Issue No. 166

From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

Q2 A6750 cropped

Last week, Head Prefect Jack Belcher and I attended the Association of Boys’ Schools of New Zealand Conference in Auckland.

It brings together the heads of boys’ schools at a staff and student level, creating an environment where we can learn from each other about programmes and practices that best serve the needs of boys. We are fortunate at College to also have a close affinity with the International Boys’ School Coalition that serves the same intent.

Sometimes, schools for boys (along with schools for girls) are challenged regarding their relevance compared to co-educational schools. The conference focused on that issue. Jack and I both agreed that the idea of brotherhood was at the core of what made our school special. We further agreed that this concept needed to be interpreted in a modern way. So rather than being about tribe, difference and hierarchy, it must be about love, care and support to enable young men to grow together in a way that develops emotional confidence and, in the College context, enables our College Graduate to emerge.

We both wanted College to be a brotherhood that was constructive and inspiring for each boy, allowing them to be protected by the ‘cloak’ of our faith-inspired virtues of respect, compassion and justice. We left the conference knowing we have more to do in our College culture to lift our collective aspirations as it relates to this brotherhood, and how it is reflected within – and projected beyond – the Rolleston gates.

Seen and heard

Winter activities tend to draw a supportive crowd and I want to reaffirm the code of conduct for all our supporters, including current boys, parents or Old Boys. I remind everyone that College is judged by what we do and say when we are identified by where we are and often what we are wearing. Please be respectful and considerate and do what is right and reasonably expected.

Upper West

I want to share the latest drawings from Architectus for our wonderful gym project, Upper West. These preliminary designs are the result of a Project Control Group, including College staff and professional consultants, working to achieve the best outcome within our financial constraints. It is an exciting project that has some unique complications, not least the actual site. It is anticipated that work will get under way later this year, and it is hoped to be completed in the latter part of 2022.

Child protection

At the centre of all practice at Christ’s College is keeping children safe from harm. Through our health and safety protocols, a mindset that looks to avoid risk, the clear and appropriate expectations of all staff and volunteers and clear reporting frameworks, parents can be assured that College is doing all it can to ensure child safety. At our most recent Board of Governors meeting, our current Child Protection Policy was approved. A range of other policies that support this safety focus can be found via the Schoolbox parent portal.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Streaming of parent events

It was fantastic to be able to offer parents of our boarders the opportunity to virtually join the Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll event – run by the College’s Centre for Wellbeing & Positive Education – via live streaming. The evening tackled several issues – from pornography and consensual sex through to drugs and alcohol. Thank you for joining us. We now aim to offer our parents virtual access to all information evenings. However, it will depend on the intellectual property and the willingness of the speakers.

Student voice

We continue to build on the boarders’ voice. Last week, a group of boys – led by Head of Boarding Henry Briscoe, Richard Harnett and James Higginson – met representatives from the Dining Hall catering service, along with me and other staff. The boys discussed several challenges, including speeding up service at lunchtime. They put forward their concerns well, with changes already under way. I encourage you to talk to your son about using the boarding committee to air any concerns.

Town leave

We are legally required to operate an effective and efficient leave system. In our case, we use Reach, which is also used by many Australasian boarding schools. Boys must sign in and out when entering and leaving the House and school, as well as speaking to an on-duty staff member. We can then monitor the boys and know their whereabouts and talk to them as necessary. Sometimes, boys will move on from their initial destination. If they do, they must contact the House via the duty phone. Many of our requirements are similar to those of parents at home, including where they are going, who are they going with, what time will they be back and what are their actual plans? We rarely deny a boy’s request for town leave. However, if we have some concerns, we can say ‘no’.

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Curriculum News

Staff Nicole Billante

Nicole Billante
Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

Year 11 student/parent/teacher interviews

You will receive emails this week inviting you to book appointments for Year 11 student/parent/teacher interviews on Tuesday 8 June. We try to plan these interviews around the end of terms or long weekends, when boarding parents may be in town. However, we recognise not all parents of boarders are available in person and have heard their requests for alternative options to meet teachers.

We will trial our online conferencing platform, Google Meets, for the parents of boarders. There will be two options for interviews: a log in for an in-person interview or a log in for a Google Meet interview. Allocated time for virtual meetings will be proportional to the number of boarders in teachers’ classes.

The success of the trial will depend on all parents working together. We all know the frustrations when interview slots run late. With switching between virtual and in-person interviews, everyone (including the teachers) needs to stick to scheduled times. A teacher at their desk without a parent in front of them will not mean they are available to speak outside the scheduled time. Similarly, a teacher will not be online outside their scheduled times.

Meanwhile, the Years 12 and 13 interviews are scheduled for the start of Term 3 following feedback from parents wanting to see teachers as the start of this pivotal term. However, you do not need to wait until scheduled interviews to reach out if you have concerns. Please contact your Housemasters and they can then follow up with a teacher.

PISA testing

Christ’s College has been selected by the Ministry of Education as one of New Zealand’s PISA testing schools. PISA, which stands for the Programme for International Student Assessment, is a standardised test administered across the OECD. It enables comparative statistics about national educational attainment by testing skills in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving.

Our PISA test will be held next Tuesday. Students will receive a letter this week if they have been selected as a test candidate by the ministry. This mainly affects Year 11 students and possibly some Year 12s born in 2005. It is not a ‘pass or fail’ situation or anything to cause the boys any concern. However, it is important that the data is accurate and robust, and we ask that all boys take the test seriously in order to ensure the validity of this research.

If you have any concerns about your son taking part, please contact me –

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Wellbeing & Positive Education

John Quinn IBW

John Quinn
Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education

Expert advice for parents

The Wellbeing & Positive Education team hosted a panel of community experts at our recent parents evening. Dr Laura Hamill, ED Research Fellow, Christchurch Hospital; Mark Burnett, Detective, New Zealand Police; and Rory Smith from Attitude joined the College counsellors and the Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education, John Quinn, to discuss the challenges of parenting in 2021.

The topics included:

  • The importance of mental health prevention and the promotion of wellbeing
  • Common challenges seen by the College counsellors, including feeling overwhelmed and stressed, anxiety, low mood, shape and weight concerns, vaping and social difficulties
  • Issues relating to sexual consent and the impact of pornography
  • Alcohol and drug misuse in adolescents and the impact in terms of the risk of harm.

Alcohol misuse

Alcohol was a significant area of concern raised by all of our experts, with several key messages to parents.

While experimenting with alcohol and other drugs can be common among teenagers, it is not always safe – or legal – and there are many risks. Alcohol can significantly impair brain development and increase the risk of other alcohol-related problems, including addiction, in early adulthood and beyond. It is important to start talking about alcohol and other drugs from an early age and to keep talking about it as your son grows up.

As a parent, you have a major influence on your teenager’s drinking behaviour and you can help prevent them from drinking alcohol or from its harmful use. Your influence on their attitudes and decisions about alcohol is greatest before they start drinking.

Talking about alcohol use can be challenging for parents, but it is an important way to prevent or limit your child’s alcohol use.

  • There’s no safe level of alcohol use for children aged under 18. When young people drink, there is a risk of brain and other alcohol-related problems
  • You can limit or prevent teenage alcohol use by ‘role-modelling’ safe drinking habits and talking about safe alcohol use.

Survey highlights concerns

In a national survey of health and wellness among New Zealand secondary school students, it was identified that:

  • 34% had undertaken binge drinking within the previous four weeks
  • 22% had received an alcohol-related injury
  • 16% had been told by family or friends to “cut down” on their drinking
  • 14% had unsafe sex due to alcohol
  • 7% had unwanted sex due to alcohol

Adolescent drinking

The motivation for adolescent drinking often falls into three broad categories:

  • Social facilitation – increased social and sexual confidence
  • Individual benefits – escapism, getting a ‘buzz’, having something to do
  • Social influences – peer pressure, wanting respect, image, accepted culture

Engage and protect

Science tells us that regardless of the challenges we face, the key protective factor that buffers us and our children from adversity is engagement. When you have a trusting and attuned relationship with your child, it’s easier for you – and them – to raise issues like alcohol use, or any other challenging topic. So stay connected and remain curious. Open conversations with your children, other parents and the school community provide opportunities to understand what’s going on in your child’s life and you will be better placed to help your son manage difficult situations as they arise.

Useful links

Read on

Health Centre

A message from the Health Centre...

With the impact of the worldwide Covid pandemic, we recognise the need to stay home when sick and the importance of good hygiene. We also want to encourage everyone to continue the good work and keep any winter ills away from College.

Wash hands (20–30 seconds)

Identify any symptoms (temperature, runny nose, sore throat, cough, fatigue)

Notify school if you are sick (Attendance line: 03 364 8677)

Treat your symptoms (paracetamol, lozenges, adequate nutrition, fluids)

Engage in good hygiene practices (cough/sneeze into your elbow, wash/sanitise your hands)

Rest, avoid contact with others and remain home until 48 hours free of symptoms

A ‘return to school’ wellness check is required at the Health Centre before resuming school/classes. The Health Centre is open Monday to Friday 8am–4pm.

We also encourage parents to update any medical information regarding your son via the parent portal on the College website, or by emailing the Health Centre at to ensure we have the most up to date information should your son require Health Centre services.

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Co-curricular and Administration

Staff Darrell Thatcher

Darrell Thatcher
Deputy Principal – Planning & Co-curricular

Christ’s College vs CBHS annual rugby game

The annual Christ’s College versus Christchurch Boys’ High School rugby game will be held at Boys’ High on Thursday 3 June at 1.30pm.

Boys can sign up through their Houses over the next week, if they wish to attend the game. College will be closed on the day from 12.30pm, so boys not going to the game will be allowed to go home. Boys who remain at College will be supervised in the Library until 3pm.

Deputy Principal Rob Donaldson and Assistant Principal – Planning, Co-Curricular and Administration Darrell Thatcher will remind the boys before the game about College expectations regarding their behaviour and showing appropriate support.

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From the Chaplain

United in voice

It was wonderful to recently welcome so many people to our induction service for new choristers, with the choir part of the leadership of our Chapel. Chapel is not a ‘spectator sport’ but rather something we do together. Our choir is about students growing in servant leadership, working together and supporting each other.

Easter service

Our Easter service this term started in darkness after Chapel ended the previous term with the stripping of the altar area, the switching off of all lights, and leaving in silence – symbolising suffering in its many realities. Easter is about the Risen Christ light coming into the darkness of human suffering. At the Easter service, this is represented by the Paschal/Easter candle coming into the darkened building. We are called to be that Christ light for others. During the service, the collection was for those affected by the pandemic-related suffering in India.

Generations of wellbeing

It was Grandparents’ Day at College on Friday and, at Chapel, I highlighted studies that show a good relationship between grandparents and grandchildren enhances the emotional wellbeing of both.


For our Muslim community, it was also Eid-ul-Fitr, the celebration at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. We wish them ‘Eid Mubarak’.

Choral Eucharist

The Choral Eucharist starts at 7pm on Sunday on the Day of Pentecost, when our Warden, Bishop Peter Carrell, will preach. Bishop Peter will also dedicate new boards in the Chapel – one bearing the names of all the wardens of Christ’s College and the other, all the chaplains. Sunday services will also be held on 20 June and 4 July.

Using aroha to dismantle hate in Aotearoa

On Thursday 27 May – from 7.30pm in the Chapman Room – the Centre for Ethics & Spirituality will host Dr Mazharuddin Syed Ahmed, Deputy Chair of the Canterbury Muslim Community Trust. He will talk about Using aroha to dismantle hate in Aotearoa and facilitate discussion on understanding hate speech and discrimination and how to address it by transforming it rather than challenging it.

Click here to book.

Bible stories and understanding

New students have received a Bible from the school’s Bible Presentation Fund and we are working through ancient stories and applying them to today. In the classroom, we are also deepening our understanding of Islam. Connections between Religious Education and our current context are highlighted in the tragedy unfolding in the Middle East as we need to understand Jews, Israelis, Muslims, Palestinians, Christians, and Arabs. We are also looking at different ethical theories, applying them to controversial issues in our contemporary world.

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Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Upcoming careers dates

19 MayChiropractic Career Talk – Christchurch, 7–9pm (see link below)
19 MayUniversity of Auckland online Engineering Information Evening
20 MayMassey University online Information Evening, 6–9pm
21 MayUniversity of Otago liaison visit, Year 13
23–24 MayDunedin Tertiary Open Days
30 MayLincoln University scholarships open
8 JuneMassey University (Wellington), Creative Arts Experience Day
9 JuneUC Information Evening
10 JuneAra Open Day, 3.30–6.30pm
10 JuneUniversity of Auckland Information Session, 1–1.50pm, W102
29 JuneUniversity of Auckland Open Day online
30 JuneVictoria University Information Evening, 6pm, The Piano
23 JulyLincoln University Open Day
30–31 JulyMassey University virtual event
1 AugustUniversity Halls of Residence open
1 AugustLincoln University Halls open (first-come, first-served basis)
3 AugustVictoria University course planning
15 AugustLincoln University scholarship applications close
15 AugustUC scholarship applications due
20 AugustVictoria University Open Day
21 AugustAUT Live
28 AugustUniversity of Auckland Open Day on campus
August/SeptemberSchool visits to help plan course selection
1 SeptemberSchool-leaver scholarship applications due
9 SeptemberUC Open Day
10 SeptemberVictoria University online enrolment open

15 September

UC accommodation applications due
1 OctoberUC applications to enrol open
10 DecemberUC applications to enrol close
10 December

Victoria University applications due

Christ's College CareerWise

The Christ’s College careers website, CareerWise, offers a rich source of information about all things related to careers. Check out the website and sign up for weekly alerts here –

Postings on the College site on Sunday 9 May were:

  • Day in the life of a clinical psychologist
  • Ara fortnightly update
  • Accounting
  • Veterinary science
  • Rise in tradies/apprenticeships
  • AUT dates, University of Auckland Open Day and updates
  • Massey University virtual information evening
  • Otago tertiary Open Day

UC Stay in touch

Complete the online form in the link below to ensure you have the latest key dates and important information –

UC Information Evening, 9 June

Click the link to register –

School subject selection for all Year groups

When it comes to subject selection for next year, it is good to look ahead at the subjects needed in Years 12 and 13 and the UC document (below) may help. The ‘best preparation’ from other universities will be added in the next In Black & White and can be found on the College CareerWise website here.

Best preparation for university study

Which Year 13 subjects should I study at school? Click the link – NCEA subject selections.

Chiropractic Talk – Christchurch, 19 May

Eden Health, 29 Leeds Street, Phillipstown. To register click here.

Dunedin Tertiary Open Days, 23–24 May

You can download the Open Days booklet here. You need to plan ahead, and the university has also developed an Open Day app. Students can search for the sessions they want to attend and load them into a timetable that can be printed or saved to their phone.

University of Auckland – Engineering Information Evenings

The University of Auckland is hosting information evenings in the North Island and an online session on Wednesday 19 May. Register here.

UC liaison visits

Years 12 and 13 have attended separate UC presentations, with the information relevant, regardless of whether they intend to study at UC or not. These sessions also provide career information. I also hope to increase the current list of Year 12 students interested in trades.

Career interviews – Year 12

From this week, I will have one-on-one career talks with the boys, following on from individual interviews in Year 11. I hope they will attend information evenings and open days over the next two terms, with the recent Careers Expo encouraging conversations at home.

University course planning – Year 13

Course planning happens when the universities revisit College and look at the next year’s programmes. Certain subjects are required in the first year of a degree. There also are often spaces for subjects of interest. We have covered course planning in their career sessions. For those who are still unsure, the liaison staff will help guide the boys in creating a general programme during Term 3 planning.

Ara one-day 'taster'

In Ara news published on the Christ’s College CareerWise website, you will find information on ‘Have a Go Days’ for Years 11–13 students. A one-day taster can help students with their plans before they leave school. If you are interested, please contact Mr Sellars.

UC Engineering

Boys studying NCEA Level 3 Calculus – whether in Years 12 or 13 – need to understand the ramifications of entry into the maths programme at UC for Engineering. EMTH118 Engineering Mathematics 1A requires the following: NCEA Level 3 Mathematics, 14 credits (18 strongly recommended) including the standards Differentiation (91578), and Integration methods (91579). If they do not have these prerequisites, students must take MATH 101 first.

MoneyHub – Scholarships

University scholarships for Year 13 students. Applications close throughout the year –

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From the Archives

Jane Teal

Happy 90th Birthday, Jacobs House

On 16 January 1930, the Governor-General, Sir Charles Fergusson, laid the Foundation stone of Jacobs House.

Jacobs House Fdn Stone

From the Jacobs House photograph album, Christ’s College Archives.

First, the previous Jacobs House, which had been home over the preceding years to Broughton’s, Harris’, Corfe’s, Walter’s, Bourne’s, Moreland’s, Duddings’ and Flower’s Houses, and done duty as a changing room and a classroom since 1857, had to be demolished.

Ja House pre demo 1930

From the Jacobs House photograph album, Christ’s College Archives.

On 4 February 1931, it was sufficiently finished for the boys who were to live there.

Jacobs House 1931 Ch 16
Jacobs House rear 1931131

Left image: Jacobs House from the cloisters, 1931.
Right image: The rear of Jacobs House, 1931.

However, this was not the first Jacobs House. Theoretically, all those boys who boarded with Henry Jacobs in the St Michael’s Parsonage and when the school first moved to Rolleston Avenue were in Jacobs House. The Christ’s College List has 46 names, dating from 1852­–1869.

In order for the second Jacobs House to start with a reasonable chance of taking part in interhouse events, boys from various year groups transferred from their previous Houses. From School House came Head of House Alan MacKenzie Gunn (3813), with Charles Cecil George Webb (3851), Dick Harcourt Arthur (3785) and Peter Standish Williams (3854) as House Prefects. Paul Moore Harper (3891), the other House Prefect, moved from Flower’s. George Strack was the Housemaster and J Early the House Tutor. Mrs Forbes, the all-important Matron took up residence in the Matron’s Flat. In all, 46 boys transferred from other Houses: 15 from School House, nine from Flower’s House, nine from Waiting House, one from Harper House and 12 new boys.

Ja House Xi 1931
Ja House Swim 1931

Left image: Cricket A 1931, Jacobs House photograph album, Christ’s College Archives.

Back Row L-R: Robert Edward Alexander (4054), Peter Standish Williams (3854), John Windeyer Fisher (3883), Arnold Kenneth Beale Williams (3942)
Middle Row L-R: DLM Martin, Arthur Crichton Wright (3944), Paul Moore Harper (3891), Edmond Cecil Trewin (3935), Duncan Edward Burbury (3967)
Front Row L-R: Ian Percy Burbury (4061), Miles Arthur George Mason (4104)

Right image: Jacobs House Swimming XX, Jacobs House photograph album, Christ’s College Archives.

Back Row L­–R: Charles Allen Newton Broad (4146), Thomas William Overbury Fox (4079), Gerald Frederick Joseph Nathan (4014), Arthur Kenneth Beale Williams (3942), Peter Standish Williams (3854), Geoffrey Gerald Brandon Harty (4168), John Edward Jardine (4095)
Seated L–R: Alan MacKenzie Gunn (3813), Charles Cecil George Webb (3851), Robert Edward Alexander (4054), Dick Harcourt Arthur (3785), James Browning Hay (3986), Derek Hanmer Atkinson (3939), John Nicolson Matson (3905)
Front Row L–R: Heathcote Huia Butler Beale (4142), Gerald Thomas Joseph Harper (4088), Paul Moore Harper (3891), Hugh Harcourt Arthur (3958), Miles Arthur George Mason (4104), Kenneth Charles Bibby (4144)

Accommodation was varied within the House. Some slept in dormitories.

Jacobs House dormitory

Senior members of the House had access to studies. These were based on the Winchester “toys”.i

Ja House Study 3

Study three, from the Jacobs House photograph album, Christ’s College Archives.

By the end of 1931, Jacobs House had firmly established itself in the interhouse competitions.

Cricket: A grade 1st, B grade 1st
Relay 2nd, Dick Harcourt Arthur (3785) was joint senior champion with John Hildebrand Holderness (3820 School House)
Senior 1= with School House, senior champion Webb, junior champion Alexander
Senior 2nd, Junior 1st
Runners-up in flyweight, lightweight, and middle weight
Took part in the first interhouse music competition

As a House, they had adapted the Tudor Rose from the College Arms as their symbol and the motto, Non Sibi (Not for one self). They had not yet acquired red as their House colour and in the beginning had to make do with a variation on the theme of black and white – all white shirts and singlet with a black band around the centre of the singlet.

i In the 19th century at Winchester “Toys” were a tall narrow cupboard and writing bureau that stood by each boy’s bed. When the beds were moved to a dormitory, the cubicles remained and were remodelled, but still retained their name. It is this version that was copied by College. “Toys” comes from the 15th century word “teye”, which means coffer and the Latin “theca”, meaning a chest or box. Winchester had its own dialect, which changed “teye” to “toye”, and then in another dialect change “toye” became “toys”.
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Latest News & Events

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A triumph for the classics

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From Sydney with love – for Grandparents' Day

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Tim Wang advances fencing excellence

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Shooters on form in first outing

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Christ's College Business Banter

The Fix & Fogg story, 26 May 2021, 5.30pm

Seven years ago, they were tucked away in a lawn bowls kitchen selling jars at weekend farmers’ markets. Today Fix & Fogg are a team of 35, exporting award-winning nut butters all over the world from their factory in Wellington. They have another four people in Texas trying to hustle the largest and most competitive nut butter market in the world, the United States.

Book your free ticket to hear Fix & Fogg CEO Roman Jewell share with you all they have learned (and messed up) over that time.

Book here
to ensure you get a seat.

The story of Xero, 30 June 2021, 7.30am

Hear College Old Boy Alastair Grigg speak about his time as COO at Xero and how he and his team took a fear-inducing, boring subject, such as accounting to a fun creative, easy to use service.

Click here to book your breakfast on Wednesday 30 June at 7.30am in the College Dining Hall.

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Mobile blood drive at College

College students are being encouraged to donate blood to the New Zealand Blood Service mobile drive in the Chapman Room on Thursday 27 May from 9.30am–2pm.

In order to become a donor, people must be aged from 16­ to 65 and weigh at least 50 kilograms. First-time donors aged under 25 must also meet height and weight criteria.

There are several health-related requirements

  • You must be in good health
  • You cannot donate if you have a cold, flu, sore throat, cold sore, stomach bug or any other infection
  • If you have recently had a tattoo or body piercing, you cannot donate for four months from the date of the procedure
  • If you have visited the dentist for a minor procedure, you must wait 24 hours before donating, and for any major work, you must wait a month.

Important facts about blood

  • There is no substitute for human blood. Healthy donors are the only source of our blood supply
  • About 29,000 patients are treated with blood or blood products in New Zealand each year
  • A blood donation is separated into different components, each of which is used to treat different patients – accident trauma, patients undergoing surgery, people with leukaemia, transplant patients and many others
  • Blood products are also used for immunisation to help prevent diseases, such as hepatitis A and B, tetanus and chickenpox
  • Each donation can help save up to three people. Blood donors are literally lifesavers.

Any parents who wish to donate during our Blood Drive can contact Neil Porter –

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Upcoming Events

19 MayCommunity Visits, 6–8pm


24 MayConscious Parenting – A virtual talk with Megan de Beyer, 7pm
26 MayBusiness Banter – The Secrets of Fix and Fogg, 5.30pm
27 MayCentre for Ethics & Spirituality – Using aroha to dismantle hate in Aotearoa
2 JuneCombined Concert with St Margaret's College, 7.30pm
15 June

Parent Education Evening – Adolescent Sleep, 7pm

17 JuneParents' Association House Music Festival, 7–9pm
22 JuneChrist's College Diploma Launch, 7–9pm
23–25 JuneThe Shakespearean Banquet, 6.30–9.30pm
30 JuneBusiness Banter – Xero, 7.30–8.30am
1 July

Parent Education Evening with Paul Dillon – Drug and alcohol education, 7pm

9 JulyParents' Association Mid-Winter Drinks, 6–9pm
20 MayWellington YOBs, 6–8pm
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