South Otago High School

Last updated
South Otago High School
Frances Street,
New Zealand
Coordinates 46°14′49″S169°43′40″E / 46.2469°S 169.7278°E / -46.2469; 169.7278 Coordinates: 46°14′49″S169°43′40″E / 46.2469°S 169.7278°E / -46.2469; 169.7278
TypeState, Co-educational, Secondary (Year 9-13)
MottoFide et Fortitudine
(By Faith and Fortitude)
Ministry of Education Institution no. 393
PrincipalMike Wright
School roll456 [1] (March 2019)
Socio-economic decile6N [2]

South Otago High School is situated in Balclutha, Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand. It is the largest school in the South Otago region. The country's second longest river, the Clutha River, marks the northeastern boundary of the School's grounds.

Balclutha, New Zealand Town in Otago, New Zealand

Balclutha is a town in Otago, lying towards the end of the Clutha River, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is about halfway between Dunedin and Invercargill on the Main South Line railway, State Highway 1 and the Southern Scenic Route. Balclutha has a population of 3,990, and is the largest town in South Otago.

Otago Region of New Zealand in South Island

Otago is a region of New Zealand in the south of the South Island administered by the Otago Regional Council. It has an area of approximately 32,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi), making it the country's third largest local government region. Its population was 229,200 in June 2018.

South Island Southernmost of the two main islands in New Zealand

The South Island, also officially named Te Waipounamu, is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand in surface area; the other being the smaller but more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi), making it the world's 12th-largest island. It has a temperate climate.


The school has a strong rivalry with the smaller but older Tokomairiro High School in the neighbouring town of Milton. Links with the past at the school include a stand of oak trees, which dominate the school's grounds. These were already several decades old at the time of the school's founding. One of these oaks is commemorated on the school's arms, along with the Southern Cross. These two symbols also represent strength and a striving for higher ideals, also reflected in the school's motto of Fide et Fortitudine.

Tokomairiro High School is a co-educational, state secondary school in Milton, New Zealand, often simply known as "Toko".

Milton, New Zealand town in New Zealand

Milton, formerly known as Tokomairiro or Tokomairaro, is a town of 2,000 people, located on State Highway 1, 50 kilometres to the south of Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand. It lies on the floodplain of the Tokomairaro River, one branch of which loops past the north and south ends of the town. This river gives its name to many local features, notably the town's main school, Tokomairiro High School.

Oak genus of plants

An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are approximately 600 extant species of oaks. The common name "oak" also appears in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus, as well as in those of unrelated species such as Grevillea robusta and the Casuarinaceae (she-oaks). The genus Quercus is native to the Northern Hemisphere, and includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cool temperate to tropical latitudes in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. North America contains the largest number of oak species, with approximately 90 occurring in the United States, while Mexico has 160 species of which 109 are endemic. The second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains approximately 100 species.


Founded in 1926, the school is one of the South Island's oldest non-urban full secondary schools. At its opening, the school roll was 135, and the school initially shared classrooms with other nearby schools until the completion of its own building - now the school's main block - on 5 hectares of land in 1927. The school's first rector was John Reid, who held the post until 1931. From the following year, J. Garfield Anderson became rector, a post he held until 1954, during which time the school grew greatly in both size and scope.

The school today

South Otago High School is a co-educational high school with a roll of 580 students, of whom some 15% are Māori. Facilities include several computer rooms, two gymnasia - one with squash courts and fitness room, art, music, and technology suites, and science laboratories. The school also boasts 17 hectares of superb sporting fields and courts.

Māori people Indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand

The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, and distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced; later, a prominent warrior culture emerged.

In 2002 there was a small outbreak of group C meningococcal disease in Balclutha, and students at this school and at Rosebank Primary School were vaccinated against the disease.

In April 2006, South Otago High School became the first New Zealand school to run a Jeans for Genes day in aid of the Haemophilia Foundation of New Zealand. Jeans for Genes, a charitable event originating in the United Kingdom, sees schools raising funds to help children with genetic disorders through sponsored events on a day on which school uniform is temporarily replaced by the wearing of denim jeans.

Jeans for Genes Day is a national fund-raiser held in Australia and the United Kingdom. The two fund-raisers are not associated with one another and raise money for different institutes.

Haemophilia Human genetic disease that impairs the bodys ability to make blood clots, a process needed to stop bleeding

Haemophilia is a mostly inherited genetic disorder that impairs the body's ability to make blood clots, a process needed to stop bleeding. This results in people bleeding longer after an injury, easy bruising, and an increased risk of bleeding inside joints or the brain. Those with a mild case of the disease may have symptoms only after an accident or during surgery. Bleeding into a joint can result in permanent damage while bleeding in the brain can result in long term headaches, seizures, or a decreased level of consciousness.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

In September 2008 new principal Nick Simpson reopened plans to establish an area computing facility. [3]

Notable alumni

Ronald Algie New Zealand politician

Sir Ronald Macmillan Algie was a New Zealand politician who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives for six years in the 1960s. He described himself as "a Tory in the old tradition".

Lee Allan is a former New Zealand rugby union player who played as a loose forward for Otago in the ITM Cup and the Highlanders in the international Super Rugby competition.

Kelvin Deaker is a former New Zealand rugby union international referee and member of the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union, who has now retired from all refereeing. Deaker took up refereeing in 1991, and refereed his first representative match in 1996, when he took charge of a National Provincial Championship Division 3 match between Buller and Horowhenua. In 2001, the year he turned professional, Deaker refereed his first international rugby match, taking charge of the match between Wales and Japan on 17 June 2001. Two years later, Deaker was named as one of the referees who were to take charge of matches at the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and was subsequently named as a touch judge for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. Off the field, Deaker is a qualified chartered accountant, currently works for Taylor Pass Honey Co, in the town of Blenheim, New Zealand.


  1. "Directory of Schools - as at 3 April 2019". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  3. Conway, Glenn (20 September 2008). "Principal keen for tech centre". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 2008-09-20.

Further reading

Related Research Articles

South Otago lies in the south east of the South Island of New Zealand. As the name suggests, it forms the southernmost part of the geographical region of Otago.


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Josh Blackie is a former New Zealand rugby union player who notably played for Otago in the National Provincial Championship and the Highlanders in Super Rugby. He also had a long stint for the Kobelco Steelers in Japan and played a season with the Blues in 2008. His position of choice was flanker.

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Alando Soakai is a former professional rugby union player from New Zealand best known for his time with the Highlanders in Super Rugby and Otago in the ITM Cup, and as captain of Otago in their 2009 and 2010 campaigns. He currently serves on the coaching staff of the Kubota Spears in the Japanese Top League, the club where he finished his playing career.

Kurt Thomas Baker is a New Zealand rugby union player. He plays in the fullback, wing and at centre positions for Manawatu in the Mitre 10 Cup. He played for the Māori All Blacks and was a New Zealand Sevens representative, having played in 22 Sevens World Series tournaments, a Rugby Sevens World Cup and featured in Gordon Tietjens squad to take part at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Liam Coltman is a New Zealand rugby union player who plays as a hooker for Otago in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Highlanders in the international Super Rugby competition.

Jason Emery rugby player

Jason Emery is a New Zealand rugby union player who represents the Sunwolves in Super Rugby as well as for Manawatu in the Mitre 10 Cup. His position of choice is centre.

Craig Millar is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a loosehead prop for Otago in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and for the Tokyo based Super Rugby franchise the Sunwolves.

Josh Renton is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a halfback for Otago in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Highlanders in the international Super Rugby competition.

Matt Faddes is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a midfielder or outside back for Otago in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Highlanders in the international Super Rugby competition.

Sio Tomkinson is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a midfield back for Otago in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Highlanders in the international Super Rugby competition.

Fletcher Smith is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a first five-eighth for Waikato in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Hurricanes in Super Rugby. He has also represented the Highlanders.