Te Aratai College (formerly Linwood College)

Te Aratai College is a Year 7–15 secondary school in Christchurch. It has undergone a full rebuild, as part of the Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme, and construction was completed in May 2022.

The rebuild included full demolition of all the existing buildings on site and the construction of the following facilities:

  • Creativity & Innovation Building
  • Learning Hub Building
  • Gymnasium
  • Multipurpose Hall

Formerly known as Linwood College, Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga has gifted a new name to the school. The new name, Te Aratai College, means the pathway to the sea.

Principal Richard Edmundson says that the new school will be inspiring and that it is a school designed for community-whanaungatanga, kōrero-conversation and student success.

"All this arises from the extensive community consultation that occurred over 2016 about what the community wanted for their new school. The key summary point from this extensive community voice was: The school should nurture individual excellence by providing varied opportunities to meet individual needs. It should foster a ‘love to learn’ culture that returns high levels of achievement and success at a cost that is accessible for all," says Richard.

"The foundational learning principle to our design is responsiveness to the needs of the students at that moment. Our classroom design is based on this.

Yes, there are times when learning can and should be opened up into larger spaces but equally, there are times for some students, many students, when this is a learning disaster. Therefore our classrooms are the standard, time-honoured size but with the flexibility to open up, when this is the right thing to do. Te Aratai College also has smaller rooms for students who learn best in reduced, very quiet environments, and bigger spaces for larger student gatherings.

The building design has flexibility for staff and students to respond to the many factors that contribute to learning success."

To assist with the redevelopment, the entire school has moved to the vacated Avonside Girls’ High School site in Avonside Drive for the duration of the redevelopment.

Building back in Christchurch

We’re building back better, stronger and smarter in Christchurch.

In key areas, we set standards for our new builds and school upgrades above the minimum required by the New Zealand Building code. Our new school buildings consider low-damage design. This means our schools are more resilient in earthquakes and are able to be readily used after a significant earthquake, similar to the design of civil defence level buildings required for post emergency response.

Services like water and sewerage are designed to stay connected and we have additional bracing requirements, including the use of newer technology such as removable links to absorb movement, used here at Linwood (Te Aratai) College.

These additional design requirements protect the main building structure and all the other elements like the building cladding, ceilings and windows, even in a significant earthquake.

Everything we’ve learnt has been captured in our structural and geotechnical requirements that designers and engineers must meet when designing and building our schools. They’re championed by our independent Engineering Strategy Group, made up of external leading New Zealand engineers and experts.

Fast facts

School type Secondary School Years 7–15
Cost $40 million
Roll capacity 850 students
Construction began August 2020
Construction complete May 2022


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