Sacred Heart College, Auckland

Sacred Heart College is a secondary school in Auckland, New Zealand. It is a Catholic, Marist College set on 60 acres (24 ha) of land overlooking the Tamaki Estuary in Glen Innes.

Sacred Heart College (Auckland)
250 West Tamaki Road


New Zealand
Coordinates36°52′07″S 174°52′19″E / 36.8686°S 174.8720°E / -36.8686; 174.8720
Day & boarding Secondary school
MottoLatin: Confortare Esto Vir
(Take Courage And Act Manfully)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic Marist
Patron saint(s)St Marcellin Champagnat
Established21 June 1903; 120 years ago (1903-06-21)
FounderMarist Brothers
Ministry of Education Institution no.59
ChairpersonBrendon Gibson
HeadmasterPatrick Walsh
School roll1,277[1] (February 2024)
LanguageEnglish (Main)
Campus size22 hectares
Houses  Basil
Colour(s)  Cambridge Blue
  Oxford Blue
Socio-economic decile8P[2]
PublicationConfortare Magazine
Former pupilsOld Boys



The college was opened in 1903, in Ponsonby, by the Marist Brothers. It is the oldest continuously existing Catholic boys' secondary school in Auckland although it has changed its location, moving to its current Glen Innes site in 1955. St Paul's College was founded on the old Sacred Heart College site in that year. The Marist Brothers continue to be a presence in the school community, with both teaching and maintenance of school grounds undertaken in part by the Brothers. The headmaster role at the college was served solely by Marist Brothers up until 1993, when Brendan Schollum took the role; the college's first lay principal. In 2003, the college held its centennial celebrations, which included the opening of a new administration building, technology block and Year 7 and 8 Department, and in 2005 it celebrated 50 years of being at the Glen Innes site.


  • Brother Basil (1903–?)
  • Brother Kenneth ‘Bosco’ Camden (1974–1981)
  • Brendan Schollum (1993– ) (first non-Marist brother headmaster)
  • Phillip Mahoney ( –2006)
  • Jim Dale (2007–2018)
  • Stephen Dooley (2019–2021)
  • Kieran Fouhy (2021–2022)
  • Patrick Walsh (2022–present)



As a state-integrated school, Sacred Heart College follows the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). In Years 12 to 13, students complete the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), the main secondary school qualification in New Zealand.[3]

Students in Year 11 complete the school's "Sacred Heart Certificate", which replaces the old NCEA Level 1 course that the school used to provide. This course was implemented in 2024 and trialed in 2023 in response to NZQA "radically modifying" the Level 1 qualification. Instead of a credit system as in Level 1, the Sacred Heart Certificate uses percentage based marks and weighting in order to give a final grade for a subject.[4]



Sacred Heart offers a wide range of sporting options to its pupils, many competing at a national level. The Sacred Heart 1st XV remains the only team never to have been relegated from the 1A grade. In football the 1st XI team has gained the national title in 2018 and 2019. In Water Polo, 2020 saw the college claim the North Island Championship title at all three levels; senior, junior and intermediate.

Sacred Heart College offer a Sports Institute programme for boys in Years 7–10. This development programme is offered in basketball, cricket, football, rugby union, rowing, and water polo.[5]


Photo of the school's year 7 and 8 Pompallier wing.

The houses of Sacred Heart College are named after either famous people in the Catholic and Marist community in New Zealand, or important figures in the school's history. The six houses are:[6]

  • Basil

Basil House is named after Brother Basil, who taught at the college for over 50 years, and was also the college's first principal.

  • Coolahan

Coolahan House is named after the landowner who donated the land for the original site of the college in Ponsonby, now the site of St. Paul's College.

  • Lenihan

Lenihan House is named after the Bishop of Auckland in 1903, who saw the need for a Catholic boys' school in the area and was a driving force in Sacred Heart's foundation.

  • Marcellin

Marcellin house is named after Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist order.

  • Pompallier

Pompallier house is named after Jean Baptiste Pompallier (1802–1871), the first Catholic vicar apostolic and bishop to visit and be located in New Zealand (arrived 1838); first Catholic Bishop of Auckland (1848–1868).

  • Stephen

Stephen House is named after Brother Stephen Coll FMS, a well known former teacher and Marist Brother at the college.

Boarding hostel


The boarding hostel is home to roughly 160–170 boarders from all over New Zealand and from overseas.





In 2019, New Zealand's Chief Ombudsman reported on cases of bullying complaints made in 2016. At the time, a recommendation was made to the board of trustees at the school to formally apologise for the way the complaints were handled and to review the school's harassment and bullying policies.[7] These policies have been updated and are published on the college website.

Sacred Heart College's response to the bullying complaints was slammed by the Chief Ombudsman.[8] Two students anonymously approached TVNZ 1 News claiming they had been bullied.[8] One mother recalled a story when one child came up to her son, and said "go and commit suicide so I can piss on your grave."[8] When asked if it had a "bullying problem," Sacred Heart College responded that the board of trustees accepted that the 2016 matter had not been well handled at the time. However changes had been made, along with the introduction of focused initiatives for a stronger, more caring college.[8]



Sacred Heart College has been criticised by New Zealand's Chief Ombudsman for declining in 2018 to offer an enrolment place to an autistic boy, using the excuse that he was "not Catholic enough."[9] After an investigation, it was found that Sacred Heart College had ranked other non-Catholic prospective students higher than the autistic boy, raising questions around whether the school was actively discriminating against disabled persons.[9] The Board of Trustees offered a statement of regret that anguish may have been caused, and accepted the need for compassion.



In 2003, seven students were expelled for possessing and using marijuana on school grounds.[10]

Concerns for student safety


In 2020, a report of an unidentified source of threat was made to the college, however after Police investigation, there was no evidence to suggest there was any validity.[11]

In July 2022, Sacred Heart College was forced to close for a day after threats were made against pupils on social media.[12]

Marist Brothers allegations


As an organisation, the Marist Brothers has a long history of covering up sexual abuse allegations to protect its members.[13]

Brother Giles Waters taught at Sacred Heart College in the 1980s.[14] He has been subject to numerous sexual abuse allegations.[15] While no evidence has yet emerged of abuse occurring at Sacred Heart College, it has been established that the Marist Brothers would have known of Brother Giles Walters’ history at the time of his employment.[15]

Brother Kenneth ‘Bosco’ Camden was Headmaster of Sacred Heart College from 1974 - 1981.[16] In 1990, Brother Kenneth Camden was convicted of sexual abuse crimes.[17] Despite the conviction, Brother Kenneth Camden's death was acknowledged by the college in 2014.[18] Brother Kenneth Camden's time at Sacred Heart College continues to be celebrated on the Marist Brothers’ website.[19]

Notable alumni


The official alumni group is the Sacred Heart College Old Boys Association. Some of these well-known men include:

Public service


The Arts









See also



  1. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 14 March 2024.
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Curriculum Information". Sacred Heart. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  4. ^ Auckland, Sacred Heart College. "Curriculum". Sacred Heart College, Auckland. Retrieved 30 April 2024.
  5. ^ Auckland, Sacred Heart College. "Sports Institute". Sacred Heart College, Auckland. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  6. ^ Auckland, Sacred Heart College. "Houses". Sacred Heart College, Auckland. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  7. ^ "Top school slammed by Ombudsman: Mum logged 90 incidents of bullying". NZ Herald. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d "Children's Commissioner calls for compulsory anti-bullying programmes as Auckland college in firing line". TVNZ. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  9. ^ a b Wynn, Kirsty (6 September 2019). "Top school broke law when declining 10-year-old boy as 'not Catholic enough'". NZ Herald. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Brendan Schollum: Change culture or cancel the ball". NZ Herald. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  11. ^ "Threat made against Sacred Heart College students - police at school". NZ Herald. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  12. ^ "'Extremely remorseful': Person identified after threat closes Auckland school". NZ Herald. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  13. ^ Kilgallon, Steve (2 July 2022). "A secret world of power, abuse and cover-ups in New Zealand schools". Stuff. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  14. ^ Admin. "Resources". The Reckoning. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Marist Brother continued teaching despite known history of sexual abuse over decades". Newshub. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Bosco Camden – Champagnat" (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  17. ^ Morris, Chris (12 December 2018). "'He was a monster': Survivor shines light on dark past". Otago Daily Times Online News. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  18. ^ Dunleavy, Richard (October 2014). "News from the Brothers" (PDF). Confortare. October 2014: 18.
  19. ^ "Bosco Camden – Champagnat" (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  20. ^ also educated at St Peter's College.
  21. ^ Mother of God Brothers (retrieved 24 April 2018)
  22. ^ Percy Erceg at
  23. ^ CricHQ] (Retrieved 17 August 2023(
  24. ^ "Aces coach says new Black Caps batsman Glenn Phillips 'always been talented ahead of his age-group'". 15 February 2017.


  • A.G Butchers, Young New Zealand, Coulls Somerville Wilkie Ltd, Dunedin, 1929.
  • Zealandia, 1939–1989.
  • Pat Gallager, The Marist Brothers in New Zealand Fiji & Samoa 1876-1976, New Zealand Marist Brothers' Trust Board, Tuakau, 1976.
  • E.R. Simmons, In Cruce Salus, A History of the Diocese of Auckland 1848 - 1980, Catholic Publication Centre, Auckland 1982.
  • Thomas J. Ryder, Following all Your Ways, Lord - Recollections of Fr Thomas J. Ryder (transcribed and compiled by Margaret Paton) (Privately published, no date – perhaps early 1990s).
  • Tony Waters, Confortare, A History of Sacred Heart College, Auckland 1903 - 2003: a Marist Brothers secondary school, Sacred Heart College, Auckland, 2003.
  • Nicholas Reid, The Life and Work of Reginald John Delargey Cardinal, Catholic Diocese of Auckland/Pindar, Auckland, 2008.