Kavanagh College exists to promote excellence in learning and teaching in a climate of faith and pastoral care for the Catholic community of Dunedin.

The College strives to educate young people through a wide range of learning opportunities relevant to 21st-century living. Considerable emphasis is placed on personal development, spiritual growth through our special character, leadership and community awareness. This is achieved through:

  • Excellence in pastoral care
  • Excellence in academic, cultural and sporting achievement
  • Excellence in developing and enhancing our special Catholic character

Our roll of about 640 students gives us the flexibility to provide a breadth of options and opportunities throughout the college. We endeavour to keep our junior classes at a maximum of 25 students to ensure every child has their individual learning needs met. Our settled, homeroom-based learning model in Years 7-9 allows our teachers to know their learners very well, and this provides a strong foundation for future learning.

Most of all, Kavanagh College is a strong learning community where students, teachers and whānau work in unison to build well rounded, confident and connected young people who go forth to make a difference in the world.

Principal’s Message

Tena koutou katoa, Malo e lelei, Talofa lava, Welcome!

Established in 1989, our vision is as relevant now as it was over thirty years ago.

Kavanagh College exists to promote excellence in learning and teaching in a climate of faith and pastoral care for the Catholic community of Dunedin.

If we remain true to our vision, we are producing strong young men and women with a true sense of their identity, a strong faith-based moral compass, and a high-quality academic foundation that will not only provide them with choice and pathways in life but will positively influence the communities they become part of. Our vision continues to guide all facets of college life.

Our educational heritage is important to us and we value the faith that has been passed on to Kavanagh College since 1874 when the first Catholic school in Dunedin was built on our site. The contribution made to our college by our amalgamating schools and the links we maintain with the Dominican Order, the Mercy Order and the Edmund Rice Network are still present in our college’s gospel values of Respect, Service, Justice and Truth.

Our diverse, co-educational environment is our strength and every student in Years 7-13 is valued as an individual for their unique gifts and talents. At Kavanagh College, young people aim high while being supported and encouraged to do so. The friendships your son or daughter creates with young men and women at Kavanagh College will last well beyond their school years and, when they leave our college, they are well prepared to thrive in a diverse, co-educational world. 

I look forward to welcoming you into our special place so that you can experience the warmth of the relationships that are the foundation of our high-achieving college.

Manaaki te Atua, Ngā mihi nui,

Mrs Kate Nicholson


Strategic Direction 2021-25