Students arriving at Omata School two-by-two

ROBERT CHARLES/Stuff.co.nz

New Plymouth's Omata School can lay claim to having 7 sets of twins on its roll of only 171 students.

The small township of Omata, less than 10km outside of New Plymouth, Taranaki, is somewhat of a statistical anomaly. 

Out of the current roll of 171 students at Omata School, there are seven sets of twins enrolled. 

Despite denying there's something special in the water at Omata, principal Karen Brisco accepted that they have had an unusually large influx of twins at their school. 

Omata School has seven sets of twins on its school roll this year. L to R: Sophie and Jack Campbell, 8, Mya and Ruby ...
ROBERT CHARLES/FAIRFAX NZ

Omata School has seven sets of twins on its school roll this year. L to R: Sophie and Jack Campbell, 8, Mya and Ruby Glennie, 10, Yazmin and Ben Andrews, 11, (in front) Ryder and Reed Perrett, 5, Melissa and Jake Berridge, 9, Samantha and Sophie Perrett, 6, and Olivia and James Symon-Byrne, 7.

The addition of their youngest set of twins, Reed and Ryder Perrett, at the end of term 3 this year, meant twins now make up 8 per cent of the school roll, Brisco said. 

This was not the first time they have had a spate of twins at the school. In 2007, five sets of twins were students at Omata School, making up 7 per cent of the school roll, she said. 

The odds of having multiple births, or twins, is one in every 89 births in New Zealand so statistically, Omata School should have two sets of twins. 

Omata School has seven sets of twins on its school roll this year. Twin sisters Samantha and Sophie Perrett, 6.
ROBERT CHARLES/FAIRFAX NZ

Omata School has seven sets of twins on its school roll this year. Twin sisters Samantha and Sophie Perrett, 6.

Although the students entered life, and school together, they were treated very much as individuals, Brisco said. 

"We don't treat them any different to other students, there's no 'twinny' thing happening here." 

READ MORE: Woodleigh School seeing triple twice

For the most part, the Omata School twins cohort agreed. While it was great to always have a friend to play with, they wanted to be able to grow up and live life as their own person.

Samantha and Sophie Perrett, 5, cousins of Reed and Ryder, were celebrating their sixth birthdays on Tuesday this week.

They both recently had haircuts which helped people tell them apart, Samantha said. 

"How we tell the difference now is Samantha is a long name and I have long hair and Sophie is a short name and she has short hair." 

Ruby Glennie, 10, said she and her sister Mya still shared the same room, and more often than not had to share the same social calendar. 

"When one's got a friend who's got a birthday party coming up they've kind of got to invite the other one because they don't want to leave anyone out." 

They all had their own personalities and opinions and it was important that other people saw that as well, she said. 

Just like any other siblings, they fought, annoyed each other but also loved to be around each other, just not all the time, they all agreed. 

Multiple births stats: 

  • According to the New Zealand Multiple Birth Association website, Multiples NZ, 808 sets of twins were born in New Zealand in 2014, as well as 11 sets of triplets. 
  • Approximately 1.5-2% of all NZ births are multiple births. 
  • Around 1 in every 89 births result in twins. 
  • The odds of conceiving triplets is around 1 in every 9000 births. 
  • No quad births have been recorded since 1998. 
  • Overall, the Taranaki region has the fifth highest fertility rate in the country, according to Statistics NZ data from 2013. 
 

 - Stuff

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