Tawa College

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Tawa College
Tawa College.jpg
Duncan St,
New Zealand
Coordinates41°09′54″S 174°49′54″E / 41.1650°S 174.8318°E / -41.1650; 174.8318Coordinates: 41°09′54″S 174°49′54″E / 41.1650°S 174.8318°E / -41.1650; 174.8318
TypeState secondary
MottoDo Justly
Ministry of Education Institution no.257
PrincipalMurray Lucas
School roll1454[1] (August 2018)
Socio-economic decile8P[2]

Tawa College is a coeducational school (year 9 – year 13) in Tawa, New Zealand. Its principal is Murray Lucas. The Tawa College magazine is called Tawahi (pronounced tawa–he). There are around 80 teaching staff and 20 support staff. Tawa College was officially opened in July 1961 and has always maintained a close involvement with the life of the local community, particularly through music and sport.


At the September 2012 Education Review Office (ERO) review, Tawa College had 1417 students enrolled, including nine international students. Forty-six percent of students were male and 54 percent were female. Fifty-seven percent of students identified as New Zealand European (Pākehā), 16 percent identified as Māori, 14 percent as Asian, 12 percent as Pacific Islanders, and one percent as another ethnicity.[3]

Tawa College has a socio-economic decile of 8 (step P), meaning it draws its school community from areas moderately-high socioeconomic status when compared to other New Zealand schools. The school was recategorised from decile 9 (step Q) in January 2015, as part of the nationwide review of deciles following the 2013 census.[2]


The traditional colours of Tawa College are blue, red and yellow, as seen in the school uniform, sports strips and crest. The uniform skirt for the girls is a kilt made of Duncan tartan. The college has special permission from the Scottish clan, to whom the tartan belongs (as intellectual property), to use the tartan in its uniform.

Tawa Recreation Centre[edit]

The Tawa Recreation Centre (informally known as "the rec centre") is a joint venture between Tawa College and the Wellington City Council. The facility contains two gymnasiums, two sets of male and female changing rooms, a large foyer area, P.E equipment sheds, a Wellington City Council Office and reception area, P.E department offices, and a classroom on the mezzanine.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Tawa College provides a wide range of extracurricular actives, especially musical ones. Notable groups include:

  • The Dawn chorus – A 200-strong all-comers choir, nationally known for their high standard of performance.
  • Acafellas – An auditioned male barbershop chorus, which has competed at a national level every year since their first entrance into the National Barbershop Competition.
  • Maiden Tawa – An auditioned girls' chorus, with about 70 members. They were national barbershop champions for 6 consecutive years, up until the 2008 National Barbershop competition, in which they were awarded fourth overall.
  • Amplify – Tawa College's student-run church, with roughly 90 members meeting once a week.
  • Astronomy Club – Meets every Friday evening. The school has its own telescope.
  • Jazz Band – This band, currently led by Ze'ev Dikvert, has a number of members who enjoy their weekly practices.

Tawa College also has many sporting groups, debating groups, and other extracurricular activities.


The school is well known for its achievements in the arts, notably singing, including several national and international barbershop quartet and chorus champions, such as the Musical Island Boys (national barbershop champions, 2004; international collegiate quartet champions, 2006; Barbershop Harmony Society International Quartet Champions, 2014).

They also have a big reputation due to their wrestling team, TCW, who have been twice national champions.

In 2009, the principal, Mr Lucas, and approximately 38 year 13 chemistry students beat the Guinness world record for the most hours of consecutive teaching with their 28-hour chemistry teach-a-thon. This was put together as a fundraiser for World Vision, and through it they raised over $3,000.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni include:



  • 1961–66 – Alan Mackie
  • 1966–81 – Eric Flaws
  • 1981–89 – Brian Walker
  • 1989–2002 – Bruce Murray
  • 2002–present – Murray Lucas


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 13 September 2018". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Tawa College Education Review". Education Review Office. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  4. ^ "The longest lesson". Education Gazette New Zealand. 88 (10). 15 June 2009. Archived from the original on 25 June 2009.
  5. ^ "Former MPs – Taito Phillip Field". Parliament of New Zealand. Retrieved 30 August 2009.

External links[edit]