|Waimea Road, Nelson
|Type||State single sex boys secondary (year 9–13) with boarding facilities|
|Motto||Pietas Probitas et Sapientia
(Loyalty, honesty and wisdom)
|Ministry of Education Institution no.||294|
Nelson College is a boys-only state secondary school in Nelson, New Zealand. It teaches from years 9 to 13. In addition, it runs a private Preparatory School for year 7 and 8 boys. The school also has places for boarders, who live in three boarding houses adjacent to the school.
The school opened with eight students on 7 April 1856 in premises in Trafalgar Square, Nelson, but shortly thereafter moved to a site in Manuka Street. In 1861, the school moved again to its current site in Waimea Road.
The Deed of Foundation was signed in 1857 and set out the curriculum to be followed by the College. It included English language and literature, one or more modern languages, geography, mathematics, classics, history, drawing, music and such other branches of science as the Council of Governors should determine. The Deed stated that the purpose of the school was the "advancement of religion and morality, and the promotion of useful knowledge, by offering to the youth of the Province general education of a superior character."
In 1858, the General Assembly passed the Nelson College Act, which confirmed the status of the school. In that same year, Alfred Fell gifted the common seal, containing the college's badge and motto, "Pietas, Probitas et Sapientia" (Loyalty, honesty and wisdom).
A team from Nelson College took part in the first game of rugby played in New Zealand, against the Nelson Rugby Football Club on 14 May 1870 at what is now known as the Botanic Reserve, Nelson, and, in 1876, the first inter-College rugby match in New Zealand was played between Nelson College and Wellington College.
In 2011, Nelson College became the first all-boys college in New Zealand to form a GSA (Gay and straight alliance) support group.
The College has a house system. In 2004, two new houses were formed, to add to the existing three boarding and three day houses. The current houses are:
- Barnicoat (White)
- Fell (Maroon)
- Rutherford (Black)
- Chaytor (Red)
- Domett (Green)
- Monro (Blue)
- Robinson (Orange)
- Kahurangi (Yellow)
There is competition between the houses across a range of sporting codes and cultural activities including cross country running, swimming, and singing.
- John Chapman Andrew, politician, educationalist
- Gilbert Edward Archey, zoologist, museum director, ethnologist
- Edmond de Montalk, language teacher, storekeeper
- John Gully, artist
- Wilfrid Nelson Isaac, jeweller, art school director
- William Still Littlejohn, educator
- Frank Milner, school principal, educationalist
- Harold Nelson, athlete
- William Sutch, economist, public servant
- Matthew Toynbee, cricketer
- Michael Baigent - writer
- Wyatt Crockett - rugby union player
- Henry Fa'arodo - footballer
- William Hudson - civil engineer
- Syd Jackson - Māori activist
- Jang Keun-suk - Korean actor, singer, and model
- Phill Jones - basketballer
- Simon Mannering - rugby league player
- Don McKinnon - politician
- Tex Morton - singer
- Jack Newman - cricketer and businessman
- Geoffrey Palmer - politician
- Wallace (Bill) Rowling - politician
- Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson - chemist and physicist
- Rex Sellers - sailor
- Leonard Henry Trent - soldier
- Mika Vukona - basketballer