Prize Giving 2017

“Be Bold and Break Barriers – Just as Our Founders Did”

Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, families and staff all gathered at Horncastle Arena this week to celebrate and remember 2017, to reflect on the year’s successes both as individuals, teams and as a community, and to honour the graduation of the Year 13 students.

The theme for this year’s prizegiving was Be Bold and Break Barriers, which was the very challenge set by the 2017 Rangi Ruru Senior Leaders at the start of the year.

School principal, Dr Sandra Hastie, told the audience, that she could think of no better example of boldness than that shown by Rangi’s founders, the Gibson Sisters, who in 1889 established the school.

“These sisters were ahead of their time and wanted girls to have an education and a voice. It was a time in history where, removed from the traditions of home-life girls began to demand the privileges enjoyed by their brothers. They wanted equal opportunities, a university education, independence and they wanted the vote. They achieved all of these things before their sisters in Britain. These women could see that the liberating force was education. It was this boldness and courage that was laid as a foundation stone 128 years ago by these strong women that is still evident today in what makes a Rangi girl,” she said.

Dr Hastie acknowledged the commitment and high professional standards of the teaching and support staff, without whom, she said, the girls could not achieve all that they do. She also thanked the outgoing board chair, Stuart Nattrass who has been on the Rangi Ruru Board since 2010 and chair since 2012.

The Proxime Accessit for 2017 is Isabella Gregory and the Dux for 2017 is Marisol Hunter. Marisol has also been awarded a University of Auckland Top Achievers Scholarship valued at $20000, Victoria University Excellence Scholarship, a University of Canterbury Emerging Leaders Scholarship and an Otago University Academic Excellence Entrance Scholarship for 2018.

Isabella has also been awarded the Victoria University Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship valued at $20000, and a New Zealand School of Music Director’s Award for 2018.

A significant number of Year 13 girls have also been awarded scholarships.

Finishing the Principals address, Dr Hastie told the gathered students,

“Above all my wish for you is that you will always be, bold enough to use your voice; brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you’ve always imagined.”


Additional information from 2017

Rangi Ruru achieved outstanding NCEA results at the beginning of 2017, which, once again placed the school in the top 3% in New Zealand. These were:

  • 99% passing level 1, 98% passing level 2 and 98% passing Level 3;
  • The University Entrance results were just as impressive with 97% gaining entrance to their chosen field of study;
  • With 35 Scholarships awarded including scholarships to overseas universities, Rangi continues to see their students achieving places on the most competitive courses at the most sought-after universities both in New Zealand and abroad. The growing number of girls seeking international university placements and scholarships is continuing to grow through the school’s association with Crimson Education – creating global citizens with the world at their feet.

Other successes in 2017 include:

  • Rangi Ruru’s Senior Choir, Resolutions, was again selected for the New Zealand Choral final and achieved a Silver Award;
  • Two girls were members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestra;
  • 13 girls were selected for the New Zealand Secondary School’s Symphony Orchestra and one girl was in the New Zealand Secondary Students’ choir and was also appointed a Student Ambassador to New Zealand Opera;
  • In the New Zealand Chamber Music Competitions, Rangi was the School with the highest number of representations in New Zealand, with three groups being selected out of a possible six.  Two of these groups made the top six, winning Gold Awards;
  • One of Rangi’s students attended the National Schools’ Shakespeare performance in Wellington and was selected as one of 28 students nationwide to perform at the Globe in London in 2018;
  • Rangi Ruru has a student in the Court Theatre Youth Company;
  • Some of Rangi’s students undertook music performance study at Canterbury University, gaining selection for national and international music festivals. Other students were offered Internships with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the opportunity of mentoring by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra;
  • One student has been selected as one of only 12 New Zealand School of Dance Junior Associates nationwide;
  • The school produced two outstanding productions this year – the senior Production “Revenge of the Amazons” and the recent Middle School Production “High School Musical”, both of which enthralled audiences.

Rangi Ruru has also continued to celebrate outstanding successes across a wide range of sporting codes.  Some of the notable achievements were:

  • The Senior A Netball team was promoted back into Supernet and won the Senior Reserve Grade of the Competition;
  • The Senior A Basketball team won the Canterbury Champs and placed 4th in the South Island;
  • The Senior A Volleyball Team won the Premier Reserve Grade;
  • The Premier Tennis Team placed 1st in Canterbury, 2nd at South Islands and 5th at Nationals;
  • Rangi’s under 20 Cycling team placed 2nd in the Under 20 Team Time Trial at the South Island Secondary Schools’ Road Cycling Champs;
  • In the Canterbury Duathlon Champs Rangi Ruru achieved the top three placings in all of the age-groups including the U19 Girls’ title;
  • The Athletics Team achieved 10 top 4 placings at the South Island Secondary Schools’ Champs;
  • The Super Touch Team won the Christchurch competition;
  • The school’s Equestrian Riders also continue to dominate, winning the South Island Mounted Games Championship Trophy, the Equine Clinic Dressage Trophy as well as numerous Individual titles;
  • This year Rangi Ruru had 50 Canterbury Representatives across a wide range of individual and team sports and 10 girls were selected as New Zealand Representatives;
  • Two students were representatives at World Championship events and one is off to the USA in 2018 to take up a Basketball Scholarship at a US Division One University;
  • Rangi retained the Title of Top Girls’ School in New Zealand for Rowing – the teams again excelling at the Maadi Cup in March, winning 7 medals in total (3 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze);
  • Hockey also continues to be a strong sport for Rangi Ruru. The 1st X1 Hockey Team won the Canterbury Hockey Premiers Competition and were placed 2nd at the Federation Cup which is the Premier Division for New Zealand National Champs;
  • The 2nd X1 Hockey team were placed 3rd at their National Tournament and the 3rd X1 team also won their grade;
  • The Lifesaving Programme continues to achieve a high pass rate at both the Bronze Star and Bronze Medallion levels with the school being awarded the Bamford Trophy in recognition for achieving the highest number of awards in New Zealand;
  • At the recent Zonta Sports Awards, designed to celebrate young Cantabrians’ sporting achievements, Rangi Ruru had the largest number of nominations from any school.  And, the school had a winner or a highly commended in nearly every category.

The Year 7 and 8 Sports programme took on a higher level of competition this year. Rangi chose to leave the Independent Schools’ competition and join the Canterbury Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools (CAIMS) weekly competition where a greater choice of sports were on offer, and there was also the opportunity to compete against some of the biggest Intermediate Schools in Christchurch.

Sporting successes at Year 7 and 8 level include:

  • The Basketball team won the B Grade weekly tournament;
  • The Hockey Team came 3rd in the CAIMS Tournament;
  • The Touch Team won the Title as the Top Girls’ Team at the Koru South Island Games.

Other notable achievements in 2017:

The senior girls have led by example and contributed over 7000 hours and collectively as a school, Rangi Ruru donated more than over $15,000 to charities as well as over 2,000 items of food for the City Mission earlier in the year. So many, in fact, that the sheer weight of the items managed to break the top of the glass table in the Chapel.

In 2016, Dr Hastie announced that she wanted Rangi Ruru to be the first carbon neutral school in New Zealand. Due to a number of very successful student-driven sustainability initiatives, the school has met this ambitious goal, becoming carbon neutral this year.

As a school, Rangi has saved an area of rainforest the size of our grounds.  They have also been awarded nearly 150 native trees and shrubs through the Paper for Trees Recycling programme and these trees have been planted at school and in the Port Hills.

Rangi Life