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HRC Te Otu Mātua

Halswell Residential College
Whakarangatirahia - Be the best you can be


My time at HRC - kupu from a former ākonga 
When I came to HRC, I needed to learn how to behave better in school and at home.

At HRC, I learned to have good manners; be more tolerant of other kids; and resilience, I can stay calm (most of the time).

I never thought I would change. I never thought I would go to a trampoline park.

My family say that I'm more kind, more mature, and I've definitely been a lot different.

HRC Logo - blue with no background

A massive thank you, for all the hard work everyone has done over the past year with V. He is a completely different person to the angry child he was. 

Each one of you should be proud to say that you work there.

Thank you so much for having V there and being 'family' with him.

Former whānau 

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I would to say a huge thank you to everyone involved with our son at HRC over the past 2 years. HRC was really a blessing for our family.

All the amazing and hard work everyone put in to support and help our son has been amazing. We really appreciate you all. Our son would not be where he is today without you.

It has been an up and down two years, but we made it. None of it would have been achieved without you all.

Our family has really noticed a change, so thank you so much from all of us.

Former ākonga whānau 

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My time at HRC - kupu from a former ākonga 
When I came to HRC, I needed to work on my behaviour, such as violence, bullying, and sharing with other young people.

At HRC, I learned to trust people, be helpful to others, and keep my hands and feet to myself.

I never thought I would get to learn mountain biking skills, go walking up big hills, and have lots of outdoor education.

My family say they are proud of me going to school, and I am doing better.

Kupu from a former ākonga 

Thank you everyone at HRC for helping me and taking care of me.

Thank you for helping me make friends. It makes me happy.

I miss HRC. HRC was like my home and I didn't want to leave. I miss you all. I wish I could stay forever.

Kupu from a former whānau

Hi, I wanted to let you know the results from the Special Olympics in Berlin.

He got in all the finals, and he came 4th in the 200m run, 3rd in the relay, and earned himself a silver medal in the long jump (only 8cm away from gold).

We are beyond proud, and feeling so happy; we feel HRC has played a huge part in his life.

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HRC Logo - blue with no background
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Email from former whānau

Bit of a random email I know. But just wanted to reach out and let you all know that Michael is doing amazingly. Without you all at Halswell we wouldn't be where we are today. He copes on the bus to and from school, and does a whole school day. You all do amazing work and we are so grateful that Michael had the opportunity to go to Halswell.

To all the team in the whare and school....Thank you, You all helped Michael beyond what we ever anticipated or expected. He misses you all. 


Please pass on our gratitude and thanks to all involved with Michael.


Sarina Fenemor, 2024


Be the best that you can be

Thank you for all the hard work you've done with our son. It has made a huge difference for him, and your patience and guidance will not be forgotten.

Kupu from a former 

'I congratulate all involved for the work you are doing to ensure your school is providing a high quality of education for its learners...

I note the positive impact the school is having responding to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.'

Hon Chris Hipkins MP 

To all the staff at HRC

Thank you for all you have done for our grandson. It has been a joy to see him grow and mature after his time at HRC.

I just wish the care he was given was available to all that need it. 

Former ākonga whānau 

To the Principal and Staff,
Thank you very much for the care and special life you are giving our grandson.

We love him dearly, and we were so thrilled at the change in him when he came home in the holidays.

...this new grandson is a change so wonderful; we are so happy it boosts our life up. Thank you all.
From his loving Grandparents 

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Kupu from a former ākonga whānau 

We can't express enough gratitude for the hard work that you and your staff put into making HRC a home away from home where our young people get to be themselves, make mistakes, laugh, dance, sing and thrive in a safe place that enables them to grow into incredible young people.

Thank you for the energy you all put into raising R. You are a true taongoa and we will never forget any of you. 

You gave us back an amazing young man, when he went in as a broken boy.

Arohanui, with love and affection always in our hearts.

My time at HRC - kupu from a former ākonga 
When I came to HRC, I needed to learn to stay in class, swear less, and stay settled.

At HRC I learnt to stay settled, having good relationships with my teachers helped me to stay settled. I have also learnt to swear less because Lee gave me alternative words like "Cheese and Whiskers", ""Fudge", and "Furgargle".

I never thought I would go skiing, be the caller in kapa haka or ride drift trikes.

My family say that I am doing really well at school and my mum wishes it was easier to get kids into HRC.

I say - I will miss HRC.

Come on a tour of HRC Te Otu Mātua


Netsafe school certifcation

Netsafe Schools Programme

We are proud to announce we are an official Netsafe School.  Netsafe Schools is a nationally recognised programme supporting New Zealand schools to create a safer and more positive online experience.

To view full details click here.

NZ Certificate

Seizure Smart School

We are proud to be recognised as a Seizure Smart School, awarded by Epilepsy New Zealand

LEA Awards winner cat 8

HRC wins at the Learning Environments Australasia Awards

HRC was announced the winner  of the Innovative Education Initiative category at the Learning Environments Australasia (LEA) Awards.  


These awards are open to educational facilities’ projects which demonstrate excellence in the planning and design of educational facilities across the Australasia region. The core mission of the awards is to celebrate excellent learning spaces where innovative architectural ideas support the education philosophy.

To view the finalists and find out further information please click here.

Image by Beatriz Pérez Moya

SAMS Evaluation 

Standards and Monitoring Services (SAMS) 


In 2020 we invited SAMS to evaluate the services provided at Halswell Residential College.


The review involved meeting with staff, students, whānau, and community connections over three days, as well as reviewing an extensive list of documents and procedures.

The evaluators commented: 


"As always SAMS was welcomed into Halswell College and treated with considerable respect while on site.  We valued the professional yet relaxed environment within which we conducted the review and the thoughtful and often wise interactions we experienced with both professional staff and students."

The see the full report click here.

Student on waterslide

Education Review Office
ERO Report 2019

Key strengths of Halswell Residential College

  • strong leadership that has established a high trust collaborative school culture that places the wellbeing and success of all students at the centre.

  • rich curriculum that is responsive to students’ strengths, culture, needs and interests.

  • coherent systems which support processes that enhance student safety and wellbeing.

  • effective communication systems which strengthen the partnership with families/whānau and specialist agencies in realising shared valued outcomes for students.

  • a reflective environment that promotes capability and capacity building for ongoing improvement.

To see the full report click here

PM Award Finalists

Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards

Excellence in Engaging Finalist

HRC was a proud finalist in the Prime Minister’s Excellence in Education Awards for 2019 in the category of Engagement.  This is a prestigious award and being announced as a finalist is a significant accomplishment.  

To view the finalists and find out further information please click here.

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