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Principal’s Panui 25 February 2022

Kia ora te whanau o te Kotuku

Thank you for the overwhelmingly positive response to our plan to keep Rutherford College open and available for face-to-face learning every day for periods 1 through until the end of period 4 for the next two weeks.

At outdoor assemblies earlier this week I shared with all-year groups what we believe makes for happy and successful people and happy and successful teams, groups, and communities. Since then I have seen a lot of our students flying in the V formation including wearing their masks correctly, saying please, thank you, excuse me, and sorry, showing Whakaute; respect for themselves, other people, property, and the environment.  They don’t point the finger at others, they take responsibility and do their fair share (their 50%) of what is expected to create a positive caring, and flourishing school environment. 

We are Rutherford and you are all part of the Kotuku. Those who are part of the Kotuku, protect the nest and realise that they contribute to something bigger than themselves, they are not trying to be peacocks and stand out for the wrong reasons. They get the little things right that help us all move in a positive direction. Those little things can be summarised down to taking personal responsibility; right place, right time, right thing

What else do we value at Rutherford?
He taonga rongonui te aroha ki te tangata,  Goodwill towards others is a precious treasure.

At Rutherford, we know this to mean we value little acts of human kindness and if we have nothing good to say including what we post or like online we don’t say anything. We do no harm. I also shared the following basic philosophy at those assemblies about what good people do before they pass on anything they may have seen, heard or read. 

The Triple Filter Test
Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you have heard, or are about to repeat a rumour or something that you read or saw on social media.

In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?” 

“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple filter?”  

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student, let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and ”  

 “All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”

“No, on the contrary…” “So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued. “You may still pass the test though because there is a third filter – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really…” “Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?” 

My message to our students was that people who engage in this type of behaviour are gossips, and enjoy drama and are energy vampires. These are not the type of people to surround yourself with if you want to live a happy and good life.

We are all individuals.  So never compare yourself to the best that others can be only to the best that you can be. Just because other people do it doesn’t make it right.

The latest from Sport NZ
We have heard the Minister of Education’s announcement this morning that My Vaccine Passes will not be required for students representing their school.  It’s great that as many of our students as possible can now access school and inter-school activities, but we are waiting for advice on the timeframe for implementing the change, and need to consider any implications this might have for our events. Sport NZ and the Ministry of Education are meeting today to better understand the implications and timelines and hope to have more information following that meeting. 

We have asked questions of Sport NZ about curricular vs extracurricular, we have asked about Council facilities, school teams in club settings, spectators etc. they expect to have more info next week including when this will roll out. They have also indicated that this will include both intra and inter-school sport but we will need to wait for the updates from College Sport Auckland once they receive the new guidance and have created localised guidance for Auckland Secondary Schools.

In the meantime, please refer to the current guidance from Sport NZ until we have any further updates (This framework was updated last week).

Guidance for school sport and recreation | Sport New Zealand – Ihi Aotearoa (

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