Brother Patrick Lynch, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office, will step down from his role later in the year, at a time to be determined, announced Geoffrey Ricketts, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office, today.

Brother Patrick has been in this CEO role since 1994. Prior to that he was the principal of De La Salle College, Mangere, Auckland for 16 years, during the last three of which he was the President of the Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand (SPANZ). He was awarded a New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal and in 1991 he was awarded a QSO. Most recently, in the 2015 New Year’s
Honours, he was made a Knight Companion of the Order of Merit, for Services to Education over a 50 year period.

Mr Ricketts said, “Brother Patrick has had an illustrious career in New Zealand education, not only in the integrated schools sector but also within the wider educational environment, both nationally and internationally. This continuing wide ranging achievement has now been officially recognised with his most recent honour.”

Brother Patrick expressed his gratitude for having been able to serve the integrated schools sector of New Zealand for the last 21 years, saying that he “leaves the role with a great deal of admiration for those in the sector who have enabled Catholic and other integrated schools to become confident in themselves and well thought of by the wider New Zealand community.”

In supporting the nation’s 332 integrated schools and their 86,000 students, he praised the 15 Ministers of Education he has worked with and the successive Governments, all of whom have actively supported integrated schools. “There is no doubt,” he said, “that the mosaic of diversity now apparent within the New Zealand education system is one of the country’s great strengths. Nobody has a monopoly over enlightenment and by working together great strength follows.”

He expressed gratitude to the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference who persuaded him to take on the role of CEO, and he acknowledged the many people whom he has worked with in the Education sector, staff and colleagues, religious groups, the wider avenues of Government and the public sector, along with
business and the NGO sectors. “Applications to replace Brother Patrick will now be sought by the Board of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office,” said Mr Ricketts.

29 January 2015

Geoff Ricketts 021 926 570
Susan Apathy, Deputy CEO, NZCEO 04 496 1739