Duke of Edinburgh Award 

Pike ake (Rise Up) is a group of Rangitoto College students focussed on self-improvement and contribution to the wider community. Students involved in the programme are currently supported through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award and are very lucky to be fully funded thanks to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Aotearoa New Zealand. 

The Bronze Award consists of three sections—voluntary service to the community, skills acquisition and physical recreation. Participants must commit to at least an hour per week of focussed activity for each section on an ongoing basis and logs must be kept. The young men involved are also required to complete an adventurous journey over two days and one night. 


On Saturday 27 February, we met at Rangitoto College campus at 7.30 am, ready to begin our practice journey. Backpacks, rations, water, cooking utensils, sleeping bags, clothing and personal first aid kits were all meticulously checked and then packed neatly before we hit the road to the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail (Pinnacles Walk), Kauaeranga Valley, Coromandel. On arrival, we looked through the DOC Information Centre and learnt about native wildlife before making our way up the steady climb, steep in places, that followed a well-constructed stepped path 1 km in length to the summit of The Pinnacles, 759 m high. We were met by thick cloud at first which then cleared and revealed spectacular views below. We stayed the night at the DOC Hut, awakening early the next morning to hear the news from the warden that Auckland had re-entered Alert Level 3. We made our way down the gruelling Billy Goat walk and after approximately four hours of resilience testing hiking we stopped for a very well deserved cool off in the shallows of Kauaeranga River. We had lunch before joining the queues of traffic back to Auckland, arriving just before 4 pm.   


This group of young men put in a tremendous effort under challenging conditions and truly exemplified Rangitoto College values of respect, integrity, courage, excellence and pride. 


Students: Aidan Keegan, Dylan Lidgard, Eliseo Davis, Jaz Naea, Kalem Walker, Phoenix Tonga, Tairua Puamau, Zyon Rihari & Costa Kritos 


Teachers: Mr Ben Pollard & Mr George Lewis