After the uncertainties of demolitions, relocations, noise, dust, water and power outages and the ongoing immensity of the construction work onsite, the opening of a new learning and cultural space for our students on Friday morning was truly welcome.
Principal Cath Knell and the Māori Focus Group would like to extend a huge mihi to Icis Talbot and CJ Gilbert from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust who, through Whaea Larissa, collaborated with us to arrange for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, as mana whenua, to conduct the formalities around the blessing of this new learning space. We are excited about the opportunity to continue this reciprocal relationship. Ngāti Whātua’s connection with the whenua was acknowledged through the reference to the maunga visible from this beautiful learning space. Ōwairaka / Mount Albert; Maungawhau / Mount Eden; Te Tātua a Riukiuta / Big King; Pukewīwī / Puketāpapa / Mount Roskill and Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill.
Matua Tu, Kapa Haka tutor, responded on behalf of Lynfield College. We thank him for his ongoing support and commitment to our Kapa Haka group and the school.
A very special moment was placing the photographs on display of Kaumatua and Kuia connected to the college who have passed: Ben Tawhiti, Sir John Turei and Whaea Brenda.
Joining us were past principals Jim Sinclair and Steve Bovaird who were acknowledged for their contributions to Lynfield College, along with past and present Board members, staff and pupils.
Those that worked on our behalf to relocate and repurpose L9 and L10 in providing such a beautiful learning space for our tauira were thanked including:
This event was also the perfect opportunity to gift the following Year 13 students with pounamu and acknowledge their contributions to the wider school: Temeneti Mathews, Dylen Motufoaki, Thyaree Flores.
We would like to acknowledge the Māori Focus Group for their ongoing support of our tauira and Whaea Deidre for catering the morning.
Finally a special acknowledgement to past pupils Bruce Carter and Michael Cross from Marathon Construction Limited who worked tirelessly to build and complete this beautiful learning space.
Thanks to Vini Laga'aia, for his beautiful photographs.
Established in 1903, the Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest international scholarship programme, bringing outstanding young people together from around the world to study at the University of Oxford.
The selection panel, which in New Zealand is chaired by Governor-General Her Excellency the Right Hon. Dame Cindy Kiro, seeks young people with proven academic excellence who also show exceptional character, leadership, and commitment to solving humanity’s challenges. This year there were three recipients from New Zealand.
Karan Kalsi, aged 24 from Auckland, will undertake a Master of Science in Comparative Social Policy and a Master of Public Policy at the University of Oxford. He is currently at the University of Auckland completing a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) with minors in Politics and International Relations, and French.
Amongst his list of academic achievements is a University of Auckland Top Achievers Scholarship, being named on the Deans Honours List, and the Desmond Lewis Memorial Prize for top undergraduate student in International Law. Karan is in the top 1-3% of students of the courses he has studied. His referees describing him as “head and shoulders above his peers”, and as a student who has brought “kindness, compassion, curiosity and humility to his learning.”
Growing up in Auckland, Karan’s positive experiences of the social institutions that supported him during his youth have steered him towards work in public policy and advocating for people who are struggling.
“Thirteen years of learning in public school institutions built my egalitarian social mores through illustrating the importance of giving every child a fair go.”
The MSc in Comparative Social Policy and the MPP at Oxford offer courses which align with Karan’s interests.
“Many of humanity’s pressing challenges stem from an erosion in the quality of our public institutions. I intend to play a part in reversing this threat at home and abroad through leading evidence-based policy reform that strengthens institutions’ ability to serve the public good.”
Dame Cindy congratulated the winners saying, "Isaac Heron, Karan Kalsi, and Frances Wrights' academic achievements and service to their communities have already made a deep impact on the lives of many people. I have no doubt these three extraordinary young New Zealanders will continue to make significant contributions as future leaders of our country.”