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Principal's Message

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā hau e wha, nau mai, haere mai.


Warm greetings to the Linwood College community. Kia ora koutou. Talofa lava. Kia orana. Malo e lelei. Bula. Fakaalofa atu. Namaste. Kumusta.


Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takitini - My strength is not mine alone; my strength is from many. This whakatauki (proverb) has never been truer for our precious nation than in this Covid-19 year. When I made my address at the senior awards, ceremony I stated that it has been “one pig of a year” and, at the same time, how fortunate we are to be Aotearoa-New Zealand compared to many places around the world. A key reason for this is that we had our mahi tahi collective response to our Prime Minister’s call to, “Go hard and go early.” However, within our relative good fortune, Covid-19 has hit hard for many, many people in our community and nationally. This has meant that student achievement and success has been even more praiseworthy – "truly you are diamond; truly you are pounamu."

It has also shown how true education reflects the eternal verities of character. It is through adversity that the qualities of our character and cherished values come to the fore. Every year draws on character, but 2020, particularly, has been a year of significant challenge and busyness reflecting both the national context and our wish to continue the growth and positive nature of the wider environment for our school. I wish to acknowledge and thank the entire school community - students, staff and whānau - for everyone's patience and resilience through 2020.

Particularly, I wish to mihi to our community. Tēnā rawa atu koutou, Fa'afetai, Thank you to all our families-whānau-aiga who partnered with the school to support us all get through the uncertainties of the first weeks of term 1, the emerging developments that lead to the alert levels, the weeks of lockdown itself and the online learning within all those lockdown pressures, and the return to LCŌ for making the best of the rest of the year.

Through all this, student wellbeing and personalised success has remained at the centre of our school’s moral compass, underpinning everything that we do. We know that our community sees student success as more than only formal academic achievement. Our community views education as the wellbeing of the whole person, with students able to learn as themselves. Our community knows how all developmentally positive experiences – classroom, sport, community involvement, leadership, culture – enrich our students’ understanding of whom they are and broaden their outlook. It creates mauri ora - flourishing wellbeing.


2021 will be our final full year of being here on our temporary site - Linwood College at Ōtākaro. As we know, we are firstly very fortunate to be out of all that building disruption - noise, dust, mud, classes squashed in the hall etc – and, secondly, we have the double-lift of being in our present beautiful surroundings. We most certainly have been getting "an upgrade before our upgrade" as one mother said to me. We are pleased with our building progress at Aldwins Rd and the positive partnership we have with our architects - Architectus, the Ministry of Education, Southbase - our construction company, and RDT Pacific - our project managers.

We look forward to 2022 and our return to Te Aratai College - pathway to the sea - the beautiful name that has been gifted to us by Ngāi Tūāhuriri.

Our re-build is becoming more visible. In parallel, we are having deeper conversations about curriculum and teaching that reflect the values and principles underpinning our return to Te Aratai College. We are grateful that we have the bedrock of our community consultation to inform these conversations. The guidance from this consultation means we stay focussed on what matters and are not distracted by fads or the superficially attractive. We all agree that buildings alone do not necessarily improve education – the student-teacher relationship and the personalisation of learning are the two key factors for this – but there is also no doubt that new, purpose-built buildings and spaces that arise from community values and priorities can contribute hugely to these two factors. As I have said before, and will continue to do so, from 1954, the school’s opening, to 2022, our return, is a fair number of years, but now, categorically, it is Linwood College-Te Aratai College’s turn.

Leading us in this is our Board of Trustees, chaired by Mr Finlay Laird. We thank our Trustees for their wise stewardship and their commitment to the kaupapa, to the moral imperative. Our Board sets our direction by keeping us grounded on what really matters, and steering us away from what does not.

I would like to thank the staff for their sustained commitment to the mauri ora-wellbeing of their students. This year of change brought its own demands and I thank staff for their resilient

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professionalism.  Education is a noble profession, and Linwood staff care about the personal success of each and every student. Amidst all the activity, our kaupapa-purpose has remained the daily bedrock practices of positive, learning-focused relationships. At Linwood College at Ōtākaro the individual matters.


Likewise, I acknowledge and thank our partner schools in our two Kāhui Ako-Communities of Learning. We are in two Kāhui Ako for the educational pathways from these schools and their communities into our school. Tamai is the wider Linwood-Woolston area: Bamford, Bromley, Linwood Ave, Linwood College, Linwood North, Tamariki, and Te Waka Unua. Our Aupaki Kāhui Ako is the schools of Heathcote Valley, Linwood College, Lyttelton, Mt Pleasant, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Redcliffs, and Sumner.


Many businesses and organisations are active and valued supporters of our school, assisting various individuals and initiatives. We are very grateful to Ara Institute of Canterbury, Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury for their active commitment to our school.


Also actively supporting the school this year were: 

All Souls Parish of Merivale, Argyle Schoolwear, ASB, Beacham Foundation, Canterbury District Health Board, Catholic Social Services, Charitable Company Ltd, Coast to Coast Rangers, CDN Kids Camps, Christchurch City Mission, Emerge Aotearoa, Ferrymead Rotary, Graeme Dingle Foundation, He Waka Tapu, Jemima Jackson from Selwyn House, Joshua Foundation, Linwood/Woolston Rotary, Lyttleton Rotary, Mana Ake, Methodist Mission, Ngā Maata Waka, Ōranga Tamariki Partnership Community Workers, Pak n Save, Phillipstown Community Policing Team, Police Youth Aide, Port Hills Uniting Parish, Purapura Whetu, Presbyterian Support, Q-Topia, Rata Foundation, Right Service Right Time, Shakti, Social Worker in Schools, Southern Health School, STAND, Sumner-Redcliffs Parish, Rotary Club Woolston, Taiwan Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation NZ, Te Ora Hou, The Royal Commonwealth Society, Variety the Children’s Charity, Waipuna St John of God, Wayne Francis Trust, Woolston Club, Youth Cultural Development, Youthtown, 180 Degrees Trust, 24/7 Youth Trust and Youth Workers, 699@Worcester, and a number of private individuals who have asked not to be named. We thank these individuals and organisations.


To our leaving staff, and those who left during the year, we are deeply grateful for all that you have done for our students. We thank you for your service. Our very best wishes for 2021 and beyond.

To our leaving students, go well in your next steps. If you are Year 13, you have survived 52 school terms. We all outgrow school – that is the point of it – and now you move into the big wide world which is ready for you and you are ready for it. Go well. Farewell. Haere rā.

Linwood College at Ōtākaro is a vibrant community. Our students are wonderful people: open, thoughtful and questioning. We the Linwood whānau – school, family, community – are intensely proud of them.


We look forward in hope to 2021 and before then, ngā mihi nui-best wishes for the festive season and summer holiday.


Richard Edmundson


From the Board of

Trustees Chairperson

Finlay Laird's Senior Prizegiving Speech

Kia ora koutou, good evening everyone.

Welcome to this event, a celebration of student achievement at Linwood College.

At the start of the year, we were looking forward to getting back to normal with the shift to Ōtākaro behind us and the foundations being laid for the rebuild. I doubt anyone here would have predicted they would be home schooling their children while teachers were conducting online classes. This was a scenario we had not planned for until the final days and in some ways had to make up as we went along. The way our staff responded to this challenge in an adaptable and practical way was a further reminder of the quality of the staff we have at our school. The Board thanks them all.

With the school’s input into the rebuild winding down, it was the right time to make necessary decisions that would serve our school in the years ahead. You would have received the messages from

Mr Edmundson giving details around the Board’s decision to change the school’s name to Te Aratai College when we return to Aldwins Road. Te Aratai has meaning and relevance, Pathway to the Sea, and we are grateful to Ngāi Tūāhuriri for their wonderful gift.

The Board was recently presented by Ngāi Tūāhuriri with our school’s cultural narrative. This expands on Te Aratai and gives names to the buildings and spaces. One name you will be hearing much more of is Te Puna. This is the 650 seat auditorium/performance centre, the modern version of the school hall. Te Puna means the pool.

This name was chosen as it has a connection to adjoining areas in the school with water names and to the waterways surrounding the school,

and to the use of the hall, a place where pupils pool together for a variety of purposes. Much as Burnside High has the Aurora Centre, Te Aratai College will have Te Puna, not just an asset for our school but our partnership schools and our whole community.


We will soon be consulting on the school uniform. There are many things to consider and a wide range of opinions to be 

had. The Board values parent and student input as we want a uniform that meets the needs of those that wear, look after and


pay for it. The intention is to have changes in place for the return to Aldwins Road. We want this to be a smooth transition and will keep families fully informed of how they may be affected.

This is a special night for everyone here. We can all take pride in the young adults we are about to recognise.

Thank you.

Finlay Laird

Board Chair

Linwood College at Ōtākaro

Leaving Comments From

Our Head Students

Paigan-Lilly Watson-Hall

Paigan-Lilly's leaver's speech
at senior prizegiving

My name is Paigan-Lilly and I am very proud to have had the privilege of being a head student of Linwood College for 2020.


This is my seventh year here at Linwood College, so it is a mixture of excitement and sadness. Sad to be leaving Linwood College the place I’ve spent most my life, and made some pretty amazing memories and relationships, but excited to see what challenges and opportunities the future holds.


To all the staff here at Linwood College, I don’t think I could exaggerate how invested and passionate each of you is for your subjects and students.


Year 13 has undeniably been one of the craziest years of my life, with the challenges Covid-19 brought, jumping off the Kawarau bridge to the loss of my Grandad and Nana, the new relationships, challenges and just overall the tones of laughter and joy. I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint one highlight, because the entire year has been so memorable.


I would like to encourage all the student to stay in school! The whole way through!! To finish strongly! To embrace and take a hold of every single opportunity that comes your way.


I cannot stress enough just how important it is to try, and to enjoy school.


As much as me saying that makes you “cringe”, you honestly will not realise how much it means to you until it is gone.


Linwood College is a big family. The staff and students have helped me grow into who I am today, I couldn’t have done it myself, you all mean so much to me and I will cherish you in my heart forever. I would like to thank you all so much for making my time here at Linwood College an unforgettable experience.


I will finish with a quote my friend Walter and I created,


“Your experience here is what you make of it, and is over before you know it, so make the most of it.”

Mario Cvetkoski

Mario's leaver's speech
at senior prizegiving

Good evening everybody, I would like to begin by thanking the acada-, I mean Linwood College for everything it has done. It has been an honor to serve as one of the head prefects, alongside Paigan-Lilly, at Linwood College this year. And man, what a year has this been. From Australia being on fire, to America and Iran having their, let's say, disagreements earlier, to Kobe Bryant’s helicopter tragic accident, me becoming head boy, to Covid, it has been a decade packed into a year.


Last year when I put my name down as a candidate for head boy, two tremendous things occurred that I didn’t think would happen. Firstly, that I actually became head boy. That was a surprise to me, and my mum, who at the time when I told her, was driving and almost crashed. And secondly, I didn’t think I would become head boy during a global pandemic, but here we are.

I don’t think it's wrong to call this year stressful by any stretch of the imagination, but as I said before, here we are, almost at the end of 2020. During this year we all have had to adapt to the largest shift education has had to face in many, many years. Learning long distance during a global pandemic. From having a math assessment on my first day after those term 1 “holidays”, to having online meetings with my teachers, it was a paradigm shift for sure. But like many, I would not be able to do this alone. During Covid, we all heard about how New Zealand was able to be kept safe due to the team of five million, and I have a similar experience with a group of people helping me along the way, although my team may not be as large as 5 million, they are just as important to me.

Firstly, I would like to thank la familia. I would not be the person I am without them. From a young age they all have encouraged me to pursue my dreams and push me into new and exciting opportunities. They have always been there for me, and I love them all from the depths of my heart.

I would also like to thank my amazing friends who have made these last 5 years incredibly fun and enjoyable, even when school life got stressful and intense.

And last, but not least, I would like to thank Linwood College, or soon to be called Te Aratai. Here at this school I have received a fantastic education from some fantastic teachers. From math, to english, physics, chemistry, art, history, computer science, eh, even throw PE in there from when I was a junior, the teachers at this school have been a delight to work with and learn from. But I would like to also extend my thanks to some of the other staff, in particular Miss Stanton who helped build me into my current role and was an excellent guide to our prefect team. I would like to also express my thanks and gratitude to

Mr Edmundson, who took the role as Principal back in my first year when I was a small Year 9 during 2016, and has been excellent ever since.  

And during that same year I remember thinking how special the head prefects must have been. But in actuality, they weren't anything out of the ordinary, they were just Linwood students. Albeit hardworking Linwood students taking up an opportunity. Just like how at the end of the day me, Paigan, and the whole prefect team are just hardworking Linwood students taking up an opportunity. And that is important to keep in mind because it can mean anyone can become a head student if they put in the work, if they put in the time. If you set your mind to it, you will be able to achieve this, or any goal. 

This year as head boy has been a ride, I have learnt so many new things, and developed not just my academic skills, but also my people skills, which will remain invaluable for the rest of my life. 


And so as my tenure comes to an end, 2020 still has a few months to go, so don’t go relaxing yet, I'm still betting on aliens to show up. And as I leave my leadership role peacefully, unlike a certain now-former president, I have been Mario Cvetkoski, and as I said at my first speech those many months ago, don’t bother trying to pronounce my surname.


It has been a pleasure,

Thank you.

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