Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre has been offering students an outstanding teaching and learning environment for more than 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. 


Deli Connell - Director of Studies

Qualifications: Bachelor of Education (Waikato and Massey Universities), Post Graduate Cert TESOL (Massey University).

Experience: I've been involved in education for more than thirty years with 18 of those years teaching English as a Second Language. I managed the Enviroschools and UNESCO Associated Schools programmes in New Zealand where I was able to develop my skills and passion for the environment and global citizenship. Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre is the perfect fit for me with our great environment programme and welcoming, multi-cultural family atmosphere.

Interests: Sailing, swimming, snorkelling and enjoying the beautiful bush and beaches of Mercury Bay.

I teach because… I'm a people-person. I love to help students to reach their full potential and to do things they never thought they'd ever be able to do. I believe it's my job to create a space where everyone feels relaxed and supported and empowered to 'give it a go'!!!"


Corrie Callander

Qualifications: CELTA, MA History (Honours) The University of Glasgow, Scotland

Experience: After gaining my CELTA qualification I worked at a summer school in Edinburgh. I then worked at a language school in Italy for two years. After that, I worked at a university in Tokyo, Japan, for 3 months and now I'm working at the wonderful COLC.

Interests: hill walking, swimming, running (sometimes), drawing, movies

I teach because: I love having a job which is so varied and creative. I love meeting students from all over the world and learning about their countries and cultures.

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."

Claire Fitzgerald

Qualifications: CELTA, BA in Sociology and Political Science.

Experience:   I've taught two years in Spain, one year in Dubai, one and a half year in Tanzania and six month in Dublin

Interests: Hiking, reading, horse riding, travelling

I teach because..."I love living in different cultures and working in education"


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.

Diana Franklin - Office Manager

As Office Manager I support the owners and teaching staff in the management of the school administration. I enjoy the varied challenges that every day brings and interacting with students from all walks of life. Promoting our local Whitianga wonderland, and sharing our kiwi experiences with the students, is a fun way to ensure I help make a difference to others as they embark on new adventures in their travels around New Zealand.

My passion is fishing. My husband and I like to spend our weekends on the sea.

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.