Te Koraha “The Wilderness” is a Grade 2 category listed heritage building which has been fully renovated and restored to its former glory following significant damage resulting from the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch.
In 1889 the eight Gibson sisters took over the operation of a small Papanui Road ‘dame’ school. The following year their father, Captain Frederick Gibson, built a large house with two schoolrooms on the corner of Webb Street. This was given the name Rangi Ruru, or ‘wide sky shelter’. In 1903 the school had 63 pupils. By the early 1920s the Webb St house was proving too cramped, and the decision was made to move to larger premises. In August 1923 the remaining four sisters shifted their school, day pupils and eighteen borders to Te Koraha. Ownership of the property was transferred to the Gibson’s in 1928 for £9000.
Rangi Ruru remained with the Gibson family until 1946, when the school was sold to the Presbyterian Church. “The House” as it was affectionately known, has undergone significant changes over its lifetime; after full restoration it was reopened in July 2012 and now serves as the administrative hub of the school.