The NYDS Week

The National Youth Drama School uses the facilities at Havelock North High School – 153 Te Mata Road, Havelock North and Toitoi, Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre, Central Hastings.


The National Youth Drama School uses the facilities at Havelock North High School, 153 Te Mata Road, Havelock North.

All communication DURING the week should be directed to 027 222 9945 or – NOT to the venue.

Opening Day

All students must register between 10.00am and 3.45pm on Saturday at the NYDS Administration Office. From the HNHS car park, make you way down the path, past the gym to the foyer of the Auditorium.

Registration will be a very simple process where we confirm that you have arrived, provide you with a student tag and a copy of your invoice, and answer any questions you may have. We also make a room available for you to store luggage if need be.

We will be registering 265 students over the course of the day with several large groups arriving from the airport and bus station at the same time. Please be patient and identify yourself by name (our files are arranged alphabetically by first name) at the registration table. And please, if you are a local student, don’t plan to arrive at 3.45pm.

What Happens Next?
Once you have registered, you are welcome (and we encourage you), to spend time at the school, meeting other students, finding your way around etc. You will also be able to order NYDS merchandise throughout the day.

Opening Ceremony and Later
The Opening Ceremony will begin at 4pm and is an opportunity for us to welcome you, celebrate the fact that NYDS is finally here and provide a bit more information about the week. Seating in the Auditorium is reserved for students in the first instance, with parents welcome if space permits.

At the close of the Opening Ceremony, there will be a short admin session followed by a break into class groups where you will have the opportunity to meet your tutor and classmates.

The day is generally wrapped up by approx. 6pm (if not earlier). If you are a billet student, you should have made contact with your hosts earlier in the day (before the Opening Ceremony begins!) and have arranged to leave with them. If you are using the NYDS daily shuttle, you will need to remain behind to meet your shuttle driver, who will also finalise the route at this time. If you are not using the shuttle, you will be free to go.

Rest of the Week


You can view a draft timetable for NYDS here.

School begins at 9am each morning with a warm-up. You will be divided into two warm-up groups – alternating Vocal (in the Auditorium) and Physical (in the Gym).

Classes follow at 9.30am. If you are in a Full Day Workshop, you will spend the entire week in this class. If you are in a Home Group, you will spend all day Sun, Tue, Thu, Fri & Sat, plus Mon & Wed mornings with this class group. You will then spend Mon / Wed afternoon in a Taster Class.

Students have a one hour lunch break from 12.30-1.30pm and a two hour dinner break from 5-7pm. Each day we also have a korero / whole of school meeting at 1.30pm (or 9.30am later in the week) and a short warm down / check-in at 4.30pm.

During the week, in addition to attending classes, you will also attend evening programming. This programming is part of the full NYDS experience and all students are required to attend. The cost of evening events is included in your course fee.

Please note that the first Sunday and Thursday evenings are nights off for all students.

Please also note that out of town students will need to bring their luggage with them to school on the final Sunday morning as you will be not be returning to your hosts following the Closing Ceremony.

‘Sharing of Work’ Presentations

Whānau, friends and the public are welcome to join us at these presentations on the final Friday night, our exciting new Festival Day on Saturday, and at our Screen Classes Sharing of Work on Sunday morning.

The venue for our ‘Sharing of Work’ presentations on the Friday night is the ‘Opera House at Toitoi’ 104/106 Hastings Street South, Hastings.  The ‘Sharing of Work’ Festival Day on Saturday will be presented at Havelock North High School. The venue for the Sunday ‘Sharing of Work’ is again at ‘Oper.a House at Toitoi’

Each class presents their ‘Sharing of Work’ on one day only – the schedule / running order will be confirmed at the beginning of the NYDS week.

Please note that these ‘Sharings’ are not intended to be polished performances, but instead, are an opportunity for others to get a glimpse of what the students have been working on during the week.

We also run a Live stream of the ‘Sharing of Work’ presentations that can be accessed here.

We will also have a social feed that can be accessed here.

What to Bring

We encourage you to pack lightly – include comfortable clothes that you can move freely in (high heels and mini-skirts are not appropriate), toiletries and towel and any medication you may need.

We recommend all students bring a water bottle, notebook and pen to school each day.

If you are staying in Billet or Hostel Accommodation, please check the Accommodation tab for additional items you may need to bring.


Billet & Host Students
We maintain a register of suitable local host families. Please note that we do not police vet  host families as this would make it unfeasible for us to offer the Billet Accommodation option for up to 80 students hosted each year. Generally hosts either have students attending NYDS themselves or are long-term supporters of the school (in which case we do our best to place at least two visiting students together). If you have any concerns about our policy around Billet Accommodation and the selection of hosts, we suggest you consider the Hostel or Private Accommodation options instead.

Billet families are asked to provide daily breakfast as well as dinner on the first Saturday, Sunday and Thursday nights. Your family may also be willing to provide a packed lunch, and depending on where they are located in relation to the school, may be able to offer evening meals, but this is not expected.

If you are a billet or host student, you will receive details of your host or billet at least one week prior to NYDS. You should make contact with each other as soon as you have received this information. You should discuss where / when you will meet (make sure you plan to meet each other prior to the Opening Ceremony as there will not be time at the end of the evening). Also discuss the arrangement around meals and whether there is anything you need to bring with you – e.g: bedding.

Hostel Students
The Hostel can accommodate a maximum of 78 students. The Hostel fee includes breakfast and dinner, but lunch is NOT provided.

The Hostel is located at Hereworth School (a local boarding school). It is approximately a half-block walk from HNHS and will be open from 12 noon on the opening Saturday. Please register at HNHS before checking in at the Hostel. A map of Hereworth School can be found here – make your way to the Boarding Entrance:

The hostel is supervised by our veteran Hostel Managers (both teachers), who will be available to assist you and answer any questions you may have when you arrive.

Please note:

  • You need to bring a bottom sheet, pillow and sleeping bag or duvet with you.
  • The Hostel is separated by gender, but is otherwise open dormitory style.
  • Lunch is not provided.
  • A laundry service will be offered once during the week.

Hostel Rules:

  1. All NYDS venues are smokefree zones, this includes the school grounds
  2. No alcohol, cigarettes, or illegal substances are premitted. This includes during meal breaks and applies to all students, regardless of age.
  3. Meal times will be posted, you are required to fill in the sign out book if you are unable to be there on time.
  4. Boarders will have access to the Dormitories, Ablutions and Dining Room, ALL other areas of Hereworth School are out of bounds.
  5. The Dormitory will be locked during the school day to protect your property. A duty supervisor will be available for emergency access only.
  6. A curfew will be set to accommodate Drama School evening functions. All students are required to be back at the hostel in time for the curfew.
  7. No student will be allowed to stay overnight elsewhere unless prior arrangement has been made by parents.
  8. Respect other students and their property.
  9. Respect the authority of the Supervisors.
  10. These rules are set for your protection. Students failing to meet the required standard of behaviour will be sent home at the expense of their parents.


Arrival & Departure Shuttle:

We run a free shuttle from and to the Hawkes Bay Airport in Napier and the Hastings Bus Depot opposite Subway at 117 Russell Street (please DO NOT book bus fares through to the Napier Bus Depot) at regular intervals on the days of arrival and departure.  The shuttle will often be waiting when you arrive, but depending on earlier arrivals etc, it is possible you will have to wait for 30-45 minutes.  If this is the case, you will likely have a blast in the company of many other excited NYDS students!

If at all possible, please try to arrive by 2.30pm on the Saturday and depart after 1.30pm on the Sunday.  If this is not possible, we should still be able to make arrangements to collect and/or drop you off, but you may miss the Opening Ceremony on Saturday and/or the Closing Ceremony and tearful goodbyes on Sunday.

During the NYDS week:

We run a daily bus service to and from HNHS, for students staying in the Napier, Taradale and Hastings areas (note that we are unable to service nearby Havelock North and some rural addresses).

Due to increasing demand for this service there will be specific drop-off/ pick-up points this year as we are no longer able to offer a door-to-door service. Priority will also be given to visiting and hosting students; for local students living in Napier, Taradale and Hastings who are not hosting a visiting student, we will do our best to accommodate you on the bus but this will be space permitting.

Pocket Money & Meals

You will likely need some pocket money for the week – generally for meals.


Depending on your host family (see info under Accommodation above), Billet students may need enough to cover lunches and dinners. Hostel students will need enough to cover lunches.

The HNHS canteen is open for lunch, morning and afternoon teas and offers healthy options for $4-6. Havelock North village is a 10-15 minute walk from HNHS down a main thoroughfare and offers several takeaway options for dinner as well as a supermarket with deli. If you plan to bring your own meals, we can make the fridge and microwave in the staff kitchen available, but we ask that you confirm this with us by sending a quick e-mail to prior to the NYDS week.

There is an ATM available a 5 minute walk from HNHS.

Rules / Code of Conduct

  1. All NYDS venues, including the school grounds, are smoke-free.
  2. No alcohol, cigarettes or illegal substances are permitted. This includes during meal breaks and applies to all students, regardless of age.
  3. Respect all persons and their property.
  4. Respect the right of the tutor to teach and your fellow students to learn.
  5. Be on time for all school activities.
  6. Take care of your health and sleep requirements and wear clothing appropriate for movement (high-heels and mini-skirts are not appropriate) in order to get the most out of NYDS.

NYDS Management reserves the right to dismiss / send home early any student, who:

a) fails to maintain a high standard of conduct, or
b) is unable to participate due to illness or injury.

Please also note that all health and medical information must be have been disclosed on your Application Form. NYDS Management also reserves the right to send a student home should any known condition manifest, which has not been disclosed.

The cost of any early return journey will be the responsibility of the student / student’s family.