New Build UPDATES | He mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa, 

warm greetings to you all!


New Build Progress

September 7, 2023

Staff had the opportunity to visit the new building site over the past week. Everyone really enjoyed being on site to view the progress firsthand. It is hard to appreciate the scale of the project by looking over the fence! 

It is certainly amazing how much has actually been achieved in recent weeks from roof trusses on the whare to the roof being installed on the Blomfield building. The large teaching block has most of the panels in place and the panels for the smaller teaching block will be put in place in the coming days.  The concrete panels look amazing with their decorative artwork.

For those who have asked what is actually being built: two teaching blocks comprising 22 classrooms, a whare and a new building for Blomfield Special School. The Blomfield building is down the far end of the site. The old C and D blocks will be demolished when the new teaching blocks are fully complete.

New Build Progress

August 8, 2023

Everyone is buzzing with excitement as we watch the steady progress of the Kamo High School new teaching blocks and whare. It seemed to take ages to get to the stage where the services were installed and the concrete poured for the floor areas and now all of a sudden we have wall panels and roofing iron! 

The Canam team have been amazing and very obliging in ensuring our Trades Department have had regular visits to the site to see progress close up and to learn about some of the techniques used. We are proud to say Canam have ensured they use local contractors wherever they can and with that figure looking like over 90% local we are certainly helping boost our Northland economy! 

Over the next few weeks watch this space as we see the roofing iron go onto the Blomfield School building followed by the whare. 

New Build through the eyes of our students

Just a little while ago... Made me mindful of the new build replacing the old in the footstops of our tipuna (and future mokpuna), including the presence of the first lode stones

The new build is finally taking shape with the placement of the walls of our new wharenui. One of our 'old boys' from last year (Harry Lowther) was deftly operating the crane, while his dad and crewmates set the new concrete walls up on the site!

A couple of our Y12 (photography) students mentioned how they, too, had whānau or wider hapū members who have been involved in the new build project, from the groundworks and up to the present moment or soon to join.

$22 million rebuild of Whangārei school under way

Kamo High School principal Natasha Hemara, outside the school's marae, is excited about the $22 million redevelopment of the school. 

Kamo High School's $22 million redevelopment is set to begin after a blessing ceremony this weekend.

A turning of the soil ceremony today signifies an exciting new step forward for Kamo High School as its long-awaited redevelopment finally gets under way, principal Natasha Hemara says.

With planning beginning in 2015, the $22m build was due to start last year, however Covid-19 caused delays.

Hemara said today's intimate ceremony finally offers "recognition that things are moving ahead for our staff and for our students".

Included in the new build are 22 new classrooms with elevator access to the second storey, as well as a new and improved wānanga whare which will be housed at the centre of the school.

Hemara, who has been principal since 2020, wants the new infrastructure to create not just a better learning experience, but also reflect the school's values.

The new classroom blocks will be spacious and open, with an aim to create a transparent learning environment where students can "share, know, learn and be inspired".

A pedestrian entrance to Kamo High will lead visitors through a striking courtyard, with the lower-level classrooms exterior bricks in the shape of traditional Māori tāniko (patterns). 

The planned pedestrian Entrance to Kamo High School and car access for Blomfield School from Kamo Rd.

Hemara said student comfort was a priority as the plans have moved, therefore a covered walkway will provide shelter from the weather, and there will also be ample seating around the courtyard area.

The current wānanga will be dismantled to create a newer, larger, and more open version, which will feature the original whakairo (carvings) from the previous building. A karakia will be performed for the current carvings before they are placed onto the new building.

Hemara says the inclusion of cultural elements "enables us to bring that depth of just knowing to the students, without it being it all at once, it's just around them every day".

The students were shown a fly-over design video of the multimillion-dollar build in an assembly earlier this week, which Hemara said ignited a lot of enthusiasm.

"They're quite excited, and I believe that our students deserve better than what the current property looks like."

Contracted by the Ministry of Education, Matakohe Architecture and Design have been working closely with Kamo High School and Ngati Kahu o Torongare to illustrate cultural narratives within the new space.

This will be seen through the colour scheme of a ponga forest, which according to Hemara, once covered Kamo.

"We want to create a living building," she said.

"We want it to hit you in the face that you're coming into a building with a rich history of the Kamo community."

The colours of a ponga forest will climb the interior of the two-storey classroom blocks, with lower levels featuring browns, and higher levels green to reflect the look of foliage.

"The whole theme of a ponga is really important to us," said Hemara.

"What you'll see throughout the whole school is the notion of pulling up growth and development."

Included in the new build is a separate building accessed via Kamo Rd for Blomfield School.

Redevelopment has already started, with two buildings already shifted to make space for the new infrastructure.

Retrieved 22/08/22 Northern Advocate By Brodie Stone 6 Aug, 2022 05:00 AM URL:



The video above is version two of our building designs fly through. We wanted to share this with you so that you know despite all of our lockdowns we are still making progress forward. We meet fortnightly with the design team and we are so pleased with the way things are moving. We have particularly enjoyed the involvement of Matakohe Architecture who have been working with the Ministry and our local Hapū to incorporate key aspects of our histories into design aspects in and around our new building. Please note there are a couple of pieces of feedback that are being actioned at this time based on this latest fly through.

These are:

Overall we are happy with the progress that is being made.

Ngā mihi

Natasha and the SLT

Wednesday 27th October 2021

This is a fly through of our proposed building. I will now provide you with an explanation of what you will see in the fly through.

The start sees you placed at the front of the school on Wilkinson Avenue, which will remain our main school entrance. The building on the left is our existing hall, the building on the right is the S block. Our current CEW and AEW buildings will be removed this year, we are hoping for this to occur in the October break.

The Whare Wānanga will be reallocated to be centralised in the school. With the Student Support Centre (SSC) being relocated, with its own access into the school, to the current site of Blomfield School (at the far end of Wilkinson Ave). The buildings will be refurbished to support the needs of our students in this area of care.

The two storey building will accommodate 22 classrooms, with elevator access provided to support student access. You will note that the buildings are bright and transparent and have the ability to remain separate classrooms, but also to be opened up for integrated opportunities. Each classroom will have access to breakout rooms for further student support.

The cover over the walkway provides shelter for the students between classes as well as provides shade so that direct sunlight has little impact on the learning. Two toilet blocks are included in the build, one on each floor. Each toilet is private and will be accessible via a small entrance way. These will be unisex toilets to support our diverse students needs. There will be remaining single sex toilets available in the school. 

Blomfield School has been accommodated and is situated at the south end of the building project in a separate one story building (Kamo Road side). The only access from Kamo Road will be to accommodate Blomfield School.

This cartoon demonstrates a start for us with my next update for you all to include design work and art features within our design. We are excited by what this build means for the learning that we offer here at Kamo High School. 

Ngā mihi

Natasha Hemara and the SLT