About Us

About the School


Kawerau South School is a New Zealand state primary school situated in the township of Kawerau in the Eastern Bay of Plenty of New Zealand. The School opened in June 1963.  A School Hall was built in 1993.  Additonal classrooms were brought on to the site in 2012 following the closure of Kawerau North and Central Schools at the end of 2011.


The school operates seventeen full time classrooms plus two special needs rooms. Currently the roll is approximately 330 students.


Situated at the Southern end of Onslow Street and nestled in front of the Monika Lanham Reserve, Kawerau South School is an active member of the Kawerau Community.


Committed to providing a quality education for its students, the school has an experienced and caring staff with a wealth of talents. They remain dedicated to ensuring all students irrespective of their background have access to modern facilities and quality teaching in a safe and caring environment.


The school offers programmes which focuses not only on academic subjects but also includes the performing and visual arts. Te Puaawaitanga and Te Kakano, the School's Culture Groups, provide an opportunity for students to take part in local events and to learn more about the performing arts of Maori Culture. E-learning is an increasing presence in schools and Kawerau South School has for some time now been using web based google classroom applications. These exciting and very motivating learning systems also allow students access at home as well as providing parents with  information on what their child is learning and their progress.  A well resourced special needs room and Teacher Aides provide assistance for those students who require extra support.


Large park-like playing fields with plenty of trees and gardens are a distinguishing feature of the school. During a ten year period students from the school were involved with the Kawerau District Council replanting native trees and shrubs in the Monika Lanham Reserve behind the school. The reserve is a well used asset to the school. The top of the reserve provides superb views of Kawerau and a variety of walking tracks provide easy access for the public.


Strong family connections and traditions form an important part of school life. Many current students have parents who attended South School, and they now in turn continue to offer strong support for the school.


A well planned building programme and considerable investment in technology has seen the school maintain its reputation for being well resourced and progressive.





Kawerau was founded in 1953 as a mill town for the new Tasman Pulp and Paper mill. The 820 m volcanic cone of Putauaki (Mount Edgecumbe) lies 3 km to the east of Kawerau, and is easily visible from the town. The Tarawera River straddles Kawerau to the east and continues north to the Bay of Plenty. The site for the mill was chosen because of the ready availability of geothermal energy, water from the Tarawera River and the large supply of pine timber from the nearby Kaingaroa forest. The Giant Pulp and Timber mills of  continue to be the dominant industries in the township.

175-187 Onslow St
Kawerau 3127

Phone: (07) 323 8326
Fax: (07) 323 6270