67 Waimea Road
|Type||State secondary, day and boarding|
|Motto||Pietas Probitas et Sapientia|
(Loyalty, honesty and wisdom)
|Sister school||Nelson College for Girls|
|Ministry of Education Institution no.||294|
|School roll||1126 (August 2018)|
Nelson College is the oldest state secondary school in New Zealand. It is a boys-only school in the City of Nelson that 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 two boarding houses adjacent to the main school buildings on the same campus.
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. There were nine initial trustees, and the notable ones are Charles Elliott, David Monro, John Barnicoat, Charles Bigg Wither, William Wells, and Alfred Domett. 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.
On 7 December 1904, the College was almost completely destroyed by fire. The main building, designed by William Beatson, was said to be a "miniature of Eton," the architect being an old Etonian. In 1926, Nelson College was invited to join the annual rugby tournament between Christ's College, Wanganui Collegiate School and Wellington College, known as the "Quadrangular". In the 1929 Murchison earthquake, the main building of the College was once again severely damaged, although only two boys were injured.
In 2011, Nelson College became the first all-boys college in New Zealand to form a gay-straight alliance support group. The alliance operated from its own room. In 2015, an attempt was made to re-form the group, although this never eventuated.
The College has a house system. In 2004, two new houses were formed, to add to the existing three boarding and three day houses. However, following a boarding restructure in 2014, Rutherford House ceased to exist as an entity in the Nelson College inter-house competition. The 'Rutherford House' physical building is to be refurbished and repurposed into the Nelson College Preparatory School in 2016 while Rutherford boarders are merged into Barnicoat. The current houses are:
- Barnicoat (White)
- Fell (Maroon)
- 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.
- Gilbert Edward Archey, zoologist, museum director, ethnologist
- Edmond de Montalk, language teacher, storekeeper
- Andrew Goodman, rugby union player
- John Gully, artist
- Wilfrid Nelson Isaac, jeweller, art school director
- Frank Milner, school principal, educationalist
- Harold Nelson, athlete
- William Sutch, economist, public servant
- Matthew Toynbee, cricketer
|1||John Charles Bagshaw||1856–1858|
|4||John Danforth Greenwood||1863–1865|
|5||Charles Lendrick MacLean||1866–1868|
|6||Frank Churchill Simmons||1868–1876|
|7||John Chapman Andrew||1876–1886|
|8||William Justice Ford||1886–1888|
|9||John William Joynt||1889–1898|
|10||William Still Littlejohn||1899–1903|
|11||Harry Lewis Fowler||1904–1921|
|12||Charles Harrington Broad||1922–1933|
|13||Herbert Victor Searle||1933–1956|
|14||Basil Henry Wakelin||1957–1969|
|15||E.J. "Doug" Brewster||1970–1981|
- Michael Baigent, writer
- Wyatt Crockett, rugby union player
- Mitchell Drummond, 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
- Gerald R. Leighton, zoologist
- James Lowe, rugby union player
- Don McKinnon, former Commonwealth Secretary-General
- Simon Mannering, rugby league player
- James Marshall, rugby union player
- Julian Matthews, middle distance athlete
- Tex Morton, singer
- Jack Newman, cricketer and businessman
- Geoffrey Palmer, former Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Jared Payne, rugby union player
- Wallace (Bill) Rowling, former Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson, Nobel laureate chemist and physicist
- Rex Sellers, sailor
- Leonard Trent, Battle of Britain pilot and Victoria Cross recipient
- Mika Vukona, basketballer
- Guy Williams, comedian
- Harry Wollaston, senior Australian public servant
- "Directory of Schools - as at 13 September 2018". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- "1870s". New Zealand Rugby Museum. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
- "New Zealand's First Game of Rugby". theprow.org.nz. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
- L.R. Palmer, "A Short History of Nelson College". In: "Nelson College Old Boys' Register 1856–1981" (5th edn.)
- "Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Nelson Trust Funds, for the Year Ending 21st December, 1857". The Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle. XVII (3). 9 January 1858. p. 2. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
- "The Evening Post", 8 December 1904
- Roberts, Adam (6 April 2011). "Boys' college backs gay, straight students". The Nelson Mail. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
- Nelson College Daily Notices 17 August 2015.
- DUNN, Sarah; MANN, Brittany. "Boarding changes to go ahead". Nelson Mail. Fairfax Madia. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Nelson College Old Boys' Register, 1856–2006, 6th edition (CD-ROM).
- "O'Shea for head". The Press. 5 July 2006. p. 4.
- "Dr. Wallaston". The Week. Brisbane, Queensland. 18 February 1912. p. 13.