A Chance To ...

Ōtaki College offers opportunities in many different areas of endeavour.  These include Performing and Visual Arts, Sporting and Outdoor Activities, Digital Media and many others.  Scroll down to explore just a few examples of the activities our students are able to experience.  A full list of our Sports teams and activities can be found on our Sports page.

Leadership and Community

Ōtaki College encourages student voice through our School Councils and Sub Councils.  Students take an active role in running key events to raise funds for important causes.  These events include the World Vision 40 Hour Famine, supporting the local foodbank, Relay for Life, Pink Shirt Day, Shave for a Cure, Orange Shine Day, Mental Health Awareness Week and National Schools Pride week. 

HoS Training

At the beginning of the year the Ngā Kākākura (Heads of School) and Ngā Kaingārahu (Associate Heads of School) attend  co-ordinated training days and events which help them embark on their leadership duties. Read More ...

Otaki/Sander/Everiss Scholars

Each year the College welcomes the Otaki Scholar from Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen, Scotland on the first leg of his tour around New Zealand.

All Heads of School are eligible to apply for our reciprocal Everiss Scholarship which involves a two week trip to Scotland in January.  Read More 

Te Whakatipuranga ngā Taonga o Kāpiti combined colleges leadership programme

For many years the College has been part of the Tu Rangatira programme, which brings Māori students from Kapiti, Paraparaumu and Ōtaki Colleges together to grow and develop as young Māori leaders. Students involved in this programme have gained immeasurably from the opportunity to learn about themselves, developing team work and experiencing this with students from other colleges in a kaupapa Māori environment.

Overseas Opportunities

Prior to COVID-19 many of our students gained the chance to travel overseas through a variety of scholarships.

Pounamu MacKay was our first student, post COVID, to take advantage of open borders.  She travelled to Japan in 2022 to pursue her passion - Rugby.  This video was made shortly after her arrival in Japan.

Pacific Student Leaders Programme

In recent times a number of senior students have been successful in gaining places on this leadership programme, attending courses at locations across the Pacific. Full details can be found on the Future Leaders Academy website.

Performing and Visual Arts

Annual Drama Performance

Senior Drama students perform in an annual Production which is viewed by the local community and runs for two nights at the College.

Annual Variety Concert

This is held each year to showcase the musical and dramatic talents of our students.  Entries are not restricted to students taking Music, Drama or Dance.


The College has a proud tradition of success in the SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.  For the last two years students have won regional awards and have gone through to the National Festival.  In 2019 one of those students was selected to perform at the Globe Theatre in London. 

Parkin Art Scholarship

Each year ex-Ōtaki College student, Chris Parkin, funds a $2,500 scholarship for the student "who is most likely to achieve prominence in their chosen field of artistic endeavor".  

Junior Band Programme

Each year there is the opportunity for students to participate in a Year 7&8 band and a Year 9&10 band.  These bands are tutored by local tutors and compete in regional and national competitions.

National Youth Drama School Scholarships

In recent years the XŌtaki Alumni Trust have funded two students to attend National Youth Drama School workshops in the school holidays.  These workshops, held in Havelock North, give students the opportunity to experience eight days of immersive, intensive training in the performing arts.  World-class instruction by industry professionals in acting, dance, music, film and technology give students invaluable insight into the world of performing arts and film. 


Stuart Pritchard and Spirit of Adventure Sailing/Leadership Scholarship

Local benefactors, Stuart and Mary Pritchard have in recent years, under the auspices of the XŌtaki Alumni Trust, funded a student to attend a Spirit of Adventure voyage.  Read Anika Edginton's account of her 2023 experience.

Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre Scholarship

For many years the Concrete Doctors have funded a Leadership Scholarship to the Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre in December.  All students who have put their names forward to be on the following year's Heads of School team are eligible to apply. 

Biennial Trip to Japan

Every two years senior students are offered the chance to travel to Japan for two weeks in December.   The next trip is in 2023.

Every two years, the Year 7 and 8 Department travel down to Curious Cove in the Marlborough Sounds for our Biennial camp. Read More...

Year 7&8 Visit to Raukawa Marae

Towards the beginning of each Year the Year 7&8 Department visit Raukawa Marae to hear about the history of the marae and its importance to the Ōtaki community.  They learn about Raukawa tikanga and its place in College life.

Science, Technology and Mathematics

 The programme aims to encourage and nurture Māori students studying the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), so students may feel inspired to enter careers in these sectors ... Read More

In recent years students have gained national awards in the Evolocity Bike Challenge ...  Read More ...

Students at all levels are given the opportunity to participate in local, regional and national problem solving competitions ... Read More ... 

Digital Media

Media Technology

Special Effects

Courses Run in Collaboration with Tertiary Institutions, Gateway and STAR