Mawhera Service Academy


Mawhera Services Academy (MSA) – Overview

The MSA is a military orientated programme with strong emphasis on discipline, physical training, leadership skills and challenges. The MSA is designed for young people who have an interest in the following careers:



·         Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force)

·         Police

·         Security industry

·         Fire Service

·         Customs

·         Other related industries


MSA offers a full-time (37 week) programme and, being a division of Greymouth High School, the programme follows the same hours and term structure.


The course runs 25 hours per week that is split into approximately:


·      12 hours academics

·      13 hours services training and adventure based learning activities



·         New Zealand Citizen

·         Should be a minimum of 16 or turning 16 during the year

·         Prepared to conform within a disciplined environment

·         Medically fit

·         Want to succeed and have fun!



·         NO FEES.Free uniform – yours to keep if you complete the course: tracksuit, polo shirt, rugby jersey, cap, PT shirts, PT shorts.



·         MSA is based upon a military model

·         Discipline is an important aspect of the course

Students will be required to sign a Code of Conduct

·         ALL discipline matters are dealt with fairly and appropriately.

Other Academies can be found throughout New Zealand. We have strong alliances with all South Island Academy’s being: Aranui Services Academy, Christchurch; Logan Park Services Academy, Dunedin and Opihi Services Academy, Timaru.


The following is a brief account of how the Academy came to be.

In 1996 when Allan Wilson (ex-British Army was the Careers Advisor at Greymouth High School, he saw many young people with little self-discipline. He felt that if discipline was imposed from the outside then some of it might stick. He wanted to run a military type programme within the school but at that time it was not accepted by the High School.

In 1998 John Wentworth, then a soldier in the NZ Army, contacted Allan to ask if the army could assist the school. This started a long chain of events which saw the formation of “Outdoor Challenge 2000” which was for students at risk of leaving school unprepared for work or further training. The programme ran for a term with the last couple of weeks being completed at Burnham Military Camp. Outdoor Challenge was successful.

After some talk, the NZ Army invited the new principal of Greymouth High School, Mr Arthur Graves, to visit Burnham Military Camp and the Linwood Services Academy located in Christchurch (run by Linwood College). This was to see how an Academy was run and how it is closely linked with the Army. Arthur was very impressed with the Linwood Services Academy and asked if Greymouth high School could do something similar.

In 2001 funding was gained from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Phillip Woods was appointed as Director and in 2002 the first intake of students went through Mawhera Services Academy. Phillip then built the Academy up from practically nothing and ran the ship successfully until early 2007 where he joined the NZ Police Force.

2007 saw John Wentworth (ex NZ Army) take on the appointment of Director and Lisa Mellish (ex NZ Army) Assistant Director. In 2015, the MSA relocated from its Karoro Learning site to Greymouth High School. This hugely increased access to resources yet the course remained open to anyone who met the entry criteria.

Services Training Breakdown

Supported by NZ Army Youth Life Skills Cell and the Limited Service Volunteer Company at Burnham Army Camp, services training includes:

·         2-week Induction Phase with the NZ Army in February

·         School holiday Leadership courses with the NZ Army

·         Military Drill

·         Discipline

·         Physical Training

·         Field Exercises

·         Live-in Camps

·         Confidence Building

·         Team Building

·         Public Parades, e.g. ANZAC Day

·         Client days with Tai Poutini Polytechnic: kayaking, white water rafting and rock climbing

·         Tramping: Lake Daniels, Queen Charlotte track, various West Coast tracks, etc.

·         Field Exercises

·         Gym sessions

·         Bush Craft

·         Survival Training

·         Camouflage and Concealment

·         Cycling

·         Orienteering

·         Paint Balling

·         Participation in Coast to Coast Event (against other Academies run by NZ Army)



Mr B Lomey



C/- Greymouth High School

107-127 High Street

Greymouth 7805


PO Box 192

Greymouth 7840


Phone: 03 768 0472






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