Nelson Central School

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Nelson Central School
Nelson Central School.jpg
Nelson Central School in 2011
70 Nile Street, Nelson
Coordinates 41°16′39″S 173°17′19″E / 41.2774°S 173.2885°E / -41.2774; 173.2885Coordinates: 41°16′39″S 173°17′19″E / 41.2774°S 173.2885°E / -41.2774; 173.2885
Type Contributing Primary
Motto Māori: Ki Runga Rawa
Established 1878
Ministry of Education Institution no. 3209
Principal Dr Paul Potaka
School roll 437[1] (February 2017)
Socio-economic decile 7

Nelson Central School is a state primary contributing school located in the inner city of Nelson at the top of the South Island of New Zealand teaching children of both genders aged 5 to 11 years.

Currently (2013) the board of trustees consists of six elected parent representatives, the Principal and the staff representative. The current chairman is Dr Bradley Hannigan.

For the school year ended in December 2012, the school roll opened with 392 students and closed with 452. During the school year, staffing entitlement ranged from 24.64 in February to 24.73 by December.


Nelson Central School is situated three blocks east of Nelson Cathedral.


As a primary contributing school, Nelson Central School sends pupils to Nelson Intermediate School Nelson College for Girls Preparatory School and Nelson College Preparatory School. Nelson Central School enrols children between 5 and 11 years of age. Typically, about 50-60 five-year-old children start each year.


Nelson Central School from Nile St.

Nelson Central School is now the oldest school in New Zealand still functioning on its original unitary site. Consequently, its main building and Renwick House are of architectural interest (photo needed). The site of the present school was purchased by the Nelson Education Board in 1893 for £1600. The official opening ceremony of the main school building was held on Monday 23 June 1930.[2]

(The first school in the new Pākehā settlement of Nelson had opened in March 1842, "in a house built of toi toi", just a few months after the New Zealand Company's first settlers landed.)


The number of Māori children enrolled at the school is proportionately greater than would be expected given the total Māori population in the City of Nelson. This may be due to the presence of four Māori language immersion classes with a full-time Kaiarahi reo within Nelson Central School.

The current Principal is also Māori.

All students take part in the school's Mana Maori programme as required under the Treaty of Waitangi and all students have the opportunity to acquire some knowledge of Maori language and culture.


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 6 March 2017". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Official Opening of New Central School at Nelson". The Evening Post. 25 June 1930. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  • Nelson Central School Board of Trustees (2007). Annual Performance Statement to the Community. (self published). 
  • Gee, Maurice (1978). 1878-1978 Nelson Central School - A History. Maurice Gee. 
  • Nelson Central School Board of Trustees (2007). Board of Trustees Newsletter - Term 2 - 2007. (self published). 

External links[edit]