Principal’s Message

Shannon Warren Principal

Welcome to Iona College, a state integrated boarding and day school for girls from Year 7 to Year 13.

Iona is an extraordinary school with a unique heritage of innovation and scholarship. This is exemplified by our talented and optimistic students, dedicated expert staff, and a supportive community of parents, alumnae and friends that value the finest traditions and aspirations in education.

Consistently one of the top achieving schools nationally, Iona has a vision for education which builds on a strong sense of tradition. Iona equips students with the confidence and skills to prepare for a challenging future.

At the heart of the College – and at the core of all that we do – are the young women in our care. Excellent schools exhibit a commitment to learning, justice, individual achievement and to wholeness; qualities embedded firmly in Iona’s Presbyterian heritage. In partnership with families, our responsibility is to develop in our girls the capacity to engage with – and respond to – their world with wisdom, integrity and imagination. This development is underscored in Iona’s motto: Love, Joy and Peace, cultivating the qualities our College community embraces: humility, understanding and tolerance. We actively cultivate a small school character, where every girl learns that she is an important part of the Iona family.

Educating and caring for girls is our area of expertise. We understand the trust parents place in us to educate their daughters, and our College’s obligation to respond. An Iona education recognises the particular strengths and needs of the individual, we aim to draw out the very best in every girl.

Our vision statement is expressed succinctly: Pursuing Personal Best – a sentiment which has defined Iona since it began teaching girls 100 years ago. Our purpose at Iona is to encourage our girls to embrace their education wholeheartedly, to see them emerge as confident young adults – with vision and optimism.

Shared values between your chosen school and home are vital. Iona fosters strong, positive relationships with parents and the wider school community. We act in partnership to shape each girl’s pathway to personal excellence as she prepares to take her place as a confident, compassionate young woman, driven to make a difference wherever she chooses to live and work.

Iona is situated in Havelock North – one of New Zealand’s most desirable places to live. Our magnificent grounds are extensive, spanning 22 hectares with manicured gardens, an outdoor swimming pool which boasts breath taking views to the Ruahine Ranges and two full-size playing fields.

Our traditional heritage buildings in the Spanish mission style of architecture are complemented by our modern Information Resource Centre and the state-of-the-art Blyth Performing Arts Centre, made possible by the generous gift of Old Girl, Margaret Blyth. The centre features a 400-seat auditorium with professional concert acoustics.

St Martin’s Chapel and the Margaret Blyth Religious Studies Centre are located at the centre of the campus and provide a beautifully meditative environment for worship and quiet reflection.

The physical environment is just one of the many things that make Iona special; our wide-ranging programmes of academic, sporting, cultural, community service and leadership activities are designed to recognise the particular talents of your daughter and to develop her distinctive abilities.

There is a tangible sense of community and belonging at Iona. It is a place where the girls can be entirely comfortable, where they feel happy and safe in an intimate, family-oriented environment. I invite you to take a walk through the College during our annual Open Day, or by personal appointment. Ours is a characteristically warm and welcoming community – we look forward to meeting you and your family, to introduce you to our wonderful College.


Mrs Shannon Warren