John Rutherford Moir

Born in Invercargill, New Zealand on 9 August 1941
Passed away on 9 March 2020
Late of Paraparaumu
Aged 78 years
MOIR, John Rutherford:Of Paraparaumu, formerly of Porirua. Peacefully at home on Monday 9 March 2020. Aged 78 years. Cherished and cherishing husband of Glenys. Loved father of Mark, Jo, Sarah, Paul, and Kathryn and father-in-law of Vikki, Simon, and Dave. Loved Grandad of Bailey, Tommy, Mitchell, Luca, Mackenzie, Max, and Miles. Loved brother of Doug. The family would like to express their deep gratitude to all Health Care Workers who made it possible for John to stay at home. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Wellington Free Ambulance ( would be appreciated. A service to celebrate John's life will be held at St Andrew's Anglican Church, Steyne Avenue, Plimmerton on Friday 13 March 2020 at 11.30am, to be followed by private cremation. Messages can be placed online at or sent to "The Moir Family" PO Box 119, Paraparaumu 5254.

Online memorial

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[This lovely letter was sent to us by Murray over two years ago. I have been remiss in not posting it here until now. Better late than never. Thanks Murray!]

Dear Glenys

So sorry to hear about you and your family’s loss with the passing of John. He was a very special man who cared about me and taught me much. I liked him.

I have been thinking about John, all night, instead of sleeping, and am now up at 6.30am on a Sunday morning to put some thoughts into writing, and as a maths teacher this is not my forte.

He meant so much to me that I am sorry I did not know in time to have a final chat – just to catch up and take the opportunity to thank him for all he did for me and my family. I would have liked to speak at his funeral.

He was a mentor to me throughout my time in Wellington. Together, you welcomed us and provided a place to stay, while he gave me time to consider the ramifications of becoming HOD Maths at Porirua College. However, having said yes, within a year he promoted me to Assistant Principal and four years later I gained promotion to Deputy Principal at Tawa College; all under his guidance and care.

His ability to think on his feet and searing IQ wasn’t always matched by his EQ; so, while winning much for his school and PPTA members, he didn’t always win friends. His ability as a negotiator saw secondary teachers get their largest salary increase in the last fifty years and made Porirua College the most well-resourced state school in the country.

He was ahead of his time and lead the way in bringing computers, computing and school specific software to schools in NZ. When I left Porirua College, we had two computer labs, computers throughout our administration area and library, as well as various software packages that John had written. I turned up at Tawa College to find it had none of this. I followed John’s lead and introduced computers and software packages to a school that saw itself as being better than the rest.

At one stage he would have taken great pride in the fact that under his Principalship he had nurtured four of his staff into the roles of Principal at Aotea College, Mana College, Taita College and Viard College; an unparalleled feat otherwise.

On a personal level, John helped me through some pretty tough times. My new Lynda did the rest.

Glenys to you, Mark, Jo, Sarah, Paul and Kathryn – all the best. Lynda and I are thinking of you. My memories of John are such good ones; a sector leader in his era, a good boss, a great mentor and a damned fine friend.

Your sincerely

Murray Trenberth
Mark M posted a message for John Rutherford Moir
Forgive this casual means of communicating my condolences on the passing of your husband, John. I fear I won’t convey them at all if I wait to send by post. My feelings are sincere despite the medium.

Mr Moir was my Maths teacher at Fraser High School in Form 6. Later, when I joined the staff, John was my colleague. Later still when I moved to teach at Aotea College, he was the Principal at neighbouring Porirua College and active in PPTA.

He was a very hardworking man who gave much to his students. In his early time at Fraser, some of the Maths teachers were untrained and, frankly, dreadful. I remember him dashing between his classroom and the one next door, trying to teach as many pupils as he could because the incumbent was not up to the task.

He was a formidable opponent and I was pleased he was on our side in the union.

Please accept my condolences. He will be missed most by his family but also by many more, some of whom, like me, will be slow or unable to send their respects as they don’t know of his passing .

Yours sincerely
Tina Plank (née Haggo, formerly Douglas)
Tina Plank posted a message for John Rutherford Moir