School History

Cashmere High School, Te iringa o Kahukura, has grown from small beginnings in 1956, to become one of the most highly regarded secondary schools in New Zealand.

In the mid 1950s, the growth of the southern part of Christchurch city gave rise to the need for a further secondary school. The Department of Education chose a picturesque site for the new school nestled beside the Heathcote River and the Cashmere Hills.

In 1956, Cashmere High School opened with 198 students under the expert leadership of Headmaster Terence McCombs. Mr McCombs was an experienced educator and politician, having held the office of Minister of Education between 1947 and 1949.  His founding leadership provided Cashmere High School with a fine reputation that it continues to fulfill today.  We are proud to honour Mr McCombs contribution to our school with the performing arts centre bearing his name. Mr McCombs retired in 1972 and his successors included R.A. Chapman (1973-80), J.D. Murdoch (1981-1991), R.M. Wilson (1991-1997), D.J Turnbull (1997-2009), M.R. Wilson (2009-2019) and J.D Eccleton 2019-present).

Although applied generally to the Cashmere Hills the Māori name Te Iringa o Kahukura or “The Uplifting of the Rainbow God" was gifted to Cashmere High School in 1972, by Ropata Wahawaha Stirling, QSM, who at that time was the Upoko o te Rūnaka o Kai Tahu, Christchurch.  This beautiful name refers to Kahukura, the God of the Rainbow who hangs his korowai, his cloak, over the hills of Cashmere that surround the school. 

The Lymphad (school symbol)

The original school crest incorporated a traditional heraldic form of a Lymphad, and was chosen by founding Headmaster Sir Terence McCombs.  This single-masted ship, also propelled by oars, symbolizes our school community – working together, with a clear vision, to journey forward, discover and achieve our best in life.


Meaning and Whakapapa

‘Manaaki whenua, manaaki tangata, haere whakamua.’ He mihi uruhau ki ngā raukura o te kura kua hanga i ēnei kōwhaiwhai. 

A warm welcome to our past students who designed our kōwhaiwhai. It is a representation of the Cashmere Hills, reinforcing the name of our kura with the koru connecting tauira and whānau of the past and the future.