About the School

Our Values 

St Joseph’s has adopted the values of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. These values are expressed in our philosophy, the way we are organised and our interpersonal relationships. We encourage and model these values with the students and they are an integral part of our curriculum and teaching.

The values are:

‘Make Room for All’- Respect

‘Do your Bit’- Excellence

‘Listen to God’s Call’- Honesty

‘An Attitude of Gratitude’- Compassion

Our School is a community where gospel values are central and faith is nourished. The founding charism of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop is ever present at St Joseph’s. The importance of embracing this charism and its relevance in our school will guide us spiritually to act and bring about change when needed and to respond to the needs of our times.



Regina Smuga


Teaching is an extremely valuable profession. We have in our schools, the adults of the future. We need to be able to offer them an opportunity to an education that will equip them for their future lives and to become life-long learners. This is a great responsibility and I take this very seriously. I believe that every child should be given the opportunity to develop their potential and make them understand that there are no limits to what they can accomplish.

The joy of seeing an expression of understanding on a child’s face, to me, is an unsurpassable experience.

My aim is to see many of those expressions during my career in education.


Lydia Victor

Room 5 Teacher; Year 5/6/7/8 / Director of Religious Studies / Literacy Leader /Acting DP


I am privileged to be the Director of Religious Studies and Associate Principal at St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Grey Lynn.  It is an honour to serve this school and its community since 2001. 

I teach a young and vibrant Year 6, 7 and 8 class with a strong focus on fostering Gospel values and focussing on high expectations across school life.  I work on an Inquiry approach to teaching and learning and continue to explore best ways for my students to achieve excellence. 

Equally I love seeing the progress in my students, whether academic, social, artistic or out on the sport field.

Finally, I try to instill the love for learning through various programmes and initiatives.


Vicki Neustroski


Room 1 Teacher; Year 0/1/2 / PE & Sports Coordinator

I have been teaching at St Joseph’s since 2014. Teaching the new entrant class and watching them make continuous progress and be excited and proud of their achievements has been extremely rewarding and increased my passion for teaching. 


Tracey Lee

Room 4 Teacher;  / Art Leader


I have had a long association with the St Joseph’s community as a teacher and parent. I am passionate about guiding my students to reach their potential and to enjoy their learning.




Madeline Tolai

Office Manager

Kia Orana,

I have been with St Joseph’s  for 7 years and my role at the school is Office Manager.

As a past pupil, parent and now staff member I have seen many changes over the years within our school community and enjoy watching our children believe in themselves, and strive to aim high.

We maybe small in numbers but strong in spirit, and our faith continues to grow.


Pamela Le Strange

Special Programmes / Music Teacher


Sunita Smith-Muller

Special Programmes / ESOL Teacher

Jackie McGivern

Reading Recovery/Accelerated Learning 

Kia Ora.

In 2105, I moved here to St Joseph’s School to train in Reading Recovery and continue as a trained teacher in this role. I love being part of a small and nurturing school community and I love watching our amazing students catch the reading bug and take off with their learning!


John David

Caretaker / Cleaner








Board of Trustees

Dan Smith


Talofa. I have been the Board chairperson since 2007. I attended St Joseph’s as a young boy and have been part of the community for many years. I am passionate about growing the school.



Regina Smuga


Witam. I have been in education for a number of years.  My experiences started at St Peter’s College, then Baradene, St Kentigern College and St Therese Catholic School.  I have also had 6 years overseas, experiencing other curriculums and other teaching environments.  My experience overseas has strengthened my view that the New Zealand Curriculum is one of the best.

My role at St Joseph’s is to ensure that every child can have every opportunity to experience as many different educaional settings as they can, whether it is in the classroom or outside and that they leave this school with a deeper understanding of their faith journey in life. 


Don Bennett

Parent Representative

Hi, my name is Don Bennett and I am a parent representative on the Board of Trustees at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Grey Lynn.  I am a retired Real Estate agent from Australia and have lived in Auckland, New Zealand since 2004.  Over the past 5 years I have been self- employed. 

My son Kirkland Bennett has been at St Joseph’s Catholic School, Grey Lynn for the past 2 years in years 5 & 6 and now has progressed to St Paul’s College.

I am looking forward to working with the committee and to give my support and knowledge to help the school achieve their goals.

God Bless and always be kind to each other.



Fotu Hoglund

Parent Representative



Rasmus Pereira

Parent Representative



Valerie Vui-Pereira

Proprietor’s Representative                                                                   

Born and raised in Grey Lynn, I am “St Joseph’s Grey Lynn for life!” 

My family have been active members of St Joseph’s Catholic Parish going on three generations now (40 years). I am an ex-student of St Joseph’s school as are my three siblings, closest relatives and friends.  My eldest son will continue the family tradition and has started this year in Year 1. 

In addition to being one of the Proprietor’s Representatives, I also serve as Chair of the Finance sub-committee and member of the Special Character and Property sub-committees.

I am a lawyer by profession having practiced in various areas of the law until discovering my passion for International Trade law and Agriculture & Fisheries law which I specialise in.  My work has allowed me to serve as legal advisor to international governments, international organisations including the United Nations, the World Bank etc… and has allowed me to work with people from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life. 

St Joseph’s gave me that initial foundation in self belief, passion, kindness, strong work ethic, friendships… and most importantly it helped water the seed of my Catholic faith planted by my family.  All of these values have enabled me to achieve what I have, and there have been some amazing career moments where I’ve found myself sitting there thinking “who would’ve thought a girl like me from St Joseph’s would be here…” J

For me (and many others I know), St Joseph’s is more than just a school. It is an integral part of the Parish and Grey Lynn communities.  It is home.  It is family. 

I am privileged and blessed to be home and serving my old school in this way.  And I look forward to meeting as many of our school family members current and past.


 Bridget Burke

Proprietor’s Representative

My son has attended St Joseph’s since 2012. I love the close community relationships we have at St Joseph’s and the strong focus we have on values and faith building.


 Tracey Lee 

Staff Representative





Parent volunteers who would like to be involved with their child’s learning & the life of our school,  

as well as contributing towards fundraising ideas.

Please contact Paula Al-Nuaimi or see our Principal – Regina Smuga for more information.


PTA 2 July Issue

PTA 3 



ERO Report

Read some quotes from the latest ERO report, or the full report can be read by clicking on the link below.

“Children are confident, articulate and engaged in learning and share a strong sense of school pride.  They are happy and caring of each other.”

“Teachers are looking at ways to further deepen children’s engagement with learning by promoting and supporting children to lead their own learning.  Digital devices are increasingly being used as a tool to support student engagement.”

ERO Report 2016


Our Sponsors

We are very fortunate at St Joseph’s School to have so many people and businesses who regularly help us out with services and donations. There are too many to name without leaving someone out. However, if your name is not below and you would like it to be let us know. We are extremely grateful to everyone who lends a hand to our school. Thank you.

Rotary Westhaven

2_2_rotary_logoWesthaven Rotary Club have sponsored St Joseph’s for a number of years. They provide our children with two Duffy books a term. They have also sponsored dictionaries and books for our library.  This year has seen them working hard with our children in our garden and supplying gardening tool, accessories, water tank plus many more gardening essentials.

Bayley’s Real Estate

2_bayleys-real-estate-north-shore-residentialBayley’s Real Estate sponsor prizes for our Art Competition and Exhibition which is held every Winter.

Mister Kelvin Flooring Ltd

Mister Kelvin Flooring Ltd sponsor prizes for our Art Competition and Exhibition which is held every Winter.    


Countdown has been at St Joseph’s working with the children in their new garden.  Supplying sausages for sausage sizzles.  Giving up their time with expert advice and support on ‘Garden to table’.


Bunnings support our school with their expertise in building and advice and hands on approach to community service.

Our Josphite and School History

Two Sisters of St Joseph arrived from Sydney aboard the Wairarapa on 19 March 1884. They were Sister Teresa Maginnes and Sister Ignatius Griffen. They were joined by Sister Casimir Meskill who came from the South Island.

They lived in a cottage on the site of the present St Benedict’s Convent. The first school “Butcher’s Shop School” was next to the Star Hotel which was on the corner of Newton Road. The Sisters walked the rough, muddy Newton Road each day to go to school.

1884 21 April Sisters began teaching – 40 pupils
May – 110 pupils
December – 200 pupils
1885 June – Property bought at 2 Sussex St. Surrey Hills Church built at 3 Tennyson (now Turakina). St – still part of St Benedict’s parish.
1886 Sisters moved to Sussex St. Sisters began teaching in Church / School 6 Feb 1886.
1895 Mother Mary MacKillop stayed with the Sisters in Sussex St.
1900 Parish of Grey Lynn was begun.
1902 New 2 storey wooden convent was built in Sussex St. The Church continued to be used as a school during the week.
1917 November – New brick school was blessed and opened on Great North Road site. The Convent was moved from Sussex St to a site beside the new school.
1918 New school opened in February with 320 pupils. The church in Turakina St was then used as a church only.
1918 Late in the year the great influenza epidemic struck the whole of N.Z. The School became a hospital and the Sisters nursed the sick and visited homes taking food and medicines, and consoled the bereaved.
1920 The Church moved from Turakina St., to the Great North Road property. It was put on the site of the present church.
1921 Holy Thursday night there was a fire which destroyed the Convent. 12 Sisters and 8 boarders escaped unharmed.
1921/22 The Convent was rebuilt in brick and opened on November 12 1922.
1930 Newspaper ran a competition “Popular Man” and Fr Holebrook’s name was entered. He won a considerable sum of money and used the prize to purchase a 2 storey hall which was put at the back of the new school.
1960 The Secondary Department closed and the Boarding school closed.
1972/73 P.T.A. paid for additions and alterations to the school so that more pupils could be accepted.
1978 Convent was renovated inside and the outside painted. 2 rooms downstairs were turned into classrooms.
1983 The School was integrated into the State system.
1984 Sister Anne Holley became Principal.
1990 The present new school was built behind the old school. Before the August holidays everything was packed into containers. The old school was knocked down during the holidays. Pupils had 2 weeks extra holiday while staff moved equipment into new school.
1990 The playground and grounds of the new school were completed. This was a very stressful term for all as the noise of heavy machinery was intense and there was no-where for the children to play.
1991 Sister Anne Holley Principal – resigned.
1992 Mr. Shearer assumed the principalship in May. Sister Veronica was the only Sister of St Joseph on the staff.
1992 Grey Lynn Convent was sold and the Sisters moved to other communities.
20052005-20142014 Mr John Shearer resigned from St Joseph’s to take up a position at Sir Edmund Hillary CollegeteJenny Bernard assumed the principalship in July 2005. Jenny completed her Master degree in 2010.100th year celebration of St Joseph’s Church.12th October..

Since 1992 the Sisters of St Joseph have remained interested and involved in Grey Lynn School and Parish.
Sister Veronica has retired from St Joseph’s and lives at Mission Bay Convent. Sister Veronica has has a stroke and received a triple by pass in September 2010.
Sister Marianne has been a Member of the Board of Trustees since it began. Sister also takes Communion to the Sick on the third Sunday of the month.
Sister Denise was one of the people involved in setting up the St Joseph’s playgroup.
Sister Edwina and Sister Catherine, who are retired and living at Mission Bay continue to be interested in St Joseph’s Grey Lynn.

2014 60th year Jubilee of Sister Veronica Keane who was the last teaching sister at St Joseph’s

Veronica hails from County Clare in Ireland. As a young 18 year old she entered the Congregation and travelled the long distance from her home country and from her family to Australia. A true missionary at the time! In those days there was little chance of her ever seeing family again so it must have been quite a wrench.
Over the sixty years of her professed religious life, Veronica has taught in 18 schools all over New Zealand and in NSW Australia. She was known to be a very good reading teacher with a particular interest in those who struggled. This led her to train as a reading recovery teacher and many children who had difficulty with the written word have benefitted from the care and interest she took in them. While most teachers retire some time in their sixties, Veronica continued on at St Joseph’s school, as a part time teacher until she was 77.

While she worked on at school, Veronica also took on the role of faithfully caring for the Priest Chaplains for 13 years. They were well looked after! She was also a very good knitter often making garments for children in South Auckland which her sister Mary was able to deliver. Veronica shows a great interest in others and continues to be a caring presence here at Mary MacKillop Centre

We congratulate and bless you on your 60 years of loving service as a Sister of St Joseph.