The calm voice of a man well into his 90s, but with wartime memories as vivid as yesterday, urged a mainly young audience not to allow war to happen again. Chris King was speaking on Monday (March 9) during the annual commemoration at Ōtaki College of the sinking of SS Otaki in 1917. This year also acknowledged the contribution of the Arctic... Keep Reading
Hall Of Fame 2020
POSTED 19 March 2020
The 2020 Hall of Fame event is postponed until further notice, due to the uncertainties of Covid-19.
2019 Otaki College Reunion Photos
POSTED 20 July 2019
Relive some of the moments from April's incredible reunion in our photo gallery.
XŌtaki projects making a big difference and how you can help
POSTED 17 July 2019
XŌtaki College Alumni Trust has funded an amazing number of projects and good causes at the College. Take a look at the list and consider whetheR you'd like to pledge your support as well? Read more.
Inaugural XŌtaki Hall Of Fame recipients announced at black-tie dinner
POSTED 4 May 2018
Two accomplished 1960s graduates were honoured at the inaugural Hall Of Fame Awards dinner on 3 May 2018. See the media release here and you can read the citation for Chris Parkin here and for David Pritchard here.
College pool a memorial to Stephen Hillas
Shelly Warwick writes about how Otaki College’s swimming pool memorialised a young student to become the Stephen Hillas Memorial Pool. Read the story here.
Where in the World is 1960’s Otaki College teacher JC (“Snow”) Burnett?
STORY POST: 13 April 2015
Ever wondered what happened to a favourite teacher? Ron Gibbard, a student from the very early years of Otaki College, wondered just that about teacher Snow Burnett. Being a curious and tenacious student, Ron tracked Snow down and recorded the visit in this article.
So where did the 2009 Reunion money go?
BLOG POST: 9 December 2014
Ron Gibbard, Reunion Treasurer and now member of the XOtaki Foundation Trust, lets us know how the excess money from the 50th Reunion has been accounted for and well used. Read Ron’s post here >
Video interview with John Saunders, Principal from 1963 to 1975
BLOG POST: 2 October 2014
This is a chance to see and hear one our founding and important staff members, but it's also an opportunity to see if you might stump up to buy the school a new video microphone? See the video here >
XOtaki College Foundation Trust faces up to photo shooting
NEWS RELEASE: 2 July 2014
With the formal establishment of the XOtaki College Foundation Trust, it was time for... you guessed it, a photo. And what use is a team photo without a news release? Read all about it and see the smiling faces here >
John Stewart Heatherwick 1947 - 2014
John Heatherwick was a founding committee member of XOtaki Alumni and about to become a Trustee of XOtaki College Foundation Trust when he tragically died on 11 April 2014 at age 67.
A past student and friend to all, John will be missed by all who knew him. Few knew him better than lifelong friend Ron Gibbard who delivered a tribute at his funeral and in an article specially prepared for this website. Read Ron’s tribute here.
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Dr. Lincoln Nicholls is passionate about getting more Maori into joining him as a doctor of medicine. He happens to also be a Captain in the New Zealand Army and... you guessed it, he's an XŌtaki alumni student. Take a look at this Maori TV report.
The future of science, the joy of learning and the importance of clean technology. Otaki College students get it all at the Otaki Centre for Clean Technology.
All past Ōtaki College students are invited to get together at the RSA on Friday, February 7. Foundation pupil Ron Gibbard, who has been on the organising committee for the college’s 50th and 60th reunions, says students of his age are “getting on a bit”. “At the most recent reunion last year, a few of us there thought we couldn’t wait... Keep Reading
Ōtaki area state schools and kura are to get just over a million dollars in government funding to spend on infrastructure. The money in a nationwide hand-out totalling $400 million will help schools with things such as upgrading and fixing classrooms, replacing roofing and guttering, and resurfacing paved areas. Schools will not be the only... Keep Reading
Receiving financial awards at the Ōtaki College prize-giving on October 31 were:mHunter Austin: Kāpiti Skills Trust Year 11 Award for Outdoor Education. Paikea Bai-Te Kira: Kāpiti Skills Trust Year 11 Award for Outdoor Education; MI Turnbull Award for Top Year 11 Boy. Lauren Blakeley: Sander Scholar Award, Sander Ties; Concrete Doctors... Keep Reading
David Pritchard was farewelled at Southwards in Paraparaumu on November 7 at a big funeral where mourners spilled into the foyer. It was a sign of his huge respect among business people, workers, colleagues and friends. (The following is the full eulogy as given at David’s funeral by his son, Sam.) I thought I would start with a short list... Keep Reading
Damien Doyle is Ōtaki College’s 2019 sportsperson of the year. At the college’s sports prize-giving ceremony on October 24, Damien received the accolade and a financial award from local company Marlan Trading. Damien is a top performer in swimming and surf lifesaving, winning a gold and four silver medals at national level in swimming and... Keep Reading
Young Ōtaki College actor Parekawa Finlay is off to the Globe Theatre in London thanks to the generosity of the XŌtaki College Alumni Trust. The trust came up with the $9000 required after hearing of Pare’s selection to attend the theatre made famous by bard William Shakespeare. “We knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so the... Keep Reading
Brian Van was rewarded for his academic efforts by being announced as dux in the 2019 Ōtaki College senior prize-giving awards on October 31. Brian will be studying for a bachelor of engineering with honours at Wellington’s Victoria University next year. His list of first-in-class in 2019 included calculus, chemistry, physics and statistics.... Keep Reading
Ōtaki College’s junior netball team finished the season unbeaten in pool games, comfortably winning the Kāpiti colleges competition. In the competition final on September 28, the girls played Kapanui Magic and won 28-9 at Te Ati Awa Park, completing the eight-game regular season unbeaten. Kapanui, however, had delivered Ōtaki its only loss... Keep Reading
The launch of the Lifting the Lid youth suicide project has raised $10,000. A lunch at Southwards Car Museum on Friday, October 4, raised the cash after a garden shed donated by Ōtaki College, artwork, a Hurricanes rugby shirt, an own-label gin prize and other items were auctioned. The Nikau Foundation also announced that it would provide $5000.... Keep Reading
Two Ōtaki College students who sailed on the Spirit of Adventure would recommend the experience to any young person. Kyla Tawhara-Royal and Jesse Green had 10 days on the sailing ship in May. The voyage is described by the Spirit of Adventure Trust as a life-changing experience – something that’s clearly been the case with Kyla and Jesse. Keep Reading
The 76th Ōtaki Scholar arrived in Ōtaki on Monday (July 15) and was welcomed with a pōwhiri at Raukawa Marae. It was a special occasion for Rohan Mudkavi, who sees the links between Ōtaki College and his own Robert Gordon’s College as particularly special. “Although our schools are so far apart geographically, there is... Keep Reading
To those who knew her in Ōtaki, she was always Sandra Dorne, and remembered for her prodigious talents as a gymnast. Travelling back to Ōtaki for the first time in 31 years for the college reunion, she’s now Sandy Smith, gymnastics days behind her but still diminutive and living a happy life as a truckie in Brisbane. It’s a lifestyle that... Keep Reading
The 60th anniversary reunion of Ōtaki College drew well in excess of 300 former students and staff on the two days of April 26-27. Falling a week after Easter and only a day after Anzac Day, many former associates of the college from out of town and overseas took the opportunity to visit for several days. They met up with family and friends –... Keep Reading
Before the opening of Ōtaki District High School on February 2, 1959, secondary education was afforded to pupils of the southern Horowhenua district by their travelling by rail or bus to Horowhenua College. Throughout the 1950s, there was, in New Zealand as a whole, huge growth in the provision of new secondary schools to cope with... Keep Reading