Iona College, Havelock North

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Iona College
42 Lucknow Road, Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay
Coordinates 39°40′46″S 176°52′42″E / 39.6794°S 176.8784°E / -39.6794; 176.8784Coordinates: 39°40′46″S 176°52′42″E / 39.6794°S 176.8784°E / -39.6794; 176.8784
Type State integrated single sex-girls' school from Year 7 to Year 13 with Boarding Facilities
Motto Love Joy Peace
Established 1914
Ministry of Education Institution no. 224
Principal Shannon Warren
School roll 292[1] (March 2015)
Socio-economic decile 10Z[2]

Iona College is a state-integrated girls' school in the Hawke's Bay area of New Zealand's North Island. Founded in 1914 by the Presbyterian Church, it was intended to provide boarding facilities for girls from rural communities. Today, the college has a capped roll of 250 New Zealand and international students – 150 boarders and 100 day girls. Iona is consistently ranked amongst the top schools in New Zealand for academic results.

A large performing arts centre and information centre starting being built in March of 2013 and were finished halfway through 2014. During the 100 years celebration that took place in March of 2014 tours were conducted of the partially finished buildings.


Iona College is the oldest Presbyterian School in New Zealand. It was established as a girls’ boarding school built on land donated by Hugh Campbell.

The Prime Minister, the Right Honourable W F Massey, opened Iona College on 14 February 1914.

Iona opened with a roll of 48 pupils who were accommodated in buildings that were habitable but unfinished.

Iona’s buildings were severely affected by the February 1931 earthquake and the College had to be closed for a year while refinancing and rebuilding took place. The opening roll in 1932 was 27 boarders and nine day pupils.

The school chapel is named after Saint Martin.[disambiguation needed]

Iona was a private school until December 1998, when it integrated into the state education system.[3]

Shannon Warren (formally Seymour College, Adelaide) replaced Pauline Duthie as Principal in July 2014.

House system[edit]

The school has four houses: Columba, Fraser, Gartan and McNeil. Columba and Gartan were the two original houses, with Fraser and McNeil added in 1966 to honour two of the school's former headmistresses, Miss Isabel Fraser and Miss Christina McNeil. The house Colmba was named after Saint Columba who was an Irish abbot and missionary, credited with spreading Christianity in present-day Scotland. He founded the important abbey on Iona, which became a dominant religious and political institution in the region for centuries. The house Gartan is the birthplace of St Columba in County Donegal, Ireland. Columba's house color is Green, Gartan's is red Frasers's is Yellow and McNeil's is blue.

It is a school of great heritage and spirit. The Iona Old Girls Association is commonly known as IOGA.

Iona College's traditional rival is Woodford House. Their brother school is Lindisfarne College. Though this may be, Iona College and Woodford House are working on combining some Senior classes in years to come.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 7 April 2015". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Integration Agreement -- Iona College, Havelock North". New Zealand Gazette 1999: 56. 14 January 1999.