Roger Reid is the teacher, groundskeeper and principal at Pukehina School.

He also does school pick-ups, a new job description that has helped to increase the school roll by more than 10 new pupils.

In November last year, Pukehina School was operating at just 15 per cent capacity, and its principal was fighting for the school's gates to remain open for its remaining pupils.

Reid wrote "SOS" letters to potential community funders so the small rural school would be able to afford a van which he believed would help sustain the school roll and hopefully increase numbers.


Rochelle Carter from Ray White Pukehina and Neil Carter from Warehouse Cars in Mount Maunganui have since sponsored a minivan for the two-classroom school.

Reid said the new van enabled him to pick up new students which increased the school roll from 8 to 18 in one week and eased the pressure of having to sustain numbers.

"We needed a miracle, and we got one," Reid said.

"The van has made a huge difference to us. It has allowed us to transport students to social and sporting fixtures as well as enabling us to pick up new enrolments."

The principal has been at the Decile 1A rural school for a decade and said he wouldn't change it for the world.

"I love my job," he said. "We are all here for the kids."

Reid and his staff did everything they could for their now 20 pupils, including feeding them breakfast before the bell rang.

The school was part of the Milk in Schools programme, but most of the time Reid and his staff funded anything extra out of their own pockets.


"Once a week I will try to buy a leg of lamb and we will have a shared lunch together," he said.

"Because we are a school of only 20 we can do that," he said.

Reid was a teacher for two and a half days of the week and the other two and a half he and his staff were mowing the lawns, vacuuming classrooms, painting the buildings and completing other odd jobs.

At the school's entrance just beyond the gate is a bright and colourful playground - painted and maintained by the staff.

"Our job descriptions change almost every day, but that is the beauty of it - we all work together," he said.

Students enjoy learning in a warm and inclusive family-like atmosphere in an attractive rural setting. Community support for the school is strong. Trustees, principal and staff are focused on achieving the best outcomes for students. Clear strategic direction provides relevant goals to guide school development.

Location: Pukehina, Bay of Plenty
Ministry of Education profile number: 1904
School type: Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)
School roll: 12
Gender composition: Boys 9, Girls 3
Ethnic composition: Māori 11, NZ European/Pākehā 1
Review team on site: May 2015
Date of this report: 15 June 2015

Riley Olive, 11
"We have Kiwi Can teachers."

Malibu Ford-Galaxy, 7
"Because my cousins come here."

Ami Brown, 6
"I like the monkey bars on the playground."

Damian Murphy, 11
"The iPads and playing in the gully."