High school students in Christchurch have defied the disruption caused by the earthquakes and achieved better marks in last year's NCEA than students in the rest of the country.
The nervous wait to see if the year's work would translate into good marks ended for thousands of students throughout the country on Thursday as results went online.
Preliminary statistics show that as well as being on top compared to the rest of the country, students in Christchurch did better last year than those the year before.
New Zealand Qualifications Authority chief executive Dr Karen Poutasi says the results, though preliminary at this stage, indicate the support offered to Christchurch students has paid off.
Students at Shirley Boys High in the east of Christchurch were unable to use the school for most of last year and had to travel to Papanui High School, on the other side of town, for classes which stretched into the early evening.
They also had to deal with the stress of constant aftershocks and for many, having to live in badly damaged homes.
The fact that students still achieved high marks comes as no surprise to the school's principal, John Laurenson, who says great things are often born out of adversity.
Cashmere High took in students from Linwood High for half of the year while repairs were carried out at the other school.
Principal Mark Wilson says his students worked hard to make up for the shortened day and teachers also coped well despite having their own difficulty and trauma.
Nearly 13,000 Christchurch students applied to have their marks graded taking into account the impact of the earthquakes but in most cases it was decided their work didn't need to have the derived grade applied to it.
NZQA will release a complete set of statistics on how the nation's teenagers did in last year's NCEA in two months.