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Onehunga Business High School Scores Another First

Onehunga Business High School Scores Another First

Auckland, 22 January 2003 - Onehunga Business High School - New Zealand’s first business high school - will achieve another national first this year with the introduction of a new Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship.

The certificate, being undertaken initially by 30 Onehunga High Business School students, will be partly assessed by Cambridge International Examinations. It will feature a core paper on entrepreneurship and four others on strategic financial management, global economics, statistics and any two other NCEA subjects.

Students will also take part in an Entrepreneurial Insight programme featuring visits to local businesses to put the theories they’ve learned in the classroom to the test in practical ways.
“As far as we are aware, this is a first for New Zealand at secondary level,” says Head of School Manoj Daji.

The Onehunga High Business School opened last year with 51 students from Year 10 up. It is partly funded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), from the Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund.

The fund aims to support the development of a culture of business and enterprise in New Zealand that encourages and celebrates business success. It is contestable and provides seed funding for projects that help develop entrepreneurial attitudes and skills among New Zealanders.

NZTE General Manager of Marketing Julian Moore says an enterprise culture is vital and will underpin New Zealand’s future economic success, with entrepreneurs and business success the key to lifting our living standards.

“Onehunga High Business School is helping develop the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. NZTE is delighted to help the school’s development with some funding and is pleased to see it achieving yet another first.”

The business school was the brainchild of Auckland businessman Tony Falkenstein, chairman of the Red Eagle Corporation, an old boy of decile three Onehunga High School.
Mr Falkenstein, who chairs the Onehunga Business High School board of directors, says the idea was sparked when he read a survey showing New Zealanders had the world’s highest rate of business start-ups but weren’t so good at keeping them running.

“Business skills aren’t part of the national curriculum, so I thought ‘Why not do something about that?’ The main thing is to open kids’ eyes. A kid from Onehunga whose father is a plumber isn’t necessarily going to think of starting their own business, but they could.”

He says the school emphasises the practical aspects of business. “If you learn something on Monday then you get out and ask a business on Tuesday… Kids get excited about learning in practical ways.”
In its first year the school developed a partnership with the University of Auckland Business School, which is providing scholarships and access to its library and teaching resources.

Students from the school came first in the Auckland region new entrants’ grade for the Young Enterprise Scheme, with a bottled water business called Satur8 supplying schools and sports clubs.

They also came second nationally among secondary schools in the National Business Review management game, in which entrants were provided with a fictitious business scenario and had to make fortnightly decisions on how they would respond to changing business conditions.

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Distributed by: Toni Skiffington, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

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