We recognise that the arts and culture offer our students an invaluable window into the human experience and an avenue through which they can tell their own stories as they are exposed to different perceptions of the world and their place in it.

The Arts

The college has extensive curricular arts programmes that extend and challenge our students to high levels of execution. We also offer a vast range of co- and extra-curricular activities that extend beyond the classroom. These activities are tightly connected to our local community thanks to the many community members who share their skills, knowledge and time to support these activities. Extension opportunities include a comprehensive itinerant music programme, an Arts Week in which students share works from all disciplines, the ‘Rockquest’ and ‘Showquest’ competitions, choir, jazz bands and competitions, the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare competition, live and online visual art exhibitions, local visual arts competitions, and opportunities to perform in the national arts festival, ‘The Festival of Colour’, held every two years in April.  Each year we support students to select opportunities that work best for them and their personal interests so no two years are ever the same.


The art of persuasion, debating, is also an important extra-curricular activity at MAC for students across all levels of the school. Our students participate in the Otago/Southland regional debating competition, are mentored by members of the Otago University Debating Society, and each year we hold an interhouse debating competition. Guided by our teaching staff, our debaters meet each week at lunchtime to hone their skills in a fun and supportive environment. 

Kapa haka

Kapa haka is an important part of cultural life at our school giving students from all year levels the chance to build connections with each other and experience te reo Māori and tikanga while having fun. This powerful combination of waiata, haka, and pūrakau gives our students a chance to develop their personal skills within a group context and contribute to important school and community events through their performance of the kapa haka.

Cultural Committee

The cultural committee’s purpose is to support, encourage and provide cultural and arts opportunities for all students at Mount Aspiring College. Our focus is to encourage success and involvement in the arts and to further integrate Māori culture into the school and community.

Our members

Melia Brett

Kimiya Byrne

Paige Gawn

Oscar Goodwin

Matilda Metcalfe

Ella Miles

Daisy Orbell

Bella Robertson

India Yule

Logan Dean

Support teachers: Emily McRae and Kaz Roberts

Our focus

  • encourage success and involvement in the arts
  • further integrate Māori culture into the school and community 
  • participate in and lead and support others in activities within the school and the community as well as nation-wide competitions, including ‘Stars in Your Eyes’, school choir, jazz bands, ‘Festival of Colour’, ‘Rock Quest’, ‘Show Quest’ and major school productions 
  • help the student body to experience and learn from enriching cultural and arts activities that help us all to build relationships and understand the world in which we live and what it means to be human.

Our achievements

  • Living through a pandemic has meant recent cultural committees have had to be innovative, brave and extremely flexible to find ways for cultural and arts activities to happen when large gatherings and group-based activities have been restricted. 
  • In 2020 the Cultural Committee banded together after their beloved major school musical project had to be cancelled and produced a national-winning film for Showquest’s first ever film competition. 
  • In 2021, the committee ensured a school-wide kapa haka competition went ahead in between covid-level restrictions which saw fabulous energy and competitive spirit from all school houses. 
  • The committee also supported and participated in the first ever ‘Tupu’ school Arts Week at the Lake Wānaka centre sharing some of the work happening in our school’s performing arts and visual arts departments with the local community. 
  • This year’s achievements have included:
    • staging a fundraising concert for student Toby Mills
    • running the songwriters and DJ/producers club
    • securing funding and permission for a visual arts mural
    • planning for the upcoming house haka/music competition
    • supporting and participating in 'Showquest', 'Rockquest', 'Play it strange' and other national competitions.