New boarding director a 26-year army man

New challenge. . . St Peters College boarding director Zane Langford is enjoying his first months in the role. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

After 26 years of army life Zane Langford is taking on a new challenge — Rosmini House boarding director.
Rosmini House at St Peter’s College provides accommodation for both the college and Gore High School.
Mr Langford grew up at South Hillend, near Winton, and is the brother of St Peter’s principal, Tara Quinney.
He did not go to boarding school himself but had spent most of his working life in the New Zealand Army, Mr Langford said.
‘‘I see a lot of parallels between being a soldier in barracks as well as being a student in a boarding school.’’
He started as a radio operator but throughout the years had retrained for different roles and was still in the reserve force.
He met his wife Lina in the army.
She was from Samoa and in 2019 the family moved there to experience village life.
It was his intention to commute between his Invercargill army office position and Samoa but when Covid-19 hit he could not leave the island nation.
‘‘I opened up a gym in the village.
‘‘It didn’t make any money but it was a lot of fun.’’
He also helped raise money for the village’s school and in recognition of his efforts was made a chief of the village.
In 2022 he returned to work at the army’s Linton Camp.
He also completed a New Zealand Defence Force youth development specialist course.
‘‘I really do have a strong passion for youth development.’’
At the start of the year when it was time for the couple’s daughter Keira, 13, to go to secondary school she was enrolled at St Peter’s.
In the process of settling his daughter in at the school, Mr Langford found out about the boarding director’s position and decided to apply.
He started the role in May.
Son Levi, 10, is attending St Mary’s Primary School, while Mrs Langford spends time in both Samoa and Gore.
After surveying the teachers, parents and pupils he was making changes as to how the hostel was managed, Mr Langford said.
Instead of the staff being called supervisors they would have more of a facilitating role.
‘‘They’re not here to be prison wardens; they’re not here to be mums and dads.
‘‘We’re here to enable these boarders to be the best people they can be.’’
There were many activities in Gore for young people to take part in out of school hours and it was the staff’s job to support boarders to use time well.
‘‘It’s all about empowering boarders to take control of what they want to do and take control of their day rather than us enforcing all of these micromanaging rules and really developing leaders.’’
Part of the plan was to help pupils choose activities instead of spending most of their downtime on electronic devices, which he had observed many of them doing.