King's College, Auckland

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King's College
Golf Avenue,
Coordinates 36°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
Type Private Secondary with boarding facilities
Senior Co-Ed, Junior Boys
Motto Virtus Pollet
(Let Manliness Prevail, or Let Moral Courage Prevail)
Denomination Anglican
Established 1896
Ministry of Education Institution no. 89
Headmaster Michael Leach
School roll 936[1] (March 2015)
Socio-economic decile 10

King's College is an independent secondary school in New Zealand. It was originally a boys-only school but also admits girls (since 1980) in the Sixth and Seventh forms (Years 12 and 13). 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 school caters for both boarding and day students. The College is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' UK Conference. The school is also a member of the G20 Schools Group.


The school was founded in 1896 by Graham Bruce, and was originally situated in Remuera, Auckland on the site now occupied by The King's School, Remuera. In 1922 the school moved to its present site in the South Auckland suburb of Otahuhu.


As a private school, King's College receives around $2000 per student in funding from the government and charges parents of students tuition fees to cover costs. As of 2015, the school tuition fees for domsetic students (i.e. New Zealand citizens and residents) range between NZ$23,400 and $24,700 per year for day students, and between NZ$36,900 and NZ$37,700 for boarders.[2]

At the 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 once the boys-only Years 9 to 11 are excluded. Around 79% of students at the school identified as New Zealand European (Pākehā), 5% as Chinese. 4% as Māori, 3% as Indian, 2% each as Korean and Taiwanese, and 5% as another ethnicity.[3]


King's College has a very strong sports programme. Sports they have notable teams in are: Rugby, Touch Football, Soccer, Cricket, Hockey, Archery, Golf, Chess, Rowing, Athletics and Netball.

King's College is also known as one of the schoolboy rugby strongholds and is known to punch well above its weight in the 1A Rugby Competition. The annual King's versus Auckland Grammar School game is one of the oldest and biggest rivalries in schoolboy rugby in New Zealand attracting thousands of spectators every year.

The King's 1st XI Cricket team is often ranked among the top 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 activities[edit]

The school, like some others in New Zealand, offers students the A-Level GCE (Advanced Level General Certificate of Education), CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) and the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) as well as the New Zealand NCEA (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.

The current headmaster of King's College, Bradley Fenner, replaced the former headmaster Roy Kelley in 2009.[4] Fenner shall resign his position in the middle of 2014 in order to become the Headmaster of Prince Alfred College in Adelaide.[5] As of 4 June 2014 there has been no announcement on the identity of his successor.


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". Of the 81 boys in the House, 15 are Year 13 boarders. All boys in Averill will be dayboys in 2015.
  • 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".
  • Major - Built in 1959 to relieve the two existing day Houses. There are currently 124 day boys in Major House. 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.
  • Marsden - Originally Marsden was known as Town House, until Town House was split into Marsden and Peart in 1947. There are currently 120 day boys in Marsden House. 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".
  • Middlemore - The Girls' Boarding House, established in 1984, caters for up to 50 boarders. The Middlemore House motto, "Nulli Secundus" means "Second to none".
  • 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.
  • Peart - Founded in 1947, named after the Headmaster killed in action in World War II. The motto, "Veritas Praevalet", means 'Let Truth Prevail'. There are currently 104 day boys in Peart House.
  • School - The House was founded in 1922, when the College moved to Middlemore. There are currently 75 boarders residing. 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. There are currently 82 boarders in Selwyn.
  • 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 currently has 70 boarders. The St John's House motto, "Religio Doctrina Diligentia" translates to "True religion, sound learning, useful industry."
  • 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 at the start to the King’s drive in between Selwyn and Middlemore. 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." There are currently 80 day girls in Taylor House.

Both Middlemore and Taylor cater for Year 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 Vector 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 Song[edit]

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.[6][7] The school song is shared, amongst some other things, with King's School in Remuera.

School Haka[edit]

King's College has a haka in which students perform. The haka is usually used to bring a sense of unity during competition.



The Arts[edit]


Public service[edit]




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
1942–1946 Hugh B Lusk
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 – present Michael Leach


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 7 April 2015". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  2. ^ "Fees and Disbursements". King's College. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Kings College Education Review". Education Review Office. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  4. ^ King's College Website:,com_content/task,view/id,50285/Itemid,472/?nm=1
  5. ^ King's College Website:
  6. ^ King's College Website:
  7. ^ King's College Website:
  8. ^ Hewitson, Michele. "Michele Hewitson interview: Lizzie Marvelly". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "The merchant banker's banker". The New Zealand Herald. 16 October 2004. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 297.
  11. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 308.
  12. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 315.
  13. ^ McKinnon, Murray (5 June 2008). "Former NZ Triple Jump champion Colin Kay dies". Athletics New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  14. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 331.
  15. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 342.
  16. ^ "From Papakura to the Olympics". Papakura Courier. 3 June 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2015.