Western Springs College mourn the loss of dedicated principal

Auckland's Western Springs College are mourning the loss of former school Principal Ken Havill who lost his battle to cancer this week, aged 67. In 2010, Mr Havill secured New Zealand's largest school rebuild worth over $75mil. The school says they hope to incorporate him in the new complex to honour his memory.

Staff, students and family arrive at Ngā Oho Marae at Western Springs College to pay respect to a beloved mentor.

Teacher General Wihongi told Te Kāea, “He was in every sense of the word a leader. He was a real community man who could unite people from all walks of life together. But what he was perhaps most admired for was vigorously upholding and entrenching of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”

Mr Havill spent 24 years at the school and 19 years as principal. Under his leadership, the college has become New Zealand's top ranked school for UE pass rates and was the first school to adopt a co-governance structure under the Treaty of Waitangi with the establishment of the immersion unit.

“He fought hard to secure the $79mil to rebuild our school because our school grounds are sitting on an old dump site.”

The school plans to acknowledge his memory in the new buildings.

“He lived strongly by our school motto, 'Pursue the bird of learning and knowledge'. He firmly believed in education and embodying what we stand for.”

In 2016 he retired. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Lorraine, two daughters Paola and Si'a lei, and a community of thousands who he took under his wing.