Students at Christchurch Boys' High School performed an emotional haka for head monitor Jake Bailey after he spoke at the senior prize-giving shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.
"I wrote a speech and then a week before I was due to deliver it they said, you've got cancer," Jake said.
"They said if you don't get any treatment you'll be dead in three weeks. And they told me that I wouldn't be able to come and deliver this speech here tonight".
The school has published the speech notes and a video on social media, saying Jake has been diagnosed with Burkitts non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
The speech Jake delivered sitting in a wheel chair focuses on his senior year at the school and pays tribute to students, staff and old boys at the 130-year-old school.
Jake said his middle name Ross came from his great uncle Ross Bailey, a kidney transplant surgeon in Christchurch, who drowned in Sri Lanka not long before Jake was born.
He said his great uncle was one of the best surgeons in the world and he came from a working class background and went to Christchurch Boys' High School.
"My challenge to each of you, and to myself, is to continue to grow, to develop for the better.
"The future is truly in our hands. Forget about having long-term dreams. Let's be passionately dedicated to the pursuit of short-term goals. Micro-ambitious. Work with pride on what is in front of us. We don't know where we might end up. Or when it might end up," he said.