St Paul's College, Auckland

  (Redirected from St. Paul's College, Auckland)

St Paul's College is a Catholic secondary school for boys owned by the Marist Brothers and located in the central Auckland suburb of Ponsonby on a spacious 7.3 hectare campus. The Marist Brothers first opened a school on the site (Sacred Heart College) in 1903. St Paul's College (named after the apostle Paul) commenced operations in 1955 and celebrates its 65th anniversary in 2020.

St Pauls College, Auckland
183 Richmond Road,
Coordinates36°51′15″S 174°44′14″E / 36.8542°S 174.7373°E / -36.8542; 174.7373Coordinates: 36°51′15″S 174°44′14″E / 36.8542°S 174.7373°E / -36.8542; 174.7373
TypeIntegrated Catholic Boys Secondary (Year 7-13)
MottoConfortare Esto Vir — take courage , be a man
Established1955; 65 years ago (original school founded in 1903)
Ministry of Education Institution no.51
PrincipalKeiran Fouhy
School roll300[1] (March 2020)
Socio-economic decile2E[2]

The schoolEdit

The college, which became a State-integrated school in 1982, makes full use of its extensive grounds in sporting and other activities.[3] The school offers the standard intermediate and secondary school curriculum[4] leading, for the senior year levels, to the National Certificate of Educational Achievement assessment system (NCEA). The school has good pass rates in NCEA.[5][6] The college excels in sport, especially Rugby football[3] and in Polynesian and other cultural activities, notably in the annual ASB Polyfest competitions.[7] The Marist Brothers, the proprietors of the school, maintain a small community of non-teaching brothers on the campus to encourage the continuation of the Marist charism.[8]


The Marist Brothers arrived in Auckland in 1885 and began operations on the site of previous schools in Pitt St in central Auckland. In the 1890s they began teaching secondary classes there but it became evident that the Pitt St site was too small and noisy. By 1900 negotiations were underway with Bishop Lenihan who arranged for the brothers to lease part of a block of land of 48 acres (10 hectares) near Cox's Creek in Ponsonby. This land had been gifted to the Diocese of Auckland in 1851 by Hugh Coolahan, an Auckland Catholic businessman.[9] He had come from Ireland and had prospered during the early days of Auckland's commercial development. He had been a member of the building committee for St Patrick's Church (later the cathedral) [10] and was a founding member of the board of St Peter's School in Pitt St.[11] The Marist Brothers leased 7.3 hectares of the land at £30 a year for a 42-year term.[9]

The school, Sacred Heart College, was opened on 21 June 1903. The first building was a large three storied building with a prominent encompassing verandas. It was built from brick resting on concrete foundations. The bricks were coated in white plaster which later became grey with age. This building was a prominent landmark and became the main school building of St Paul's College until it was demolished in 1980.[12]

The site required much development. A gully ran through the middle of the property and the land was very unevenly contoured. Some of the land was farmed by the college. Over time the land was leveled, grassed and drained and other buildings were gradually built.[13] In 1955 the complete campus and buildings was taken over by St Paul's. But by the 21st century, the only Sacred Heart College structures left at St Pauls were a classroom, the old infirmary and a statue of the Sacred Heart.[14]

It was only on 4 September 1946 that the Marist Brothers had acquired the freehold of the St Paul's College Richmond Rd site. On 14 June 1946 the site was vested in the New Zealand Marist Brothers' Trust Board and there was a small ceremony and Bishop Liston was thanked by the Marist Brothers. One brother later observed, perhaps sardonically, that the Marist Brothers had been paying for the land for over forty years and had effected great improvements.[15]


The school operated as St Paul's College after Queen's Birthday 1955 (from Tuesday 7 June) under the same motto "Confortare esto vir". The same traditions were faithfully upheld as they had been for the previous 50 years. Many sons of old boys preferred to attend St Paul's in the following years, both because it was more central and because their fathers had attended school there.[16] The school maintained a substantial roll into the 1970s. On 8 August 1982, when the school was integrated it had a roll of 330 (280 in the secondary section and 50 in the middle or intermediate school), but this was increased in 1998 to a maximum roll of 400.[17] However, with the establishment of other secondary schools in the school's traditional catchment, enrolment numbers declined.[8] Many of the families associated with the school moved out of the local area as the socio-economic character of suburbs adjacent to the school changed although many still sent their sons to St Paul's by bus, mostly from South Auckland.[3][6] The school is attempting to attract the sons of the new local demographic as well as the college's traditional supporters. In 2015 a 1700 square metre slice of unused school land was sold to fund new class rooms, an administration block and a new middle school was opened in 2018.[8] The middle school block is expected to gradually enable St Paul's to increase its roll.[3] The school hopes as a local college, to enrol more local students from the nearby suburbs of Grey Lynn and Westmere by "exhorting students" to "exam success" and "altruistic action."[8] The Headmaster of St Paul's appointed in 2016, Mr Kieran Fouhy said, on his appointment, that he aimed to incorporate students' families in the life of the college and to further increase the spirit of independence and personal responsibility amongst the students.[18]


The names and colours of the St Paul's College Houses are:

Notable alumniEdit

The artsEdit


Politics and public serviceEdit





Rugby leagueEdit

Rugby unionEdit


  1. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Laura Walters, "St Paul's College sells chunk of land in trendy Ponsonby", Stuff News, 2 July 2015 (Retrieved 20 June 2016)
  4. ^ The New Zealand Curriculum (Retrieved 22 June 2016)
  5. ^ Laura Walter, "How Auckland's St Paul's College is fighting back", Stuff News, 7 July 2015. (Retrieved 20 June 2016)
  6. ^ a b St Paul's College (Ponsonby) - 03/09/2012, Education Review Office report (Retrieved 20 June 2016)
  7. ^ ASB Polyfest 2016 (Retrieved 20 June 2016)
  8. ^ a b c d Matt McEvoy, pp. 153-154.
  9. ^ a b Tony Water’s, p. 22.
  10. ^ Father E.R. Simmons, "The first St Peter's School", Zealandia, 9 January 1977, p. 9.
  11. ^ Tony Waters, P. 314 (Note 6).
  12. ^ Tony Waters, pp. 25-26.
  13. ^ Tony Waters, pp. 49-52.
  14. ^ Tony Waters, p. 61.
  15. ^ Tony Waters, p. 124.
  16. ^ Tony Waters, p. 138.
  17. ^ Deed of Agreement between the New Zealand Marist Brothers Trust Board and Her Majesty the Queen, 8 August 1982 Clause 8, P. 7; Supplementary Deed of Agreement, 27 May 1998, Clause 1, p. 1.
  18. ^ Michael Otto, "Papal Knight headmaster earns MNZM", NZ Catholic, June 26-July 8, 2016, p. 2.
  19. ^ Ticketfly: Brendan Perry, Guthrie Baldwin(Retrieved 14 January 2014)
  20. ^ Bennett, Adam (9 August 2008). "Exhilarating ride may finally be over". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  21. ^ Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. p. 323. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.
  22. ^ Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi and Peter Swain, Pālemia, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2017, pp. 50-51
  23. ^ Richmond Rovers Rugby League Club; also educated at St Peter's College, Auckland.

References and sourcesEdit

  • Pat (Patrick Owen) Gallagher, 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.
  • Tony Waters, Confortare, A History of Sacred Heart College, Auckland 1903 - 2003: a Marist Brothers secondary school, Sacred Heart College, Auckland, 2003.
  • Jenny Carlyon & Diana Morrow, Urban Village: The Story of Ponsonby, Freemans Bay and St Mary's Bay, Random House, Auckland, 2008.
  • Matt McEvoy, The Grey Lynn Book: The life and times of New Zealand's most fascinating suburb, Paul Little Books, Auckland, 2016, pp. 149–153 (Chapter 29, "Change of Heart - Saint Paul's College")

External linksEdit