshore (Albert Street/Monk Street, Taputapuatea Stream and Brophy's Beach Stream areas). The modelling shows that there is no threat of inundation to the school from distant tsunami events

·         A tsunami open day will be held on Saturday 28 January 2017 from 9.30am - 3.30pm at the Whitianga Town Hall. The tsunami project team will be on hand to discuss all aspects of the tsunami hazards and risks to Whitianga, including to the school.

Clearly we will need to consider what our plans will be for an alert. I intend being at the public forum on Saturday 28th and would be happy to meet any parents/caregivers/grandparents at that time too.

John Wright


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VIP night at the Warehouse

A date for your diary - 

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Board of Trustees Community Consultation

Mercury Bay Area School Board of Trustees wishes to consult with our local community to help to guide our growth and development into the future.

We invite you to complete this survey  by Friday 11th November 2016.  There are no right or wrong answers, and you do not have to register your name.  However, if you do wish to be contacted, please ensure that you complete the contact box at the end of the survey.

A survey link can be found here -

Alternatively a PDF of the survey is attached. Community Consultation 2016

Or you may pick up a survey from the school office.

Thank you for taking the time to help us improve our school.

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Early Closure of School - Sept 13th

Early closing of our school – Tuesday 13 September, 2016 – 1:15 pm

We have been advised by the NZEI and PPTA unions that a Paid Union Meeting (PUM) will be held at school here, at 1:30 on 13 September.  The purpose of this meeting is for union members to become well informed about and to discuss the proposed review of the funding mechanism for school, and early childhood services.

The original request was for a 9:00am meeting on the same day in Thames and would have posed extreme difficultly, not only for the members of the two unions to attend, but also for us to run our school. After some significant lobbying from members in our district, the organisers resolved to hold the meeting at our school, for all schools in our district, including Early Childhood Teachers. Members of both unions are entitled to attend these PUMs under the Education Relations Act, 2000.

Whilst theoretically it could be possible to keep our school open during the meeting, it will be really difficult to do so and I am concerned about the “meaningfulness” of learning programmes that would run from 1:30-3:00.  I have organised for the buses to come at 1:15pm on 13 September and our school will officially close at that time.  We are always mindful of the impact on families when our school closes.

There will be a skeleton staff here and we would be able to provide some supervision during the time (1:30-3:00) for children of families who are unable to pick up or arrange for supervision of their children. If you would like us to do this please complete this online form here -

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