Dilworth School

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Dilworth School
Dilworth School Auckland New Zealand.jpg
The Senior Campus buildings from Great South Road
2 Erin Street,
New Zealand
Coordinates 36°52′50″S 174°46′52″E / 36.8805°S 174.7810°E / -36.8805; 174.7810Coordinates: 36°52′50″S 174°46′52″E / 36.8805°S 174.7810°E / -36.8805; 174.7810 (Senior Campus)
36°52′56″S 174°47′21″E / 36.8822°S 174.7891°E / -36.8822; 174.7891 (Junior Campus)
37°11′14″S 175°08′53″E / 37.187348°S 175.148°E / -37.187348; 175.148 (Rural Campus)
Type Private, boys, year 5-13, with boarding facilities
Motto Firmiter et Fideliter
"Steadfastly and Faithfully"
Established 1906
Ministry of Education Institution no. 66
Principal Donald MacLean
School roll 613[1] (February 2017)
Socio-economic decile 4

Dilworth School is an independent (private) full boarding school for boys in Auckland, New Zealand. All the boys attending are on full scholarships covering all education and boarding costs, as the school is owned and operated by a charitable trust.


Dilworth School was founded under the terms of the will of an Auckland farmer and businessman, Irish born James Dilworth who died in 1894.[2]

He and his wife Isabella had no children of their own and left their wealth to establish a school with a goal of educating sons of people from the top two-thirds of the North Island who had suffered some family misfortune and were unable to afford the education they wanted their children to have.

The school opened in 1906 with eight boys and for the first 21 years offered primary education only. Secondary boys at that time boarded at the school but attended Auckland Grammar School during the day. The original school buildings were Dilworth’s old farm homestead and outbuildings. Classrooms and other buildings were added later.

A secondary department was built in 1931. A major expansion started in 1956, the 50th anniversary, with the foundation stone being laid for St Patrick’s Chapel. The total roll when that phase of the expansion was completed some five years later, was 300.

The next major jump in numbers was in 1993 when the present Junior Campus was built to accommodate 192 boys. This brought the total roll of both campuses to 510 covering Year 5 to Year 13.

Dilworth has four houses representing places and counties in Ireland - Tyrone, Dungannon, Donegal and Armagh.

The school also maintains a special relationship with the Royal School Dungannon, James Dilworth's alma mater. Each January, three pupils (called 'Kiwis') go to Dungannon as Tutors for a year on a scholarship. Likewise, in July four pupils from Dungannon travel to Auckland to work as Overseas Gap Tutors at Dilworth. This is part of a long-standing exchange programme between the two schools.


Photo of the Senior Campus entrance.

Dilworth is organised on three separate campuses.

Senior Campus

The Senior Campus is located in Epsom, Auckland and accommodates up to 340 boys from Years 10 - 13. This is the school's flagship campus.

Junior Campus

The Junior Campus was opened in 1993 and is located in Remuera, Auckland. The campus accommodates 192 boys from Years 5 - 8.

Rural Campus - Te Haerenga

The new Rural Campus (sometimes called the 'Rural Campus - Te Haerenga (The Journey)') was officially opened in March 2012 after the Trust Board purchased the liquidated hotel and spa, Hotel du Vin. The campus – on 15 ha grounds in Mangatawhiri, south of Auckland – accommodates another 100 students in Year 9[3]

Trust Board[edit]

The Dilworth Trust Board is one of New Zealand's largest charities and provides the funding to support the Dilworth School.

The original endowment of 100,000 pounds left in 1894 by James Dilworth in his will has been invested wisely since then and now has grown to a diversified portfolio of investments. The Board still invests predominantly in property, and in particular, in the locality around the School but does hold a number of other investments including shares and bonds, both in New Zealand and overseas. The trust now holds approximately $700 million in assets and cash.[4]

The beneficiaries of this trust are the boys who attend the School. The Board are precluded from assisting any other cause, however worthy it may be, and so this leads to a very focused Board and staff.

A duty of the Board is the granting and withdrawal of scholarships. Whilst staff provide significant input to the process, the final selection remains with the Trustees.


The school curriculum is to provide an academic education by offering subjects that satisfy the seven learning areas of the New Zealand Framework, and thus offers the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level One, Two & Three.


Dilworth has a proud and successful history in many sporting codes, particularly Olympic Wrestling, Schoolboy Rugby, Basketball and Touch Rugby.

The school holds multiple National and Auckland wrestling titles and for a time were the undisputed national powerhouse wrestling school in New Zealand. The school have produced a significant number of New Zealand Junior Representatives since the program's inception in 1997.

The school's rugby program, however, continues to be the most popular code at Dilworth. The school's 1st XV had been amongst the strongest teams in the Auckland 1B Championship for years, winning 49 out of their 52 games since 2011 and reaching 7 finals since 2000. They were finally crowned 1B Champions in 2012 and won the title again in 2013. Despite Dilworth's dominance in 1B each year, the school has endured a string of extremely unlucky 1A promotion matches, losing 20-18 in 2012, 13-11 in 2013 and 17-14 in 2014. Despite narrowly losing the 1B title to Aorere College 11-7 in 2014, Dilworth made history at the start of the 2015 season by beating Onehunga High School 12-10 in the 2015 1A promotion match. Dilworth had finally been promoted to the Auckland top flight after 109 years of second division rugby.

In the school's inaugural season in 1A, they finished a credible 7th place out of 12 teams, winning 5 from 11 games, beating some of the league's powerhouses including St. Peter's, De La Salle and Otahuhu. Dilworth lost much of their starting line-up after their first season and consequently suffered a number of early defeats in their 2016 1A campaign as they adjusted to their new and younger squad. They have since recorded two credible wins, however, ousting Otahuhu 43-3 and upsetting Kelston Boys' High School 26-14, which have already been enough to secure their spot in the 1A Championship for 2017, despite having two games still to play.

The school's basketball program has also enjoyed much success in recent years. In 2007/08, the school claimed the Auckland Premier title. The team has since been regular finalists in the second division, the Auckland Open Grade, where they were last crowned Champions in 2013. The school is also well known for its proud history in touch rugby, with their most recent title being the Central Auckland Zone Title in 2016.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 6 March 2017". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Stone, R. C. J. "James Dilworth". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Parker, Tamsyn (30 September 2009). "Dilworth buys Hotel du Vin". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Dilworth Trust Board Annual Report". Dilworth Trust Board. 31 January 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 

External links[edit]