Home' Waitomo News : 24 May 2016 Contents 4 Waitomo News Thursday, May 19, 2016
As of Tuesday May 31, Caltex Otorohanga
will be closing for a complete rebuild.
Paul and the team would like to thank the
community for your custom. We look forward
to a bigger and better service station,
opening late August - early September.
Watch this space...
NEW Otorohanga College principal Lindsay
Dunn grew up in a loving family with high
standards and expectations. He believes
education gives people choices and
opportunities for a successful life.
coming gateway to our coastal districts,” he says.
“One of my challenges is building a new hostel
and increasing our capacity there. We are full at
61 boarders and there is a waiting list.
“Some families in our district support other
schools and while I support people’s right to have
that option, it is also up to me to find out why
that’s happening so we can make this college the
school of choice. This college has a wonderful
foundation and my job is to strengthen those
Mr Dunn has found everyone at the college
welcoming, helpful and big-hearted.
“As a newly-appointed principal I need to
prove to the staff I am the best person for the
job. I am expecting to be held to account. And I
aim to show the community I am here to ensure
these youngsters get the best shot at being good,
Giving kids best shot
By Robbie Kay
FOUR Mondays ago . . . for the first time in
nearly four years . . . Lindsay Dunn finished
work for the day, got in his car and went home
to his family.
And the new principal at Otoro-
hanga College says living a nor-
mal life again is wonderful.
Mr Dunn stepped into the
top job at the college on the
first day of term two, hav-
ing relocated to the district
with his family just a few days
Before that he, his wife Ma-
ria (who is a deputy principal at
Hamilton Girls’ High School), and
their children had lived in different cities
pursuing their careers in education.
About four years ago, the Whangarei couple
decided to move closer to his mum in Hamilton.
“Mum is 87 now, so Maria and I wanted the
kids to have time with their grandma,” he says.
The Dunns have four daughters – Shiraan
(28) a solicitor in Auckland, Lyndsay (23) in her
second year of a Bachelor of Arts degree at the
University of Canterbury, Reitu (20) a singer/
dancer in Te Ropu Te Iti Kahurangi who is tak-
ing a gap year from the University of Waikato for
travel and Reipae (10) who is a year 6 student at
Otorohanga South School.
“My twin brother Phil and his friend ex-All
Black Arran Pene own the Speight’s Ale House
in Hamilton so that was another family reason
to head south,” says Mr Dunn.
“Maria was the first to find employment as
assistant principal at Fairfield College, while I
remained in Whangarei with the kids.”
The following year he completed a master’s
degree at the University of Canterbury, then
returned to Whangarei for another year, travel-
ling to Hamilton every two weeks to see
A few weeks ago they settled
as a family in Otorohanga.
“I’m not sure if I’m con-
stantly smiling because I’ve
got my family back, or be-
cause I’m loving my job so
much,” he says.
“Education is a tough job
every day we face new chal-
lenges and we love what we do.
“But after having little family life
for a long time it’s just lovely to go home
at the end of the day and give your wife and
children a hug.”
Mr Dunn came to Otorohanga College from a
similar-sized school and community, Tikipunga
High School in Whangarei.
He is an old boy of Tikipunga having left in
1980 to work as a labourer at the Marsden Point
oil Refinery for a couple of years, before serving
in the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a physical
training instructor, for 14.
After leaving the military, he taught in the
phys ed department of Rotorua Boys’ High
School, was housemaster of the hostel, then
became head of Maori Studies at Christchurch
Boys’ High School.
Both his parents – Harry and Jessie – served
in the Air Force.
“Dad, who passed on many years ago, joined
the military from Herekino in the Far North and
my mum came to New Zealand as a chef with the
Royal Air Force,” says Mr Dunn.
“She met this fine young Maori boy in his uni-
form at Ohakea Air Base, they fell in love and my
twin Phil and I are the youngest of six children.
“ Three of us work in education, one is a reg-
istered nurse and my eldest brother is a retired
policeman who works with kids at risk. We’re all
very proud of our humble beginnings and educa-
tion has always been important to us.
“Of Mum’s 14 grandkids, eight are graduates
and include a doctor, lawyers and teachers.”
He says he grew up in a family with high stand-
ards and expectations – in her no-nonsense man-
ner his mum proudly refers to a favourite photo
of her graduate grandchildren as ‘the winners’.
Mr Dunn says, as a male Maori in education,
his job is to be a role model and encourage others
to paint a positive picture for their own families.
“Education gives you choices and opportuni-
ties for a successful life.”
There are almost 400 students at Otorohanga
College. He says earlier Education Review Of-
fice reports stated the community had not en-
tirely supported the school in the past. But that
situation has vastly improved and most students
attending the college come from local and sur-
rounding areas. Mr Dunn “takes his hat off ” to
his predecessor Timoti Harris and his team, who
“turned the school around”.
“We also have a wonderful team at our hostel
Roy and Caroline Willison who are the wel-
Links Archive 26 May 2016 19 May 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page