Freyberg High School

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Freyberg High School
Te Kura o Te Pou Hōia
Full Colour Crest of Freyberg High School, Palmerston North, New Zealand, with bevelling.jpg
Freyberg Street, Roslyn, Palmerston North
Coordinates 40°20′17″S 175°37′39″E / 40.3380°S 175.6275°E / -40.3380; 175.6275Coordinates: 40°20′17″S 175°37′39″E / 40.3380°S 175.6275°E / -40.3380; 175.6275
Type State Co-Ed Secondary (Year 9-13)
Motto Virtute et Honore
Established 1955
Ministry of Education Institution no. 200
Principal Peter Brooks
School roll 1238[1] (July 2017)
Socio-economic decile 5M[2]

Freyberg High School is a state co-educational secondary school located in the Palmerston North, New Zealand suburb of Roslyn. Opening in 1955 as the city's fourth state secondary school, Freyberg High School has a roll of 1238 students as of July 2017.[1]

Main entrance to Freyberg High School

The school is located at the end of Freyberg Street, Palmerston North and is bordered by Skoglund Park on the east and Ross Intermediate School on the west. To the north are the netball courts of Vautier Park. Also present is the Freyberg Community Pool, which is open to the public for leisure.


The school was founded in 1955 and named for World War II hero and former Governor General, Bernard Freyberg. His name is reflected not only in the name of the school, but also of the school's gymnasium, Lord Freyberg Memorial Gymnasium. Like most New Zealand state secondary schools built in the mid-1950s, Freyberg High School is of "Henderson-type" construction, with long single-storey classrooms blocks of timber construction interconnected by a central spine. Additional classroom facilities have been built over the years to aid in the growing student numbers.

Also, the school's mascot and yearbook, which is handed to students at the end of each year, is known as the Salamander which was Freyberg's nom de guerre during World War II. The name given to him by Māori, Te Pou Hōia, is also reflected in the Māori name for the school.

In 2005, the school celebrated its 50th Jubilee and in 2015, celebrated its 60th Jubilee.

School Structure[edit]


In 2004, Freyberg High School welcomed Michael McMenamin as the new Principal with the school roll in the 1200s. McMenamin took over from the post left by Russell Trethewey after 11 years.

At the end of 2008, Principal Michael McMenamin returned to New Plymouth Boys' High School after five years at Freyberg. He was replaced as Principal by long-serving Deputy - Peter Brooks as of 2009.

For the purposes of school structure and interhouse athletics and swimming competitions, the school is divided into 4 houses. This is known as "Four Schools in One". Each student belongs to one of the four houses.

Freyberg High School works along the vertical structure with whānau groups which includes Year 9 through to Year 13 along house lines. The 'teacher' of the whānau group is in the same house as his or her students.

Prior to 2002, there were the horizontal 'tutor' groups where it was for a specific year only. For example, 12LB.

Before 2001, there were a mix of houses within one tutor group, however this was changed in 2002 to make it one tutor group, one house. Tutor groups are now referred to as 'Whanau' classes.

In 2016, coaching classes have been introduced to support students for the whole 5 years they attend the school. Students are taught beneficial skills such as time management, planning goals, career paths, study advice and more. The classes are sorted into individual year levels and respective houses with one 'coach' who will be monitoring the students through to years 9 to 13. It is held almost every week and replaces the Whanau time slot on a Wednesday.


Each house has a name concerning the region, and also has reference to Te Rauparaha.

House Names & their Colours
Kapiti Named for Kapiti Island.
Manawatu Named for Manawatu River.
Ruahine Named for Ruahine Ranges.
Tararua Named for Tararua Ranges.

In the past Kapiti and Manawatu houses have had the edge over the other two, with Kapiti winning the house cup in 2006, and Manawatu in 2007. Tararua house changed this run when they took out the house cup in 2008. Recently the dozen or so school competitions are highly competitive and evenly contested. Before the reshuffling to the present system, the House system ran along an alphabetical surname basis, for example a surname beginning with A was in Tararua, B Manawatu etc. During this era, Ruahine House was the most successful.

Facilities of the School[edit]

Freyberg High School offers a range of facilities for its students.[5]

  • Sports Academy
  • Music Academy
  • Dance Academy
  • Drama Academy
  • Russell Trethewey Performing Arts Centre
  • Craig Centre - Special Education block
  • Deaf Education Unit
  • Teen Parents' Unit
  • Rumaki - Māori Immersion Classes
  • Covered Heated Swimming Pool (Freyberg Community Pool)
  • Multi-sport turf

Sporting rivalries[edit]

Freyberg High School annually conducts sports exchanges with Taradale High School and Kapiti College. The junior school also participate in a Central Six competition. There is also a rivalry between Freyberg and Awatapu College for the Mark Ranby Trophy in rugby union.

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Steve Maharey, Former New Zealand Labour Member of Parliament, Palmerston North (1990–2008), Vice-Chancellor of Massey University, Palmerston North (2009-current)
  • Jacqui Dean, former television and radio host, now National MP for Otago (2005–2008) and Waitaki (2008- ) [6]
  • Darien Fenton, Labour List MP [7]
  • Tangi Utikere, former student and current staff member (Head of School - Ruahine), Chairperson, Palmerston North Labour Party (2007–2009), Justice of the Peace (2007- ) Palmerston North City Councillor (2010- )




Notable staff (former and current)[edit]



Freyberg High School Website