Money from the area and further afield has allowed Kawerau's new college to provide school uniforms free to all students next year.
Tarawera High School principal Helen Tuhoro said once the idea to gift uniforms to the students had been raised, school staff and the establishment board went about finding the money.
"We have been able to tap into local sources of funding and donations have also been made from outside the district," Mrs Tuhoro said.
She said there had been several factors taken into consideration before announcing the uniform would be free.
"Kawerau has suffered through a number of redundancies, especially at the mill, and it's a tough economic time for most," Mrs Tuhoro said.
"We also had to think about families who could potentially have three or more students starting at the new school entity at the same time, one from primary level, one from intermediate and one already at the existing college.
"To ask families of students at a decile one school to come up with money for three uniforms is totally unrealistic."
As well as the free uniforms, every student will be given a free stationery pack on day one of term one, so teaching can start immediately."
A community hui is being held at the Tarawera High School hall on Monday. The school uniform will be modelled and the school's new logo will also be revealed.
"The new logo has been designed following community consultation that let us know what people wanted to see included," Mrs Tuhoro said.
She also hopes to be able to reveal the new school layout if the Ministry of Education has approved the architectural plans.
On December 5 and 6, students and parents from the high school's two feeder schools, Kawerau South School and Putauaki, will be welcomed on to the secondary school site to have a look around.
"We had Ero staff at school last week and they have given us the big tick after going through our plans - it really is full steam ahead."
Mrs Tuhoro said the students of Tarawera High School deserved the best and that was what staff planned to deliver.
"A lot of these youngsters have only seen the other side of life, a place where nothing is free," Mrs Tuhoro said.
"The new school has been a long time coming and we want to be able to give these students, the musicians, the sportspeople, the academics and the artists, all the support they need for their futures."
Tarawera High School is expected to open with close to 450 pupils in 2013, of whom 86 per cent are Maori.