Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre has been offering students an outstanding teaching and learning environment for almost 30 years

Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre is a recognised NZQA category 1 school as we can make Highly Confident judgements for educational performance and Highly Confident/Confident judgements for self-assessment capability


Our teachers are all highly qualified and dedicated to achieving high standards in their work. Currently we have teachers from the United Kingdom, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They use up to date methods and techniques to ensure that you make maximum progress and encourage a relaxed atmosphere so you feel comfortable speaking English, both in and outside the classroom. 


Hayley Nash - Director of Studies

Qualifications: BA Hons in French Studies (University of Leeds), CELTA Certified (Manchester Academy of English) Qualified Teacher Status for High School Language teaching in the UK.

Experience: I started teaching in 2004 as a Language Assistant in the North of France. Inspired to continue travelling and working with different cultures, I passed my CELTA in 2009 and worked in Canada, England, France and more recently in Australia. My senior teacher role with Manchester United Soccer School encouraged me to follow the ‘learning by doing’ ethos and as a fan of kinaesthetic learning, I often encourage an active classroom including technology and communicative activities.

Interests: Hiking, running (10km - Half marathon), skiing, travelling and kayaking. My New Years' resolution was to learn how to fish!

I teach because… 'I love seeing students come out of their shells and really enjoy being part of an international environment. I learn so much from the students I meet; doctors, scientists, students and teachers themselves, it’s an interesting and varied job where I can see personal and educational growth. As a 'people-person' who enjoys sharing stories, teaching is perfect!'

Rachel Hadfield

Qualifications: BA Linguistics, Anthropology, and Ancient Greek (Victoria University, Wellington). Cert IV TESOL (Teach International, Brisbane).

Experience: I started teaching English as soon as I graduated university, first in Seoul, South Korea, then in Yangon, Myanmar, with some short-term stints in other countries in between. My classroom experience is primarily with young learners, but I’ve also taught university students and adults online. I recently spent some time creating a variety of resources for an online English school.

Interests: Tramping, playing the guitar and ukulele (badly, but enthusiastically), painting, reading, learning languages.

I teach because: I love the creativity and variety involved—every student and every class is completely different. I’m passionate about languages, both studying them and teaching them.

Alistair Bailey

Qualifications: RSA Cert TEFLA, RSA Dip TEFLA

Experience: UK national with 22 years ESL teaching experience in UK, Finland, Sweden, France and NZ. Exam class teacher; 7 years experience in preparing students for international ESL exams; specialized in Business English for executives and managers.

Interests: Walking, swimming, good grammar.

I teach because... "there's something different & interesting in every class."

Kate Nielsen

Qualifications: Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre), University of Victoria, British Columbia; TESL Certificate.

Experience: 17 years teaching ESL in Canada and NZ; teaching Children's Speech and Drama.

Interests: Swimming, singing, soccer, drama, books, baking.

I teach because... "I love the beauty and drama - the possibilities - of language, and I love sharing my enthusiasm with others."

Tina Spencer

Qualifications:     Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Bachelor of Law, TEFL Cert, Certificate of Adult Teaching.

Experience:    ESOL teacher since 2002 in New Zealand and China.

Interests:     Gardening, travelling, sustainable living.

I teach because... " I love the interaction with students and the satisfaction of working together toward a common goal"


Everyone at COLC will be your new family during your stay in New Zealand. There is always someone to give you advice and help you at school but also during your whole experience in Whitianga. 


Kim Lawry - Managing Director

Sometimes I really do wonder what brought me to this position in life. If someone had told me 12 years ago that in 2017, I would be the Managing Director of an English Language School I simply would not have believed them. Life will always offer you challenges, your pathway is defined by whether or not you accept them. 


Robyn Lawry - Financial Director and COLC Fairy

After 30 years of dairy farming, Kim and I moved to Whitianga for a change in pace and our involvement with the language school came from our past experience with international exchange students.

My role is Financial  Director and COLC Fairy.  As Financial Director I deal with all money matters and the Public Trust and as the COLC Fairy I make sure all the little jobs that no one else wants to do are done to ensure the school runs smoothly.

I get the most satisfaction out of seeing students take steps to change their lives or to have a new beginning, not only by learning English but by growing as people.

Tanya Piper - Office Manager

I grew up in Whitianga and then worked around New Zealand. I travelled overseas for 4 years and when I returned I started working here at Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre and have been here ever since. Maurice, (the previous owner of COLC) was one of my teachers at school and I loved the idea of this school. I enjoy working with people of all nationalities and ages, it is a very positive place to work as often the students are on the adventure of a lifetime.

I enjoy travelling, both in New Zealand and overseas, and am usually quite busy supporting my children with all of their activities. I love cooking and eating different food, taking time to enjoy our beautiful area and spending time in my garden.

Bernice Thompson - Activities Co-ordinator

Bernice Thompson - Activities Co-ordinator

My name is Bernice. I run the Activites at COLC and I’ve spent many years working for the school. I am a qualified Ambulance Officer and have worked as a Mountain Safety Instructor and volunteer for NZ Search and Rescue. I am qualified as a TESOL teacher and I do some relief teaching for the school.

I love our beautiful New Zealand environment and have a passion for the outdoors. I am interested in all sports especially snorkeling, scuba diving,  sailing and kayaking.  I also enjoy tramping and skiing, taking time out for trips into our amazing wilderness areas of New Zealand.


More about COLC

Fee Protection

COLC uses the Public Trust to provide our student fee protection.  This is the best form of cover available and will guarantee that paid student fees are safe.

Pastoral Care

We are a signatory to the NZ Ministry of Education Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students that gives assurance of our standard of care, good practice procedures and complaint procedure.


We have an excellent record of student achievement and satisfaction with their learning outcomes. Our school is registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority assuring our students of a secure, sound learning environment and that our courses all meet with government approval.