luke aldridge


Enormous congratulations to Luke Aldridge (11BE), who has won third place in Year 11 in the prestigious national Poetry NZ Yearbook student competition.

Luke’s poem “Tiki Tour” (see the full poem below) was inspired by campervan holidays around the South Island.

‘In early 2019 Mum and bought a really, really, really bad campervan – I mean it was really on its last legs. We toured around the South Island. It was fantastic – especially going off the beaten track and seeing all the little middle-of-nowhere places off the tourist track. We finally broke down in Hanmer Springs and were stranded for a week. We managed to get it home, but it’s really just a memorial to past holidays now.’

He entered the poem on the competition, which is run every year by Massey University Press, and as time ticked away during the year’s Covid disruptions he assumed he hadn’t placed.

Then during Lockdown Mark II, he got a letter from Massey with the good news.

“It had been quite a rough week back in lockdown. This just changed my whole day and really gave me a lift. Before the second lockdown I was going through a really rough patch and loising my passion for writing. This one small response from Massey really changed my whole outlook and reignited my passion for writing.”

Luke has received two copies of the 2020 NZ Poetry Yearbook, which includes the first and second place entries from each year group.   

‘I’ll enter again next year and I’m determined to get published!’ he says. ‘This changed my whole day and inspired me. I’ve already entered a few more. And I couldn’t have done it without Miss Meade and Mr Taylor and the wonderful support of the whole English department. They were totally amazing and have supported me through the whole thing.’


The full list of winners is:

Year 13
First prize: Pippi Jean, ‘Class of 2020’ and ‘11.11pm’ 
Second prize: Georgia Wearing, ‘Bury the Lamb’ 
Third prize: Catherine Bullock, ‘Orthotropics’ 
Highly commended: Alia Wentz, ‘In between’, and Lily Joyce, ‘How Long will my heart bleed’

Year 12
First prize: Cadence Chung, ‘Hey Girls’ 
Second prize: Theles Hakaria, ‘Tōku Whare’ 
Third prize: Cadence Chung, ‘We Lovers’ 
Highly commended: Lucy Barge, ‘Scratchy Shuffles’, and Holly Willis, ‘Heaters’

Year 11
First prize: Darcy Monteath, ‘World War Two’
Second prize: Praniti Gulyani, ‘What it takes to be a Window’ 
Third prize: Luke Aldridge, ‘Tiki Tour’, and Moeka Koyama, ‘Character of Music’ 
Highly commended: Sarah-Kate Simons, ‘Scar Tissue’, and Fergus McMullan, ‘Uniform'



Tiki Tour

By Luke Aldridge


A road trip?

Nah bro, a Tiki tour.

Honestly, the furthest you’ll get on a road here,

Is the local dairy.

We’re more than State Highway 1.


I know, I know,

It’s damned hard to believe.

That there’s more to us,







Tiki Touring is

Cutting against the grain.

Getting dragged out of your comfort zone,

(Most likely in a 1996 Toyota Estima)

And getting a stiff right hook for saying










To experience New Zealand,

Is to experience us.

Not business men twirling their moustaches.


Their Culture is not your funny story.

Their Culture is not your bling.

Their Culture is not one for the gram.

Our Culture is embracing one another,

Our Culture is a $5 can of Tomato Sauce.

And our culture is Love.


So please.

Turn left,

And although the road,

Is anything but.

And although the road,

Is fanged.

And Although the Pothole,

Has a bit of road in it.


Take our leap,

And I promise,

Our booth will always be free,

The bevvies will always be cold,

OMC will always be singing ‘bout that hot, hot sun.

And the All Blacks will always have the Bledisloe.


To Roadtrip is to see.

A Tiki Tour is to experience.

Kia Ora.