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.

These include:

  • 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

Junior Commerce


In Business and Economics we provide a half year taster course in Year 9.  Students are introduced to Accounting, Business Studies, Economics and Financial Capability.  The Year 10 course is a full year and covers Accounting, Business Studies, Economics and Financial Capability in more detail and prepares students for NCEA Level 1.

ICT starts at Year 10.  Students are introduced to introductory programming/coding concepts, image creation and manipulation and web development. 



Accounting is about preparing, analysing and communicating financial and non-financial information to a wide variety of interested users who need to make business decisions.

Students can specialise in Accounting from Year 11 to Year 13. 

In Year 11 Accounting, students will learn the accounting process. This starts with preparing source documents, posting that information to journals and ledgers and then preparing a trial balance.  Using the trial balance students will then prepare financial statements and analyse the information to help users make informed business decisions.

In Year 12 Accounting, students build on their knowledge of preparing and analysing financial statements.  Students will also study accounts receivable and inventory processes in depth.  In order to assist students in accounting careers, they will also learn how to use the accounting software MYOB (Mind Your Own Business).

Year 13 Accounting allows students to learn about partnerships and companies.  Students will be able to study the process of setting up a partnership, and preparing and analysing financial reports for companies. They will also understand how entities, cost certain jobs and how accountants use management accounting to make informed decisions.



Josh Long

I chose Accounting as I think it is a great life skill to have.  No matter what field of work you end up in, Accounting will benefit you.

Josh Long
Year 12 - Accounting
Career Goal 
When I leave school I want to go into some kind of engineering and accounting will help me if I ever want to run my own company.

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 Pitch Night 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.

Students can specialise in Business Studies from Year 11 to Year 13.




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 individual consumers, producers and the markets they operate in.

In Year 12, the focus shifts to issues affecting the whole economy.  These include inflation, international trade and economic growth.  As an example, students look 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.  Ther 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.

Students can specialise in Economics from Year 11 to Year 13.





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 Las as it applies to their lives.


Georgia McCloskey

I have found Legal Studies very engaging and interesting.  Though Legal Studies is only unit standard, I have learned so much information that will help me in the future.  I know it will give me a boost of knowledge if I ever find myself studying for law or politics.  I encourage other students to take Legal Studies as it is a subject that is full of so much detail on the New Zealand law system and is something that will benefit you when you are older.

Georgia McCloskey
Year 12 - Legal Studies
Career Goal 
I hope to in the future end up in something relating to law. A law degree interests me, but I am excited to explore the options that politics and law have.

Digital and Computing Technology

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.


Jamie Elley

I chose Programming because technology is the future and there is so much that is undiscovered.  There are so many things you can create with the knowledge of Programming.  I feel like I can express my imagination through the use of code.

Jamie Elley
Year 12 - Programming
Career Goal 
In the future, my goal is to become a software engineer for Google. On the way of trying to achieve my goal, I am going to apply for the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship.

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.

Technology Multimedia (ICT)

The ICT course begins in Year 10, 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.


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
  • Pitch Night for 13BST
  • Treasury Schools Challenge for 13ECO
  • The Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Challenge for 13ECO
  • 11ECO trip to TipTop Ice-cream factory
  • 11ECO trip to Chelsea Sugar Refinery
  • 12ECO trip to Wellington to visit the Reserve Bank, Treasury, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Weta Workshop and Parliament
  • 13ECO trip to Waihi Gold Mine
  • Massey University Business Challenge for 13ACC
  • Massey Business Boot Camp
  • Economics Pursuits Competition for 13ECO
  • Accounting Pursuits Competition for 13ACC
  • New Zealand Programming Contest
  • New Zealand Informatics Competition
  • NZ Economics Competitions for 12ECO and 13ECO
  • A trip to San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles for Year 12 and 13 Commerce Students






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
  • Business Analyst
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.