top of page

Principal's Message

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


Warm greetings to the Linwood College at Ōtākaro community. Tēnā koutou, Talofa lava, Kia orana, Malo e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Bula vinaka, Namaste, Malo ni, Halo ola keta, Kumusta.


We acknowledge and honour mana whenua, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, kaitiaki of the whenua on which we stand both at our Avonside LCŌ and our Aldwins Rd Te Aratai College sites. Also, we acknowledge 2021 being our final full year at Linwood College at Ōtākaro, making our small contribution to the 102 year old history of education on this site.

Let us start with the obvious; it has been another difficult year. While it has been worse for Auckland and other places around the motu-country, all Aotearoa-New Zealand has experienced pressures and strains, wherever we are.




One very clear example of the weirdness and difficulty of 2021 has been our recent prizegiving and other awards ceremonies with no whānau-aiga-family able to be present. This is completely “un-Linwood”, any school in fact, and I suspect has not happened before in any of the 67 Linwood prizegiving ceremonies. And again, there was no Senior Ball again this year so our Year 13s have missed out twice, 2020 and 2021.

I mihi to every student, every whānau, and every staff member who did what was required and made the best of these circumstances so students received the very best care possible for learning, for hauroa-wellness, for personalised success. Perhaps ironically this downside has made this year even more special.


At the heart of everything is community: whanaungatanga and manaakitanga. Repeating what I wrote last year, this is why the eternal verities of character – kindness, empathy, courage, respect, grit, service, humility, generosity, adaptability, to name just a few – this is why in the unknowingness of the future these eternal verities are and will remain eternal.

Adaptability. We acknowledge the Year 13s finishing their 52 terms of schooling as the final Year 13 of Linwood College but ironically doing it off the Linwood site. They have the final Linwood leavers’ hoodie. A designer collector’s piece!

Likewise our returning students are our trail-blazing first students in their Te Aratai College.

Our Te Aratai College rebuild is moving closer to completion and we are very grateful for the positive partnership we have with our architects - Architectus, the Ministry of Education, Southbase - our construction company, and RDT Pacific - our project managers.

In term 2 next year we look forward to our return to Te Aratai College - pathway to the sea - the beautiful name that has been gifted to us by Ngāi Tūāhuriri. We officially take up the name Te Aratai College on our return to Aldwins Road.

We know from our rebuild consultation what our community values in education. These values and principles underpin our curriculum for Te Aratai College with the student-teacher relationship and the personalisation of learning being at the heart of it all. While it is clear that buildings alone do not necessarily improve education, there is also no doubt that new, purpose-built buildings and spaces that arise from community values and priorities can contribute hugely to student success. As I have said before, and will continue to do so, 1954, the school’s opening, to 2022, our return, is a fair number of years, but now, categorically, it is Te Aratai College’s, Linwood College’s turn.


I wish to thank our Board of Trustees, chaired by Mr Finlay Laird. Our Board understands the kaupapa-purpose and is centred on the moral imperative. The Board sets our direction by keeping our attention on what really matters, and avoiding what does not, which is essential with so many potential distractions.


I mihi to the staff for their sustained commitment to the mauri ora-wellbeing of their students. Both 2020 and 2021 have been years of change and difficulty and I thank staff for their resilient professionalism.  Our 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, at Te Aratai College, the individual matters.


Likewise, I acknowledge and thank our partner primary schools. We are in two Kāhui Ako-Communities of Learning: Tamai and Aupaki. Tamai is the wider Linwood-Woolston area: Bamford, Bromley, Linwood Ave, Linwood College, Linwood North, Tamariki, and Te Waka Unua. Aupaki is the schools of Heathcote Valley, Linwood College, Lyttelton, Mt Pleasant, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Redcliffs, and Sumner. We also have an increasing number of students coming to Te Aratai College from other primary schools and we welcome them all.


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, Tama Mai Saute, 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 2022 and beyond.

To our leaving students: go well in your next steps. We all outgrow school – that is the whole 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, soon to be Te Aratai College, is a vibrant community. Our students are wonderful people: open, thoughtful and questioning. They are diamond; they are pounamu. We the Linwood whānau – school, family, community – are intensely proud of them.


We look forward in hope to 2022, to high rates of vaccination, 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 staff and students


It is a shame that whānau and friends are unable to be here in person. There is nothing quite like hearing your child’s name read out and watching them cross the stage to receive recognition in front of the school. Not having whānau present has been caused by circumstances beyond our control so the Board would like to acknowledge all the parents and family who cannot attend today.


The past year has been one like no other and more than usual we have had to rely on the expertise and experience of professionals who are the best in their field. Every student and staff member have had their own set of challenges to overcome. It is when we work together that we are strongest and we can be proud of the way our staff have got on with providing the best they can for all our students.


After reflecting on the year that was at Ōtākaro we can spend time looking to the years ahead at Te Aratai College. It has been a long time coming but before we know it we will be back in our new buildings at Aldwins Road.



For many years much work has gone in while we keep our eye on the prize that is Te Aratai College. The shifting, then settling in, starts at the end of term one next year. Using the experience of shifting out of Aldwins means that planning for our return is well in hand. Hopefully it will be the same as going on holiday when the trip home always seems quicker than the trip away.


To our Year 13s: I hope you too keep your eye on the prize. For you next year will have its own distractions and challenges, but keep your attention on what you are trying to achieve. An important thing in life is making sure you arrive to where it is you want to be.

Leaving Comments From

Our Head Students

Dipal Narayan

Dipal's leaver's speech
at senior prizegiving

Bula, Talofa, Kia Ora, and hello, my name is Dipal Narayan, the head student of 2021, as well as a part of the amazing prefect team. To everyone that has been at Linwood, they have seen me in many different areas of the school either the library, the canteen, or in the theatre. Born in Fiji but raised in Christchurch NZ I started my journey at Linwood College 7 years ago, being the 2nd cohort of the brand new year 7/8 area. Linwood College will always have a special place in my heart, the memories of the staff and the students. Ever since Year 7, I had dreamt of being a prefect or head student and in 2021 my dream finally came true. Working alongside our amazing Principal has taught me so many great things and I will always remember this one specific quote he always uses Ko te manu e kai I te miro nōna te ngahere, Ko te manu kai i te mātauranga, nōna te ao. It translates as ‘The bird that eats the miro berry owns the forest. The bird that feasts on knowledge owns the world’. Mr Edmundson has inspired so many young people in our school and they will never forget it. My time at Linwood has created so many memories that I will cherish forever. To all the staff at Linwood College, I would like to say a big thank you for everything you all do for us students, from the smallest details in your lesson plan to the longest slideshows in one lesson, you guys are truly amazing. I always thought my last year at high school would be the best year it has been without a doubt but knowing that I am getting closer and closer to my final days at Linwood pains me every day. Covid 19 has ruined many things for the class of 2021 but we still managed to turn things around and have a blast in our last year, from an amazing leavers dinner, dress-up week, and the most exciting water fight. To finish it all off I just want to say enjoy it while you can because one day you'll have the same feeling in your stomach as I have because it's all going to be over and the last thing you want to do is regret your time at highschool. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the Linwood College family. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for us.

Phoenix Evans

Phoenix's leaver's speech
at senior prizegiving

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko Tawhirirangi tōku maunga

Ko Mohaka tōku awa

Ko Takitimu tōku waka

Ko Ngāti Pahauwera tōku iwi

Ko Ngāti Kapekape tōku hapū

Ko Waipapa-a-Iwi Mōhaka tōku marae

Ko Neil tōku pāpā

Ko Ani tōku māmā

Ko Aranui-Evans tōku Whānau ingoa

Ko Sabre tōku teina

Ko Emily tāku whaiaipo

Ko Linwood College tōku kura

Nō Ōtautahi ahau

Ko Phoenix tōku ingoa

No reira, tēnā tātou katoa


Good evening everyone, I’d like to start by congratulating you all for making it to the end of the year. Good job guys. It’s an understatement to say this year has been difficult. 2021 has brought challenges and hurdles that we as a community have had to overcome. For us seniors it might be fair to say, this year's lockdown has had a greater impact on us than last year, considering how close to externals it is and basically everything getting cancelled. But nothing we can't do. It sometimes gets hard trying to find peace during chaotic times. But the first step is to understand what is and what is not in your control. You cannot control the weather, natural disasters, or a mass outbreak of disease. Instead of trying to control what we cannot, we should instead devote our energies to what is within our power such as putting in the study, trying our best and having fun while we do it. So congratulations for getting this far, and we just have one more hill to climb that is the terrifying hill of end-of-year exams. 

I’d like to thank my whānau for supporting me through my life and pushing me to challenge myself. Those days when I did not want to go to band practice, sports or study, my parents would drag me off my butt. They would make me work on the holidays and weekends and push me further and stretch me further than I knew I could. I would not be the person I am today without all of their help and guidance. I’d also like to thank my friends for creating memorable moments that have made these five years at Linwood an amazing time.  Last but not least, I’d like to thank Linwood College. This has been an excellent place for personal growth and achievement, the amount of effort the staff put into us is tremendous. The connections that you create with the teachers and staff here help make a welcoming and safe place to challenge ourselves, they are the ones who keep this place going. The teachers are all awesome and have their own quirks and strengths that I’ll surely miss, from Mrs Nijdam's structured lessons, to Mrs Hardwicke's over enthusiasm, Mrs Burgler's cat stories and to Mr Osborne's accent. All the memories I have had in this school have shaped me to become who I am here today.  I cannot show my gratitude enough. 

Linwood has allowed me to see myself. During my time here, I have been able to realise what I am capable of. This is something that has been very difficult for me. I would think to myself that my dreams were too big. I never thought that I could go to university and become a doctor, as that was for “Other people” I told myself. Yet here I am about to move on to achieve those dreams. I don't know why but New Zealanders have difficulty celebrating their success. So, don't be afraid to be who you are, as long as you are yourself, no one else's opinion matters, you can achieve all your greatest dreams.  It’s been an amazing experience going through Linwood. I'm going to miss everyone, including the free lunches.


Cheers. Ngā mihi nui!

Quick Links

bottom of page