South Auckland's Manurewa Intermediate School is leading the way in educating young Pacific students.
The school won the Supreme Award and the Excellence in Engaging Award at this year's Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards.
There's a strong Maori and Pacific presence in the school. Thirty seven per cent of students are Maori and 45 per cent of students have Pacific heritage.
Associate Principal Ross Devereux says the school has come a long way.
"The Principal Ian Taylor started in the school in 2008. At that time the school was bankrupt, there were guards on the gates, teachers had to do duty in pairs with walkie-talkies because of anarchy."
Devereux says Taylor has completely flipped the school around.
Manurewa Intermediate received $50,000 as part of their Prime Minister's Award.
Devereux says their students now love coming to school.
"We're making this the best part of their world," he says. "In every area of the school, from the environment, the garden, the play area, it's a beautiful place to be. That encompassed with the classroom environment and the relationship between the teacher and students."
Manurewa Intermediate Principal: Ian Taylor. Photo/ Supplied.