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King's College, often informally referred to simply as King's, is an independent secondary boarding and day school in New Zealand. It educates over 1000 pupils, aged 13 to 18 years. King's was originally a single sex boys school but has admitted girls in the Sixth and Seventh forms (Years 12 and 13) since 1980, and in the Fifth form (Year 11) since 2016.[3] King's was founded in 1896 by Graham Bruce. King's was originally situated in Remuera, Auckland on the site now occupied by King's School, Remuera, in 1922 the school moved to its present site in the South Auckland suburb of Otahuhu.

King's College
Golf Avenue
Auckland 1062
New Zealand
Coordinates36°57′20″S 174°50′21″E / 36.9555°S 174.8393°E / -36.9555; 174.8393Coordinates: 36°57′20″S 174°50′21″E / 36.9555°S 174.8393°E / -36.9555; 174.8393
TypeIndependent, Day & Boarding
MottoLatin: Virtus Pollet
(Let Manliness Prevail
Let Moral Courage Prevail
Let Excellence Prevail)
Religious affiliation(s)Anglican
Established1896; 123 years ago
Ministry of Education Institution no.89
Head MasterSimon Lamb[1]
GenderJunior: Boys
Senior: Co-ed
Enrolment1096[2] (March 2019)
Socio-economic decile10
AffiliationsG20 Schools
Round Square
Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference
Former PupilsOld Boys or Old Collegians
School SongCarmen Regale

The school has strong links to the Anglican church; the Anglican Bishop of Auckland, and the Dean of Auckland are permanent members of the school's Board Of Governors. The College is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' UK Conference, the G20 Schools Group and Round Square group. King's has educated many of New Zealand's prominent public servants, business people, academia and sportsmen. Charging up to $37,700 per annum in 2014/15, King's is frequently the most expensive school in New Zealand.



As a New Zealand private school, King's receives around $2000 per student from the government and charges parents of students tuition fees to cover costs.[4]

At a February 2011 Education Review Office (ERO) review, King's College had 975 students including 31 international students. The school's gender composition was 85% male and 15% female, or 72% male and 28% female in the final two years. At the same review King's students identified as 79% New Zealand European (Pākehā), 7% Chinese, 4% Māori, 3% Indian, 2% Korean, and 5% other.


King's College is a stronghold of schoolboy rugby, competing in the 1A Rugby Competition and having won the competition 15 times. The annual King's College v Auckland Grammar School rugby game is one of the oldest and largest rivalries in New Zealand schoolboy rugby attracting thousands of spectators every year. The King's 1st XI Cricket team is ranked very highly in New Zealand winning the Gillette Cup in consecutive years between 2009 and 2011, producing notable cricketers with the most recent being Tim Southee.

Teaching and Community ActivitiesEdit

The school, like some others in New Zealand, offers students Cambridge A-Level, and IGCSE courses as well as those from New Zealand's national qualification, the National Certificate of Educational Achievement..

Additionally, the school actively co-ordinates a community service programme which aids the South Auckland community around which the school is located. Some of the types of community service that students offer are: visiting the local refugee centre, helping out at Middlemore Hospital with reception duties, and helping pupils at local schools to learn to read.


All students are organised into Houses, which form separate communities within the College, and compete amongst themselves for numerous trophies and the much sought Merritt Shield. Boys' boarding Houses include Parnell, School, Selwyn, and St John's. Boys' day Houses (known as 'Townhouses') are Greenbank, Major, Marsden, Averill and Peart. The Girl's Houses are Middlemore (boarding), and Taylor (day).

  • Averill – Averill House was founded in 1961, and became the first weekly boarding House in 1977. It has since been made into a day house as of February 2013. The Averill House motto is "Non Sine Pulvere Plama" which means "The prize is not won without effort". Averill is represented by the colour brown.
  • Greenbank – Greenbank House is the newest boy day house named after former Headmaster G N T Greenbank; opened in 1997 as an overflow House from the other three Day Houses with just 70 boys and has since grown to 108 in 2009. The Greenbank House motto, "Semper ad Optima" means "Always strive for the best". Greenbank is represented by the colour grey.
  • Major – Built in 1959 to relieve the two existing day Houses. Major is named after Charles Major, who "saved the school" back in its founding years. He was Headmaster after Graham Bruce. Major's House Colour is Black, the House motto is "Virtute ad Victoriam", meaning "with virtues comes victory", and is part of the day House complex, alondside Marsden and Peart. Major is represented by the colour black.
  • Marsden – Originally Marsden was known as Town House, until Town House was split into Marsden and Peart in 1947. It is named after the first Anglican missionary to arrive in New Zealand in 1814, Samuel Marsden. The motto is "Semper Ardentes", meaning "Always Determined". Marsden is represented by the colour white.
  • Middlemore – The Girls' Boarding House, established in 1984, caters for up to 50 boarders. The Middlemore House motto, "Nulli Secundus" means "Second to none". Middlemore is represented by the colour maroon.
  • Parnell – Established under the name Middlemore in 1924, was renamed in 1928 to mark the affiliation with the former Church of England Grammar School (est 1855) in Ayr Street, Parnell and has 64 boarders this year. Their motto, "Disciplina Fides Perservantia" means Discipline, Faith, Perseverance. Parnell is represented by the colour yellow.
  • Peart – Founded in 1947, named after the Headmaster killed in action in World War II. The motto, "Veritas Praevalet", means 'Let Truth Prevail'. Peart is represented by the colour sky blue.
  • School – The House was founded in 1922, when the College moved to Middlemore. School House is represented by the colour red and shares the same motto as the College, "Virtus Pollet".
  • Selwyn – Selwyn was founded in 1945 and resided 'at the top of the drive' until the new House was opened on 1 July 2004. This building is located inside the Golf Road gates, immediately on the right hand side as one drives into the College. It has a maximum capacity of 82 boys from Year 9 – 13. There are no dormitories as all students are in rooms, which are shared at Years 9, 10, 11 with individual rooms for Years 12 and 13. Rooms at Year 11, 12 and 13 have ensuites. The house colour is green and the motto is "Per Fidem Fortis" meaning "Strength Through Faith".
  • St John's – Named 'St John's' to recognise the direct link with St John's Collegiate School, which merged with King's in 1913. St John's is located adjacent to the main tennis courts. The St John's House motto, "Religio Doctrina Diligentia" translates to "True religion, sound learning, useful industry." St John's is represented by the colour blue.
  • Taylor – Taylor House was established in 2006 and it is home to the Day Girls of King’s College. Originally part of Middlemore House, the differing needs of day and boarding girls meant that a new facility was required. Taylor House is located next to Marsden, in the building that was formerly the Headmaster's residence. The statue in the garden (Mana Wahine) was a present at the opening from former Headmaster, John, and his wife, Sarah Taylor who is the eponym of the house. The Taylor House motto "Potens Pollensque” means "capable and strong." Taylor is represented by the colour purple.

Both Middlemore and Taylor cater for Year 11, 12 and 13 girls.


An important aspect of King's culture is the annual House Music competition. This is divided into two parts: the Small House features a small group (usually no more than 15) of students from each House, who perform a vocal musical item, with optional instrumental accompaniment. The other part of the competition, Big House, requires each House to perform a musical item involving all of their students. The results are then added together, with the points going towards the Cultural Challenge Shield. The Big House Music night, now held at Auckland's Spark Arena, is one of the highlights of the school year and attracts large audiences of families and friends. Music is an important part of the College curriculum and not only is it taught as a core subject through to senior level but many students take advantage of the wide range of itinerant music teachers who are available to teach, on an individual basis, a great range of instruments. Piano, strings, brass and woodwind with classical guitar and percussion are the most popular chosen by students. The College is proud of its orchestra and bands which perform regularly at College functions and are frequent competitors in inter-school festivals.


School SongEdit

The school song of King's College is the Carmen Regale, the melody of which was composed by Dutchman Eduard Kremser and the lyrics were authored by I G G Strachan.[5][6] The school song is shared, among some other things, with King's School in Remuera.


King's alumni or former pupils are traditionally named Old Boys or Collegians.


The ArtsEdit



  • Quinton Winders – the 'Stop/Go Murderer'[10]

Public serviceEdit




Period Headmaster
1896–1901 Graham Bruce
1905–1926 Colonel Charles T Major
1926–1935 Canon Henry K Archdall
1936–1942 Lieutenant Colonel Joseph N Peart
1939–1946 Harold B Lusk[20]
1947–1973 Geoffrey N T Greenbank
1973–1987 Iain P Campbell
1988–2002 John S Taylor
2003–2009 Roy Kelley
2009–2014 Bradley Fenner
2014–2016 Michael Leach
2016 – present Simon Lamb


  1. ^ Nelson, Alexandra (21 July 2016). "Meet the new head of King's College". Manukau Courier.
  2. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 3 April 2019". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Our History". King's College. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Fees and Disbursements". King's College. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  5. ^ King's College Website:
  6. ^ King's College Website:
  7. ^ Hewitson, Michele. "Michele Hewitson interview: Lizzie Marvelly". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  8. ^ Jones, Bridget. "Our little brother the Shortie star". New Idea New Zealand. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  9. ^ "The merchant banker's banker". The New Zealand Herald. 16 October 2004. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  10. ^ Wall, Tony (10 September 2016). "A man who moves in two worlds: The different sides of Quinton Paul Winders". Fairfax New Zealand.
  11. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 297.
  12. ^ "Wing Commander Douglas Bagnall". 3 January 2001. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  13. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 308.
  14. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 315.
  15. ^ McKinnon, Murray (5 June 2008). "Former NZ Triple Jump champion Colin Kay dies". Athletics New Zealand. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  16. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 331.
  17. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 342.
  18. ^ a b "King's rowing clean up at Auckland Rowing Association Awards". King's College, Auckland. 18 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  19. ^ "From Papakura to the Olympics". Papakura Courier. 3 June 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  20. ^ Teal, Jane (15 August 2017). "From the Archives: The Lusk Albums" (PDF). InBlackandWhite. Christ's College (127): 8.