NZCEO home login contact
about schools early childhood events resources media teachers links
 

Media Releases

NZCEO

[archived media releases]

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

Dear Colleagues,
New Year Greetings!!

Introduction

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.

Appreciation

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.
Sincerely,

Patrick J. Lynch

4 February 2014
C.E.O.
Contact:
p.lynch@nzceo.org.nz
(04) 496-1739 Wk
(027 4) 905 396 Mobile.

Return to top

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
C.E.O.
Contact:
p.lynch@nzceo.org.nz
(04) 496-1739 Wk
(027 4) 905 396 Mobile.

Return to top

OBITUARY: Bishop JOHN MACKEY

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
C.E.O.
Contact:
p.lynch@nzceo.org.nz
(04) 496-1739 Wk
(027 4) 905 396 Mobile.

Return to top

 

[archived media releases]