Arana College

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Arana College
University of Otago Residential College
Arana College University of Otago.jpg
University University of Otago
Location Clyde St
Motto Takina te hoe kia rite (Māori)
Motto in English Wield the Paddles Together[1]
Founder Stuart Halls Residence Council
Established 1943[2]
Warden Jamie Gilbertson
Undergraduates 397 (approx.)

Arana College is a residential college of the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, founded in 1943 by the Rev. William Turner and the Stuart Residence Halls Council.[3] The name "Arana" is a Māori transliteration of "Allen", chosen to honour Sir James Allen, a former Vice Chancellor (1903–1909) and Chancellor (1909–1912) of the University of Otago. The current warden is Jamie Gilbertson.[4]

The main administration areas of Arana are based in what was once Sir James Allen’s Queen Anne-style mansion, with residents accommodated in 4 main buildings and 18 houses. The college is located immediately to the northeast of the central campus, at the top of a small but steep rise known as Tanna Hill (a corruption of "Botanic Hill", after the nearby first site of the Dunedin Botanic Gardens). It overlooks the Otago Campus only 200 metres from the Registry Clock Tower, a notable feature of the University campus. The University of Otago College of Education, Otago Polytechnic and the Dunedin Botanical Garden are all within easy walking distance.[5]


Originally, Arana housed 27 male residents[2] in a property purchased by the university but administered by the Stuart Residence Halls Council.[3] Accommodation initially consisted of Allen's former home but, under pressure for space, former World War II Nissen huts were soon erected.[6] Public subscriptions and government funding, as part of the Colombo Plan were used to build permanent buildings, the Colombo (opened in 1964 housing 56 residents) and Bates (opened in 1968 housing 48 residents) wings.[7] The international students brought to Arana as part of the Colombo Plan have added a distinctive international flavour. Throughout the college's history houses on surrounding Clyde,[8] Dundas,[8] Leith[7] and St David[9] Sts have been purchased in order to provide extra accommodation.

Arana has accepted female students since 1978.[10] The 1980s saw a downturn in numbers of new students at the university, and the College faced challenges in attracting sufficient residents. The college survived by temporarily converting surrounding houses to self-contained accommodation.[11] Luckily, by the late 1980s the University of Otago was again in a growth phase, and Arana College truly began to develop into a residential village.

In 1994 Turner Wing was opened, housing 27 residents. In 2005-2006 Arana College undertook a major upgrade of the central facilities and increased the number of rooms available to students by building two new accommodation blocks, Leith View housing 60 residents[12] and Rawiri (a transliteration of St David) housing 104 residents.[13] The college now houses approximately 397 residents in total between its main buildings and surrounding houses.

Coat of Arms[edit]

Arana and Carrington, the two colleges at Otago that were created and originally administered by the Stuart Residence Halls Council, are now fully administered by the University of Otago. The arms of Arana come from the arms of the Stuart Residence Halls Council, whose motto is Non tantum aedificatio sed sodalitas (not only education but community), with the addition of a three-pointed label (as for an eldest son). The Arana motto is: Takina te hoe kia rite (wield the paddles together). The College colours are maroon and blue.[1]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Entered Notability Reference
Jon Gadsby 1972 Entertainment: Comedian
Prof. M.D. Holdaway 1951 Medicine: Child cancer researcher
Michael Laws 1976 Politics, Literature, Media: Mayor of Wanganui, radio host, author and columnist for The Sunday Star-Times
Garrick Tremain 1950s Media: Satirical cartoonist
Nathan Cohen 2005 Sport: Rowing [14]
Paul Grant 2006 Sport: Rugby
Phillipa Gray 2007 Sport: Cycling [14]
Garrick Tremain
Dave Borrie triumphs in a sack race in the 2014 Arana Carnival


  1. ^ a b "Introduction to Arana College". Arana College. Retrieved 24 Sep 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Turner, p. 8
  3. ^ a b Turner, p. 14
  4. ^ "Our People at Arana College". Arana College. Retrieved 24 Sep 2013. 
  5. ^ "About Arana College". Arana College. Retrieved 24 Sep 2013. 
  6. ^ Macaulay, p. 8
  7. ^ a b Macaulay, p. 18
  8. ^ a b Macaulay, p. 12
  9. ^ Macaulay, p. 14
  10. ^ Macaulay, p. 20
  11. ^ Macaulay, p. 22
  12. ^ "Leith View, Arana Hall of Residence, Dunedin". Retrieved 24 Sep 2013. 
  13. ^ "Arana St David Hall Residence, Dunedin". Retrieved 24 Sep 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "News from Arana College". Arana College. Retrieved 25 Sep 2013. 
  • Turner, Harold W. (1953). Halls of residence. New Zealand Council for Educational Research. 
  • Macaulay, G.A. (1991). A Triumph Of Improvisation. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°51′49″S 170°31′03″E / 45.863574°S 170.517522°E / -45.863574; 170.517522