Welcome to the Commerce Department!  Commerce in an integral part of the world around us.  Our vision is for students in the Commerce Department to become financially and economically literate, technologically driven, enterprising and globally aware.  We offer a range of subjects to achieve this end.

What we teach:

  • Accounting (ACC)
  • Business and Economics (BEC) 
  • Business Studies (BST)                          
  • Economics (ECO)
  • Generic Computing-Applications (CPG)
  • Legal Studies (LGL)
  • Programming and Computer Science (PRG)
  • Technology Multimedia (ICT)


Commerce Department 2017

Junior Commerce

In Business and Economics we provide a ten week taster course in Year 9.  The Year 10 course is a full year and covers Accounting, Business Studies, Economics and Financial Literacy in more detail and prepares students for NCEA Level 1.

In 2017 we will be introducing a ten week ICT taster course.  This will include introductory programming/coding concepts, image creation and manipulation and web development. The Year 10 course is a full year and prepares students for ICT and Programming/Computer Science for NCEA Level 1.




Accounting is about providing financial information to a wide variety of interested users who need to make business decisions.

We introduce Accounting in Year 9 and Year 10 in the Business and Economics (BEC) courses.  Students can specialise in Accounting from Year 11 to Year 13. 






Kathryn Huang

I chose Accounting as one of my subjects because I feel like being able to manage your money in the future is a very important skill in life. It’s so fun to learn about aspects of different businesses and to assess how they are able to progress and improve financially.

Kathryn Huang
Year 12 - Accounting
Career Goal 
This year gives me an advantage if I want to start my own business in the future.

Business Studies

Business Studies gives students an insight into being an entrepreneur and the challenges involved in starting up and running a successful business.  Students learn the theory behind planning, marketing, managing and financing a business and then put it into practice at various market days and Dragons Den style events.

There is also an opportunity for students to compete in the Young Enterprise Scheme by forming a company to raise capital, produce and market a product or service with the aim of making a profit for all shareholders.

We introduce Business Studies in Year 9 and Year 10 in the Business andEconomics (BEC) courses.
 Students can specialise in Business Studies from Year 11 to Year 13.



Sophie McLean

I took an interest in Business Studies because I think that this subject can give me multiple job opportunities when I leave school.

Sophie McLean
Year 12 - Business Studies
Career Goal 
I can see myself working in Television, either behind the camera or in production work, possibly even setting up my own little production business making commercials etc.


There are insufficient resources in the world for everyone to have what they want so choices have to be made.  Economics looks at the choices consumers, producers and the Government make.  In Year 11 the focus is on microeconomics and this relates to individual consumers, producers and the markets they operate in.

In Year 12 the focus shifts to macroeconomics and the issues affecting the whole economy are explored.  These include inflation, international trade and economic growth.  Currently students are looking at what is wrong with deflation, how to increase economic growth and how the foreign exchange market works.

In Year 13 the focus is on the market system, why market failure can occur and what the Government can do to correct it.  There is
also a more in depth look at macroeconomics.

Economics teaches students to be critical thinkers.  There are many
ways of achieving an outcome and students learn about the trade-offs
involved in decision making.  Students develop reasoning and analytical
skills that will help them to present and interpret economic data and
arguments in a clear and coherent manner.

We introduce Economics in Year 9 and Year 10 in the Business and
Economics (BEC) courses.  Students can specialise in Economics from
Year 11 to Year 13.


Michael Squire

I like Economics because it helps me understand what is happening in the world. I chose Economics because it relates to what my Dad does and because it will prepare me for the future.

Michael Squire
Year 12 - Economics

Legal Studies

Legal Studies is a programme for Year 12 students.  It provides an introduction to New Zealand law and the role it plays in our society.  The course enables students to acquire an appreciation of the New Zealand legal system through the following topics:

  • Democracy and Government
  • The Judicial System
  • Voting Systems
  • Crime and it's Consequences
  • Youth Justice
  • Marriage and De Facto Relationships
  • Litigation and Dispute resolution

The course will be of interest to students considering a future career in law, business or those students who want to appreciate the social and
commercial aspects of New Zealand law as it applies to their lives.


Sophia Ramsay

Legal Studies teaches you about important factors that will help you later on in life. I enjoy Legal Studies because even though it is a unit standard, I find it very interesting and it has encouraged me to look at possible careers in Law and Politics. I would highly recommend this class to anyone interested in the way New Zealand’s legal system works or if they are looking for a fun and educating subject that is very beneficial to their general knowledge.

Sophia Ramsay
Year 12 - Legal Studies
Career Goal 
When I leave Rangitoto College I am planning to do a Communications degree at AUT or Massey University. This will hopefully lead me to a job in PR or Marketing/Advertising.

Digital and Computing Technology 2017

Programming and Computer Science

Rangitoto College has a long history of teaching students the fundamentals of Computer Science. Our first course was offered in 1973, and a computer science course has been available ever since. We remain one of the few high schools that still offer students the opportunity to learn about the principles of computer science. Our courses are designed to teach the programming disciplines that would be required by industry and our teachers have previous experience as computing specialists, including employment in the industry. Programming begins at Year 11 and assumes no prior knowledge. Python is the primary language taught.

The Year 12 course builds on the Level 1 Programming and Computer Science course. It covers advanced programming skills, problem solving and includes aspects of project development. Local area networking and more advanced computer science topics such as encryption, error control and compression are also covered.

The Year 13 course builds on Level 2, covering software engineering, SQL databases, artificial intelligence, computer graphics and vision, and algorithm complexity.

The course meets the university entrance requirements for further study in the subject.


Evan Cronje

I chose Programming because it is a subject that allows me to solve problems in creative and stimulating ways. These skills help me with other subject as well and will help me with any career path I choose.

Evan Cronje
Year 12 - Programming
Career Goal 
When I leave school I would like to study Computer Science and possibly pursue a carer in Network Management.

Generic Computing-Applications

Computing is a skill that is a must for the 21st century. No matter what direction your career takes you, competency in computing will be essential. The subject enables you to use spreadsheets, word processing, desktop publishing, databases and the basics of web design.

Study in Generic Computing for Year 11 to Year 13 gives students a sound knowledge of Microsoft packages and their application to documents. Some of the Adobe suite is also used.

Without IT skills the future in any employment will be more difficult. This skill base and knowledge can be used to do further study in Information Technology; however, it is also a skill that can be carried across all subjects studied and is very useful in a tertiary setting. It can also be used as entry level into employment.

Xin Ling Chan

This is a fun subject which has now become something of a hobby for me. Technology is a really important thing for the future as it is developing so fast.

Xin Ling Chan
Year 12 - Information Management
Career Goal 
I want to go into Business Commerce and eventually become a Business Entrepreneur.

Technology Multimedia (ICT)

The ICT course begins in Year 9, covering both ICT and Programming skills. In the junior levels a variety of digital media types are covered including image editing, desktop publishing, logical thinking and game development, animation and web and app development.

The Year 11 course continues from this knowledge, with slightly less focus on the programming aspects and more focus on design principles.

Year 12 and Year 13 cover more advanced skills of digital media. Students create complex outcomes, including the use of responsive web design and search engine optimisation.

The course meets the university entrance requirements for further study in the subject.

Points of Interest

There are many out of class learning experiences and extracurricular activities for students to participate in.  Here is a selection:

  • Market Day for 10BEC
  • Market Days for Year 11 and 12BST
  • Dragon's Den for 13BST and Young Enterprise Scheme (YES)
  • Treasury Schools Challenge for 13ECO
  • The Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Challenge for 13ECO
  • 11ECO trip to TipTop Ice-cream factory
  • 11ECO trip to Villa Maria Estate
  • 12ECO trip to Wellington to visit the Reserve Bank, Treasury, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment , Weta Workshop and Parliament
  • 13ECO trip to Glenbrook Steel Mill
  • Massey University Business Challenge for 13ACC
  • Massey Business Boot Camp
  • CEO conference YES
  • Economics Pursuits Competition for 13ECO
  • Accounting Pursuits Competition for 13ACC
  • New Zealand Programming Contest
  • New Zealand Informatics Competition



Where Commerce could lead

Many of our students go on to tertiary study for B.Com, B.Bus, B.A,  B.Sc (Economics major),  B.Sc (Computer Science) or BCMS (Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Science), B.Eng (Software Engineering)

Our subjects open doors to a wide variety of career options:

  • Small / Large Business
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Management Consulting
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Accounting
  • Share Trader
  • Fund Manager
  • Analyst Programmer
  • Software Analyst
  • Technical Support
  • Network Engineer
  • Quality Assurance Consultant
  • IT Consultant
  • Infrastructure Architect
Head of Department 
Vanessa Rossiter

Bachelor of Social Science
Graduate Certificate in Gifted Education
Certified International Baccalaureate Economics Teacher

Mrs Rossiter has been teaching Economics since 1984 and has been employed at Rangitoto College since 1986. She is one of New Zealand's most experienced Economics Teachers and the author of an NCEA Level 1 Economics textbook (the Economics of Choice). When she was Economics Curriculum Leader, Mrs Rossiter helped students to national success in the Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Challenge and to the final of the Treasury Schools Challenge.
Personal Statement 
As an Economics Teacher I enjoy instilling in students a love of Economics. My challenge is to help students make the links between the theory they are taught in class and the real world in which they live. Working with students and finding ways of helping them learn and reach their full potential is what inspires me. As Head of Department, I work to provide opportunities for teachers within the Department to grow and to contribute to Rangitoto College's world class learning experience.