Issue No. 166

From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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It has been an unusual couple of weeks since publication of the previous issue of In Black & White, as our community – both in and outside of College – adapts to the various ramifications of the response to Covid-19.

For me, it has been a very interesting insight into how I lead a dynamic organisation with a range of stakeholders. I am certain this has been the same for many in the wider College community, as we all deal with the uncertainty that seems to have its own timeline. Much of my decision making has been in response to Government initiatives and directives. My view is that as part of a wider community and society, we have a responsibility to fit within it in times such as these. To operate as an exception may reflect our independence, but can often cause significant and unnecessary disruption and heightened levels of anxiety.

I am fortunate to have around me the wise and supportive members of the College Executive Team, sympathetic staff, and an engaged Board of Governors as we navigate this path. We have taken measured and balanced decisions in all we have done. An interesting constant has been the amount of information we receive and can access around this issue, which can at times be a little overwhelming. We all need to engage our critical thinking skills, as ascertaining real facts and good advice can take some discernment. Such is the challenge of our globalised and networked world.

I am sure for the boys this has also been an interesting time, as we are again impacted by circumstances beyond our control, testing our capacity to be appropriately responsive and resilient. Among many events called off, and perhaps one of the most disappointing for our students, is the recent cancellation of Summer Tournament Week. Young athletes all over the country have been training hard and looking forward to the opportunity to compete at these championship events and for many, especially students in Year 13, their disappointment will be palpable. It may be a different kind of challenge, but it is important to try and accept this reality with equanimity and look forward positively.

One of the outcomes of the issue of social distancing, as requested by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has been our decision to cancel or postpone a significant number of College events, especially in what is known as “enrolment season”. However, I am confident our community will continue to advocate for the College experience as we adapt to the changed circumstances of this extraordinary period.

As ever, I will keep our community informed. The latest Covid-19 update for parents can be found here.

Read on

From the Chaplain

In Chapel

During Lent, we are focusing on healthy habits – spiritual disciplines that enrich our life and the lives of others.

In Class

In Year 11 we have begun 2,000 years of Western history, beginning with Jesus and working up to our Achievement standard.

In Year 10, we are coming to the end of a film study – The Matrix – in which we made religious and philosophical connections, and we are moving on to the teachings of Jesus in some classes and studying Islam in others.

In Year 9, we are continuing to learn about the life and context of Jesus of Nazareth, and connecting that with our present day world.


If your son has not been baptised (christened) and is considering it, I remind you that on Wednesday 29 April, starting at 6.45pm, baptism is offered within the induction service for new choristers. I also remind you that baptism is accepted across all main denominations. If your son is interested, please ask him to talk to me or email me soon.

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Curriculum News

Staff Nicole Billante

Nicole Billante
Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

Crucial skills for a changing world

We are, as the saying goes, living in interesting times, as governments all over the world take measures to protect their populations and stem the spread of Covid-19, and science continues to investigate and unpick the complexity of this new coronavirus.

In my role at College, I continually reflect on what our boys need and how we can prepare them to take their place in society. The past week has been another prompting for me. The reaction of different people to recent events speaks volumes about the thinking skills and character traits we want our young men to develop, and that they need. I have received images from my family in the United States of bare supermarket shelves, and we have all seen news reports of scuffles breaking out as people panic buy. Thankfully, I have also received links to reports from my friends in Taiwan – a country which is being looked to as a model of how to flatten the curve – of the exact opposite. There is a way to respond to such moments with sensibility, critical thinking, and kindness. And these are skills we can teach our boys.

The reality is our current situation is unprecedented – but we also need to understand that in our fast-paced, connected global community, there are unprecedented situations around the corner all the time. With that in mind, what do our boys need? They need to be able to understand facts and information, to decipher the irrational and fear-mongering from the practical and sensible. They also need to be able to work together, to think of others, and act in the interests of the whole and not just for the self. They need to be adaptable and resilient, to recognise there are things that can change their world overnight – but, with the aforementioned skills, it is possible to carry on.

I believe our current curriculum is a great starting point for enabling our boys to see and respond to such events with a critical thinking lens. I know there is more we can do to help them, however, and this is what continues to drive our work in the Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research. Our push for continual improvement is all about ensuring our boys leave College ready to contribute to a society that looks to “flatten the curve”, not to respond in panic.

I would like to reassure you that the boys’ education will continue to be a priority for me, as it is for every teacher and staff member at College. Executive Principal Garth Wynne will keep our community informed and, as ever, we will aspire to do our best for your sons.

Read on


Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Upcoming careers dates
19 MarchMassey University liaison visit, 1pm
23 MarchYour Education High School Exchanges presentation, 1pm (W102)
24 MarchUniversity of Auckland liaison visit
7 AprilUC Year 12 Discovery Day
19–24 AprilUC Elaine P Snowden Astronomy School
20–23 AprilRabobank FoodX 2020, Lincoln University
1 MayUC careers session, Year 12
3–4 MayDunedin Tertiary Open Day
7–9 MayCareers Expo, Horncastle Arena
8 MayUniversity of Otago careers session, Year 13
27 MayUC Choose Science careers evening
1 JuneMassey University, Student Experience Day
3 JuneUC information evening
6 JulyMassey University, Student Experience Day
9 JulyUC Open Day
1 AugustHalls of residence applications open, Victoria University
21 AugustVictoria University Open Day
1 SeptemberSchool leaver scholarship applications due, Victoria University
1 OctoberOnline enrolment opens, Victoria University
1 OctoberHalls of residence applications due, Victoria University

Christ's College CareerWise

I encourage you to register on the Christ’s College careers website CareerWise, which will give you weekly updates about events, jobs and news.

Go to

Recent posts on the CareerWise website

Please click on the above Careerwise link for more information

  • The Learning Place Barista Course
  • Lincoln University Open Day
  • Your Education Student Exchange
  • Money Hub – Scholarships
  • Health Careers Expo

New York University Abu Dhabi

Liaison visit – Friday 27 March. Due to the coronavirus Covid-19, the liaison officer from NYU Abu Dhabi has had to postpone his visit.

UC Year 12 Discovery Day

The 2020 UC Year 12 Discovery Day will be held during the first week of the school holidays on Tuesday 7 April. Boys who want to attend should email me and I will forward their names to UC liaison staff, who will then send them details for registration and planning. More than 60 boys have now shown an interest in this event.

Otago Tertiary Open Day

A group of College students will travel to Dunedin for the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic Open Days on Sunday and Monday 3–4 May. We will travel by coach and stay at the KiwisNest backpackers hostel on Sunday. This is an opportunity for the boys to see Dunedin, attend lectures or information sessions and look at accommodation options. This is a school trip. We do not allow boys to drive their own vehicles with other students, but parents can travel to Dunedin with their son independently if they choose. The boys will be given booklets to help them plan their day. More information is available on College’s CareerWise website. There are six places still available.

Your Education – High School Exchanges

The Your Education team plan to visit College on Monday 23 March to talk about opportunities for high school exchanges and gap year options. Destinations on offer include Canada, USA, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Japan. All students welcome, room W102, 1pm. For more information, go to

Health Careers

On Friday 3 April, the last day of term, there are no classes for boys, but there are parent–student–teacher interviews for Years 9 and 10 students. An opportunity has also come up for senior boys to visit the Canterbury District Health Board, and we will be taking a group along at 12.30pm. The CDHB will showcase the wider health system, including hospitality, trades, IT, community, business and corporate, as well as the better known clinical and allied health roles, such as nurse, doctor, midwife, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Students should email me – – to register their interest in this event.

MedEntry – UCAT preparation

There are different views about when to sit UCAT. Many students wait until their first year of university, while others see benefit in sitting UCAT in Year 13. If so, Year 13 students will need to sit UCAT in July 2020. For more information, go to

Inzone Careers Kiosk

Because of our support of Inzone in the past, we have been chosen as one of a few schools in Christchurch to have a Careers Kiosk in the Library. The boys are able to view short video clips of different jobs within different vocational pathways, including construction and infrastructure, creative industries, manufacturing and technology, primary industries, service industries, and social and community services. I encourage boys to put the headphones on and watch these videos.

Careers Expo

The Careers Expo will be held at Horncastle Arena from Thursday 7–Saturday 9 May. On Thursday and Friday from 9am–3pm, and on Saturday from 10am–3pm. Year 12 students will visit the Expo on Thursday 7 May, from 9–10.15am, and Year 11 students will visit the Expo on Friday 8 May, from 9.30–10.30am. Saturday morning would be a good time for parents to visit the Expo with their sons.

Lincoln University – FoodX 2020

From Monday 20–Thursday 23 April, Lincoln University will again host the Rabobank FoodX Camp, which gives students in Years 12 and 13 the chance to explore the primary industries. Held in the second week of the April school holidays, the camp is a thought-provoking, all expenses paid experience that offers the rare opportunity to see exactly where our food comes from. Applications are now open. This is a great opportunity for any senior student interested in exploring future career opportunities in agriculture and the primary sector, and I invite interested students to email me – – for more information.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Darrell Thatcher

Darrell Thatcher
Deputy Principal – Planning & Co-curricular

I have mentioned previously about the growth of student voice in our boarding community. Here, Head of Boarding Sam Averill shares his first boarding report, discussing what has been going on in and around boarding.

Head of Boarding Report

It has been another extremely busy start to the year for the boarding community at Christ’s College, with swimming sports and athletics championships taking place, on top of settling in for the new year. All three boarding Houses have been heavily involved, and it has been great to see the immense House spirit on display, as well as the impressive achievements of boarders in their chosen events. At Athletics Day, these boarders won their respective events:

Junior high jump – Jack Bethell

Intermediate discus and shot put – Hendrix Taylor

Intermediate pole vault – William Pryor

Intermediate hammer – Jack Smith

Senior hammer – Fiti Sa

Senior long jump, javelin and high jump – Alfie Baker

We recently held the first annual College boarding quiz night, which was a great opportunity for the boys to get together in good-spirited competition. There was plenty of banter, laughter, and even a Mr Whippy ice cream for the boys. A special thanks to Mr Thatcher and the Year 13 students who helped make it such a successful night. We have also initiated an interhouse dodgeball competition on Tuesday evenings for Year 9 and 10 students, and it has been awesome to see the boys get behind it.

We have been having regular meetings with Mr Thatcher, the Heads of Houses and the Dining Hall, in order to ensure the student voice is heard, and to find ways to improve boarding for all boys. These meetings have worked well, and I look forward to them continuing in the future with the help of staff and senior boys within the Houses.

We have also had several opportunities to catch up with other boarding schools around Christchurch, and have continued our Year 9 and 10 dinner swaps with St Margaret’s College, as well as the successful Valentine’s Day breakfast with the SMC Year 13s. Last week a group of College boarders attended the combined boarders’ Chapel service at St Andrew’s College, which was enjoyed by all and we look forward to going again in the future. It is cool to see the boys get behind these events, using them as a chance to catch up with their mates at other schools and even form new friendships.

All in all, it has been amazing to see the successes of so many boarders and to know boarders are so heavily involved across all aspects of College life.

Sam Averill
Head of Boarding

Friends of Boarding

Following the launch of our Friends of Boarding group last year, we will run the first session for 2020 at the beginning of Term 2, on Monday 27 April from 4pm in the Chapman Room. The key objective of Friends of Boarding is to provide a communication, education and feedback forum for College’s boarding community. I will update parents on a few aspects of boarding at College, as well as provide an opportunity for parent small group discussion and sharing of ideas. The session will conclude with dinner in the Dining Hall for attending parents.

Boarding Programme

As well as the boarders’ quiz mentioned above, the last two weekends have seen the boys head off on a mystery outing, which turned out to be ziplining at the Christchurch Adventure Park, and a trip to the movies at Hoyts EntX.

Click here to view the full Boarding Programme for Term 1.

Ziplining 1
Ziplining 2
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From the Archives

Jane Teal

A Fijian Throwing Club

This artefact has sat on the shelves of the College archives for a long time, and it is now time to try to find out how it came to be in the collection.

Fijian Throwing Club 2
Fijian Throwing Club 1

There is one clue. This photograph of the interior of the Synod Hall shows a group of artefacts on the edge of the balcony. Spears and a shield are evident, and hanging underneath is a Totokia, or war club, and an I Ula Tavatava, or throwing club. Is the club in the above photograph the I Ula Tavatava of the photograph below?

Synod Hall Interior

Synod Hall. The Dining Hall is on this site today.

Let us make the presumption it is. The next question is how did the artefacts get there?

In Papers Past there is evidence of the occasional sale of Fijian artefacts, however, there may be another possibility.

From 1 November 1906 to 15 April 1907 Hagley Park was the scene of the New Zealand International Exhibition.i The Christ’s College Register reported, “College boys, both big and little, have spent almost all their spare time there for the last month”.ii There were concerts, an art gallery, aquarium, a machinery hall, and a toboggan and water chute, which both boys and masters were seen to fly down at breakneck speed.

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Christchurch considered holding a missionary stall in the exhibition building, but abandoned the idea “in view of the inevitable expenses”.

Instead, it was decided to hold an exhibition of missionary relics and other objects of interest in association with lectures and addresses in the Synod Hall.iii There is no further evidence in either the local or Church newspapers that this exhibition went ahead.

Any further information on this exhibition or the possible source of this I Ula Tavatava would be gratefully received by the Christ’s College Archives.

iiChrist’s College Register December 1906 pp231–2
iiiLyttelton Times 9 April 1906. See also The New Zealand Church News November 1906.

With thanks to Judith Bright FLIANZA, John Kinder Theological Library, Auckland, for her research help

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Latest News & Events

SISS U17 Coxed Four

Giving it their all

The Christ’s College rowing club had a fantastic and very rewarding time at the recent South Island secondary schools’ championships, finishing with four South Island titles plus other top three placings.

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SISS Tennis 2020 1

Aced it!

It was all about College at the 2020 South Island secondary school tennis championship in Timaru on the weekend of 29 February–1 March, with the College A and College B...

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Wargaming 3

Out thinking the enemy and thinking outside the square

Wargaming and philosophy are unlikely friends, but these two clubs have just been reinstated at College after a lapse of several years. And their popularity is growing.

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Modern Languages

Exploring Akaroa

Back in 1838, a French seafarer made a provisional purchase of land on Banks Peninsula and then returned to France to find settlers willing to move across the world.

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Water polo Moe Gath

Cool in the pool

The sporting prowess of College water polo players Year 11 student Jacob Clements and Year 13 student Moe Gath, plus recent Old Boy Louis Clark was recognised at the Canterbury...

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Postponed – Information Evening for Vietnam and Cambodia

Given the current situation in the world, the information evening for the Vietnam and Cambodia trip in 2021 is now postponed until later in the year.

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Evita seduced a nation

Was Eva Perón a champion of the oppressed or an opportunist?

Evita allows scope for both interpretations, as it traces her rags to riches story and rise to power alongside her husband, Argentinian army general, politician and president Juan Perón.

To the descamisados, the “shirtless ones”, she represented hope, living proof of the possibility of escaping to a better life. To the Argentinian elite, however, she was a whore, whose cult of personality threatened the status quo. Eva’s death, at 33, prompted an outpouring of grief, fuelling a legend which persists today.

Eva’s turbulent story comes to life in this Rangi Ruru Girls’ School and Christ’s College co-production of Evita, with a stellar company bringing energy and vitality to this legendary musical.

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