Vocational Pathways

The Careers & Vocational Pathways department at Opunake High School is quite simply amazing. Every year, we have tremendous success ensuring our Year 13 students coming to the end of their education with us and those Year 12’s who are ready to enter the work-force or begin tertiary education or training have a solid plan in place, and don’t just leave us with no immediate plan. Year 13 Dean, Geoff Watt and Transitions Assistant, Chantal Brophy provide a great service to these students through arranging University & Industry Training Organisation visits, Trips to WITT & University Open Days, Work Experience, WITT & Gateway, Learning support, Drivers Licensing support and so much more.

Below is useful information for our students and their whanau, including calendars of important dates, Year 13 career information, information about fees and scholarships, useful websites, and some general good advice.


What are Pathways? NCEA Levels 1-3  credits and assessmants have been linked to a range of possible Vocations in the following areas:

  • Creative Industries
  • Primary Industries
  • Service Industries
  • Social & Community Services
  • Manufacturing and Technology
  • Construction and Infrastructure.

For more information and benefits of choosing the right subjects for a vocational pathway visit Youth Guarantee

Of course, you can discuss your career aspirations with any of the following people at Opunake High School:

  • Matt Lash – Year 13 Dean, Gateway
  • Jade Smith – Pathways Assistant
  • Wendy Eynon – Careers Advisor
  • David Hughes – Year 12 Dean
  • Angelo Hill – Year 11 Dean
  • Andy Bedford – Year 10 Dean
  • Rachel Taylor – Year 9 Dean, Transitions Director
  • Individual Student Manaakitanga Teachers

School Leavers Toolkit

The School Leavers Toolkit is a Government website, with a ton of information about what happens when you leave secondary school, it covers the following:

  • Tertiary Education
  • Getting a job
  • Moving out of home
  • Government and voting
  • Money and tax
  • Caring for yourself and others.

Click on the image to the right for the link.

Year 13 Career Information

Congratulations – You have made it to Year 13 and it is your final year at school – wow!

The following information is designed to help you make the most of your final year, refer to it regularly to make sure you are on track.

Have a set of SMART goals for the year, the next 5 years are really important.

You need to think about the person you want to become in the future, not necessarily the job you want to gain. Once you know that, think about how you are going to get there.

For many careers, some form of study is require, either before or during your employment. Research this carefully, and decide whether you are ready to have another year or two of study, or a gap year.

To help you Mr Watt is is always available by appointment, or try your luck by calling into the Careers office for advice guidance:

  • Applying for jobs.
  • Applying for Tertiary study and Halls of Residence.
  • Help with CV’s.
  • Help with scholarship and studylink applications.
  • Choosing subjects wisely.
  • Getting a part time job.
  • Studying overseas.

Attend class and learning options regularly, listen to the notices and get involved – enjoy your last year of school!!!

Useful Information

Have a clearfile organised with all your useful documents in it ready to go for you applications.

Documents needed are:

  • School reports and NCEA results.
  • Certificates from prizes gained.
  • Copies of Drivers Licence, Bank Account details, IRD number & your Birth Certificate.
  • Citizenship/Residency documentation, if you were not born in New Zealand.

When applying for tertiary study, Studylink, scholarships and casual jobs, they ask you to have your documents verified. This means that an original document needs to be copied and checked by a JP or someone else that it is a true and accurate record. Mrs Collins, in our school office is a local JP, who is able to verify all documents.

A reminder that currently, the first year of Tertiary study is free up to $12,000. This covers University, Polytechnic and Independent Providers. You still have to meet entry requirements, and meet New Zealand citizenship regulations, use the link below for more information:

Fees Free

When you turn 18, you will be eligible to vote in both national and local government elections. This is your right as a citizen of New Zealand. The Electoral Commission will visit us here at school and ensure you are all enrolled with them.

If you have not got your drivers licence yet, then GET IT!!!
It is much easier to get it here in Opunake than elsewhere. It could also prevent you getting some jobs if you don’t have it!
Finally, it is the best form of photo ID!!!

Please use your calendar function on your phones to keep yourself organised.
Deadlines are IMPORTANT!!!

Keep an eye on your grades this year. Be strategic but choose the internals and externals wisely, that you will complete – don’t assume you will pass ALL your externals!! Do not leave things to the last minute!

Remember that UE requires 4 things:

  1. Level 3 – 60 credits in total.
  2. Three approved subjects = 14 credits each.
  3. 10 numeracy credits, Level 1 or above.
  4. 5 reading credits and 5 writing credits at Level 2.

We subscribe to the GiveMe database website which is useful search engine when looking for scholarships. It can only be done at school using our logins.

Be careful what goes on social media!! Use you privacy settings carefully. Be careful what you have as your profile photo, and also what photos you are tagged in. Employers certainly will search Facebook and Instagram to check you out – anything slightly dodgy may cost you a position!! Always THINK before you post!

Helpful Websites

Use internet tools to help make decisions and apply for courses and jobs. The Careers NZ and School Connect websites are both useful NZ-based websites to help you make career decisions, search jobs and make a C.V.

No Major Drama is also useful if you don’t know what Uni course you want to do.

Most tertiary institutions have their own websites under the domain name .ac.nz, e.g. www.waikato.ac.nz or www.witt.ac.nz – Some are a little different and still use .co.nz or .org e.g. www.nzschooloftourism.co.nz

The Defence Force has a lot of info and applications on their website.

Studylink is the Government department who is responsible for student loans and allowances. If you are eligible for a student allowance, you can start getting this as soon as you turn 18 – even while you are at school.

The two main job search sites in NZ are Seek and TradeMe Jobs. Student Job Search is really good for finding part-time and holiday jobs when you are studying – www.sjs.co.nz

Many large companies will have job vacancies listed on their own websites eg. www.fonterra.com

The Daily News still have job advertisements in their classified sections also.

Careers NZ website
Careers NZ website
School Connect
School Connect
No Major Drama
No Major Drama
NZ Defence Force
NZ Defence Force
Study Link
Study Link
TradeMe Jobs
TradeMe Jobs