It was early on in his schooling at Whanganui City College that Robbie Tyler decided he wanted to be a future leader.

As a year 9, Tyler represented the Ingestre St school playing cricket with the older boys.

It provided him not only with the opportunity to test his skills on the pitch, but also to see how those senior students carried themselves.

"I used to hang out with the head boy Hayden Kirk. Seeing him as head boy, what he did and how he led really inspired me," Tyler said.


"When I was playing cricket, he was the captain. I got to know him and his group quite well, seeing the way they conducted themselves really matured me."

Tyler was named head boy of Whanganui City College for 2019 following a leadership camp, essay writing, a student vote, teacher vote and an interview process.

Born in Wellington, Tyler moved to the River City at an early age and attended Churton School before moving on to City College with a number of friends.

He believes senior staff at the school are earmarking potential student leaders from the moment they start their secondary schooling.

"At the leadership camp, that's where we step up and they see how we lead our peers and how we act around them," Tyler said.

"I was quite overwhelmed when I got announced on stage with everyone else as head boy because there was quite a battle for it. I had strong opponents."

So far in term one, Tyler has enjoyed meeting the year nines at their school camp and is leading by example by taking on Waka Ama and judo as new activities.

Tyler said the college has a real family feel about it, with supportive teachers and inspiring students, such as head girl in 2011 Baillie Edwards.

Edwards provided the final push that confirmed Tyler's interest in becoming a student leader and following in her footsteps for 2019 is head girl Hineraumoa Hiroti-Williams.

Born and raised in Whanganui, Hiroti-Williams attended Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Atihaunui-A-Paparangi and then Whanganui Intermediate School.

Hiroti-Williams said there was never any doubt she would then move on to Whanganui City College.

"There are five generations of my family that came here and because of those ties I wanted to become the head girl here to represent them," she said.

"I'm ready to step up at this level, to take responsibility and to be a voice of our students, especially our females who I'm extremely proud of."

Hiroti-Williams of Ngati Apa Nga Wairiki, was preparing for an under-pressure grilling during the head student interview process, but was surprised to find it was calm.

She said that is because the people at Whanganui City College are supportive, caring and approachable.

"It was really nerve-racking at first and when my name got called as head girl, I started tearing up. I felt that my life was going to change.

"Heading towards university, I just want to inspire others and encourage others to achieve their dreams."

Leading the way with them are deputy head boy Brayden Tyson and deputy head girl Kiana Te Rangimoeakau.