A new peer support network has shown how far Tarawera High School has come over the last few years and the positive impact it is having on the community.
The Kawerau school has set up a peer support network between its Year 13 and Year 7 students.
A spokeswoman for Tarawera High School said having the tuakana (Year 13 peer support students) working among the teina (Year 7) was allowing the students to experience support networks from all areas within the school.
"This is an experience that our students are embracing with open arms ... the Year 7 students are eager to learn from our tuakana.
"They look forward to the time they spend with the peer support leaders, building positive relationships every Tuesday morning doing co-operative activities," the spokeswoman said.
She said it was crucial to have that interaction as it helped the Year 13s grow and learn about themselves as role models and leaders.
"This lays the foundation for skills that will serve them well later in life. Their support of the Year 7s is also in line with the school's values of mana," she said.