Mayor's son not planning to follow his dad

20:00, Dec 20 2013
Palmerston North Boys’ High School Dux Litterarum Luke Naylor is the son of Palmerston North mayor Jono Naylor.
CREAM OF THE CROP: Palmerston North Boys’ High School Dux Litterarum Luke Naylor is the son of Palmerston North mayor Jono Naylor.

Like father, like son? Palmerston North Boys' High School's dux litterarum Luke Naylor isn't so sure.

And his dad, Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor, would be inclined to agree.

Luke, who scooped the school's top academic prize this year, is quick to rule out following his father into local body politics.

In fact, he's not that pushed by his father's public persona at all - even in an election year where Mr Naylor's face was plastered on fences and road-side billboards.

Luke, however, barely noticed.

"I just ignored it really, it's not my business.


"I may have helped do a flyer drop one day, but that's only because everyone else was and I felt obliged."

Mr Naylor, who first ran for the council when Luke was six, said his son's success comes down to raw intelligence and a bit of hard work.

"When he was adding three-figured numbers in his head before he went to school you kind of figure, ‘here's a bright kid that'll probably achieve something great'."

Luke has already completed eight Massey University papers and also sat scholarship level statistics, calculus, physics, accounting and economics this year.

There was little time for a high school romance or a part-time job, and not because his nose was buried in the books; instead he was juggling sports commitments.

He captained the Boys' High B Basketball team, got a call up to the As to go to nationals and played in the school's 4XI cricket and soccer teams.

"I had basketball maybe four or five times a week, so there wasn't even that much time for study," he said. "I just tried to listen in class mainly, and work hard when I was at school, because I figured if I did work at school, then I could have that free time at home . . . but it was one of goals coming into the year.

"I'm sure Mum and Dad would have liked me to study more," he jokes.

But clearly results speak for themselves. Not only did he scoop dux, his hard work has reaped him other rewards too, including a $5000 Victoria University Excellence Award.

Luke plans to study a double science and commerce degree at Victoria in Wellington and live in Te Puni Village halls of residence.

Manawatu Standard