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Media Releases


[archived media releases]

Our Lady of Kāpiti School opens in Paraparaumu

Our Lady of Kāpiti School, formerly St Patrick's, opened this year at a new location in Paraparaumu. The construction of Our Lady of Kāpiti School, a Catholic integrated primary school, was completed in time for the start of the 2017 school year. The transition from St Patrick's followed the merger of the Paraparaumu and Waikanae parishes.

The new school was designed with modern learning in mind, with classrooms that could be configured to create open and closed areas, shared spaces and breakout areas. Along with safer drop-off traffic management, the school features classrooms with underfloor heating, all-weather astro turf, and raised gardens and fruit trees. An blessing ceremony is being held on St Patrick's Day, 17 March.

Our Lady of Kāpiti (formerly St Patrick's)
20 Milne Dr
Paraparaumu 5032
Ph: 04-298 5817
Martin Elms (Principal)

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Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School opening in Takanini, Auckland

Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School opened this February for Year 0 to Year 6 students. The school construction was turned around in only six months. The school will extend to Year 8 students in 2018.

Based in Takanini, a southern suburb of Auckland, the school was developed to meet the growing school-age population in an area experiencing significant new housing development. A Blessing Ceremony was held 6 February and led by Bishop Patrick Dunn.

Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School
137 Airfield Rd
Takanini 2582
Ph: 09 296 9039
Peta Lindstrom (Principal)

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New Chief Executive Announced for Integrated Schools National Office

The New Zealand Catholic Education Office (NZCEO) is pleased to announce that a replacement CEO has been appointed for Sir Brother Patrick Lynch, to start on February 1st, 2016.

The new CEO for the state-integrated schools' National Office will be Mr Paul Ferris QSM. Mr Ferris has come from a strong background in school leadership in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. He was a Principal for 36 years in both state and state-integrated schools, and has been part of the evolving story of state-integrated schools and the part they play in the New Zealand schooling system.

More recently he has been a contractor to the Ministry of Education as a Commissioner and Limited Statutory Manager in a number of schools in the Southern Region.

While the Principal of Kavanagh College, Dunedin, he received a number of awards for his leadership both in the school and across the education sector. He received a Laureate Award from NZCEO, a Leadership in Education Award from SPANZ (Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand), and is a Life Member of SPANZ.

Mr Ferris was an executive member of SPANZ for several years before becoming
its President in 2004. In Dunedin he was the Founding President of the Secondary Principals' Partnership, which was established to find successful pathways for students at risk of losing their place in school, and he was the founding Principal of DunedinNet, a video conferencing collaboration for all Dunedin Secondary Schools.

In the 2012 New Year Honours list he was awarded a QSM for his work in education. In 2014 he was made a Paul Harris Fellow by the Dunedin Rotary Club, for his services to Dunedin education as a nonmember of Rotary.

In accepting the position Mr Ferris acknowledged that following Br Pat Lynch's 22 years of outstanding leadership would be a challenge. In taking up his new role he noted the support he will receive from a strong Board and an agreed transition process, which will ensure there is a seamless passing over of the leadership role. NZCEO acts as the national office of APIS (the Association of Proprietors of StateIntegrated Schools) and individual state-integrated schools, and will continue its support and leadership of all state-integrated schools.

Close relationships with successive Ministers of Education, the Ministry of Education and other government agencies have characterised the success of NZCEO, and Mr Ferris looks forward to continuing these relationships.

Dr Geoffrey Ricketts CNZM, Chairperson, NZCEO Ltd
21 January 2016

Paul Ferris 027 489 8822
Patrick Lynch 027 490 5396

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New Year Greetings!!

Ki nga tumuaki, kaiako, poari me nga matua, nga mihi nui ki a koutou mo te wa nei.

  1. The Board of NZCEO, the Office's staff and I, trust you have had a restful and
    relaxing holiday break.
  2. We welcome you to the 2015 academic year and thank you for your dedicated
    work in 2014 on behalf of our nation's 66,000 young people in our 238 Catholic Schools. A new year is always full of promise and hope and this one is no exception.
  3. You will possibly be aware that on the 29th January, I announced my resignation from the CEO role at the New Zealand Catholic Education Office. After twenty one enjoyable years in the role it is time to pass the ball to somebody else. It has been a wonderful journey to be able to work alongside committed good people like you, who make the system work. There is no doubt that the nation's Catholic Schools are in good shape, confident in themselves and clear about their reason for existence.
  4. I thank you, most sincerely, for the active support you have shown for the Office and the services it delivers. It has been a great honour to have been able to work alongside you. THANK YOU!
  5. The New Year Royal Honour that I have received is fundamentally an honour for the Church, its schools and the wider Integrated School sector. It is a humbling experience while also being a public recognition of the contribution the Integrated School sector makes to the well-being of New Zealand.
  6. As we launch into the new school year my only message is to encourage you to continue the search for overall excellence with those in your care, and at the same time to do so in an unabashed manner within our Catholic faith and ethos framework.
  7. The Office Staff and I look forward to meeting you at the Catholic Education
    Convention being held in Wellington on June 10-11-I2th, 2015.

Offering you support and very best wishes,

Patrick J. Lynch

11 February 2015
(04) 496-1739 Wk
(027 4) 905 396 Mobile.

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CEO of Catholic Education to Step Down

Brother Patrick Lynch, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office, will step down from his role later in the year, at a time to be determined, announced Geoffrey Ricketts, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office, today.

Brother Patrick has been in this CEO role since 1994. Prior to that he was the principal of De La Salle College, Mangere, Auckland for 16 years, during the last three of which he was the President of the Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand (SPANZ). He was awarded a New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal and in 1991 he was awarded a QSO. Most recently, in the 2015 New Year's
Honours, he was made a Knight Companion of the Order of Merit, for Services to Education over a 50 year period.

Mr Ricketts said, "Brother Patrick has had an illustrious career in New Zealand education, not only in the integrated schools sector but also within the wider educational environment, both nationally and internationally. This continuing wide ranging achievement has now been officially recognised with his most recent honour."

Brother Patrick expressed his gratitude for having been able to serve the integrated schools sector of New Zealand for the last 21 years, saying that he "leaves the role with a great deal of admiration for those in the sector who have enabled Catholic and other integrated schools to become confident in themselves and well thought of by the wider New Zealand community."

In supporting the nation's 332 integrated schools and their 86,000 students, he praised the 15 Ministers of Education he has worked with and the successive Governments, all of whom have actively supported integrated schools. "There is no doubt," he said, "that the mosaic of diversity now apparent within the New Zealand education system is one of the country's great strengths. Nobody has a monopoly over enlightenment and by working together great strength follows."

He expressed gratitude to the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference who persuaded him to take on the role of CEO, and he acknowledged the many people whom he has worked with in the Education sector, staff and colleagues, religious groups, the wider avenues of Government and the public sector, along with
business and the NGO sectors. "Applications to replace Brother Patrick will now be sought by the Board of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office," said Mr Ricketts.

29 January 2015

Geoff Ricketts 021 926 570
Susan Apathy, Deputy CEO, NZCEO 04 496 1739

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Principals, Staff and Trustees of Catholic Schools
Proprietors and Interested Parties

Dear Colleagues,
New Year Greetings!!


I extend to you the warm greetings of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office Staff and that of the NZCEO Board of Directors. We hope you all have had a restful holiday break.

We are doing well

Our national Catholic school system with its 66,000 students, and network of 238 schools, is doing well, thanks to your leadership efforts!! A culture of continuous improvement with a focus on excellence in all of its dimensions has become a hallmark of who we are. It is vital that our commitment to enhanced academic achievement is a central focus in all that we do. Not to do so is to short-change our students. Our focus on the learning needs of priority learners is also a strong Catholic education tradition, which we are heirs to.

The leadership of Pope Francis

This wonderful man is providing daily inspiration for us all with his use of poignant imaginary which touches peoples' lives. A few weeks ago he urged educators during an audience in Rome to be careful not to administer a vaccination against faith to children who come from difficult or different home circumstances. He said the Church ought not be like a toll booth that people have to pass through. All in all, the reaching out to children and their families is central to how our schools operate as an active arm of the Church's mission in the world. Touching hearts is where our work begins as Gospel messengers.

Sharing your individual leadership

One of the reasons our schools are doing well is our spiritual and faith foundation. We ought to be unambiguously courageous about sharing our faith with students. It is through who we area as individuals and how we act, that students in particular and their families come to a greater appreciation of God in their lives. Each of us has individual gifts and talents, which when shared with our school community, enables our school's effectiveness to be enhanced.

Increasing enrolment numbers

Following the significant rise in live births which began in 2007, it is now apparent that the vanguard of this phenomenon is making its influence felt in increasing numbers of children in our primary schools. Additionally, the increase in international migration is delivering greater numbers of students in our secondary schools. This is all good news for us.


Thank you for your professionalism and for your commitment to having high expectations for student achievement. We are all able to make a substantial contribution to the well-being of our students' lives. It is worth remembering the words from the Book of Daniel: "They that instruct others unto justice will shine like stars for all eternity."
Offering you encouragement, support and very best wishes for a satisfying 2014.

Patrick J. Lynch

4 February 2014
(04) 496-1739 Wk
(027 4) 905 396 Mobile.

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Investing in Educational Success

The Prime Minister's announcement today of a significant education funding initiative is to be warmly welcomed.

For many years leaders of the school sector have talked about what would materially improve learning outcomes for young people in a practical way in schools. Today, the announcement by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education to create a new structure, which will harness the skills of some of the most effective leaders and practitioners in the business, enabling them to share their expertize, is very welcome.

The national and regional structure of our school networks will dramatically benefit from what is proposed.

The Minister of Education's Education Cross Sector Forum which has been meeting with her since May 2012 has helped shape what has been announced. It is a product of useful collaboration.

The twenty-first century is one where alliances and collaboration are the tools for creating winners, while providing a hand-up for those who need assistance. This concept is the basis of today's announcement.

23 January 2014

Patrick J. Lynch
(04) 496-1739 Wk
(027 4) 905 396 Mobile.

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A former Catholic Bishop of Auckland, John Mackey who died on January 20th 2014, was a man with a great mind linked to a deep humanity and a strong Catholic faith.
He was the ninth bishop of Auckland, performing the role between 1974 and 1983 after which he went into early retirement owing to a recurrent illness.

One of his finest contributions to the development of New Zealand society was when he became involved in working with the late Honourable Mervyn Wellington, the Minister of Education in the Muldoon Government, to help implement the ground-breaking Private Schools Conditional Integration Act legislation, which was passed into law in the dying days of the Third Labour Government in 1975.

Today Integrated schools number 325 and educate 86,000 young people. The schools are now accepted as an integral part of the State education system. This was not always the case at the time when John Mackey was asked to partner the Government and help facilitate the process of integrating each school, one by one, into the State system. Since integration was a foreign concept to many officers of the then Department of Education and the various Education Boards that were responsible for administering the nation's primary schools, there were many obstacles that had to be overcome. The model that Mervyn Wellington and Bishop John Mackey adopted was to meet formally each month at Parliament to iron out specific local school site issues that needed to be attended to. In so doing the integration process was speeded up considerably, much to the relief of those Proprietors and schools which were mainly Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican.

Very rapidly a strong, genuine friendship was built up between the two men, so much so that Merv Wellington, his wife Helen and their children became regular weekend visitors at Bishop's House in New Street, Ponsonby.

When the Lange Government came to power in 1984, the work of integrating the schools was largely complete. The enduring legacy to New Zealand bequeathed by these two men is a vibrant Integrated school sector which is able to hold its head high and be seen as strongly contributing to the well-being of New Zealand society. As a matter of interest, Integrated schools, pro-rata, enrol twice as many Pacific youngsters as in the wider State sector.

Bishop John Mackey and the Honourable Merv Wellington were both strong leaders who believed in what they were doing and were able to demonstrate, as is often the case when trust is built up between parties, that productive outcomes are able to occur.

Bishop John Mackey was essentially an intellectual, yet he possessed a strong practical streak, which was based on faith that had a compelling embracing humanity in its expression. New Zealand society has been deeply enriched by the partnership both he and the Honourable Merv Wellington forged, first out of necessity, and then through a sustained friendship.

23 January 2014

Patrick J. Lynch
(04) 496-1739 Wk
(027 4) 905 396 Mobile.

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[archived media releases]

Latest Updates

NZCEO Annual Business Plan 2016 - End of Year Report [pdf 685kb]

Catholic Education Convention 2018 Date confirmed – June 13th to 15th – more information to come over the next few months.

Copyright for Liturgical Music – guidelines from the National Liturgy Office about the legal requirements for reproducing religious music in schools and parishes