New Plymouth Boys' High School

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New Plymouth Boys' High School
Te Kura Tamatane O Ngamotu
New Plymouth Boys' High School.jpeg
View of New Plymouth Boys High School
Coronation Avenue
New Plymouth
New Zealand
Coordinates 39°03′41″S 174°05′12″E / 39.0613°S 174.0866°E / -39.0613; 174.0866Coordinates: 39°03′41″S 174°05′12″E / 39.0613°S 174.0866°E / -39.0613; 174.0866
Type State single sex boys' secondary (Year 9-13) with boarding facilities
Motto Et comitate, Et virtute, Et Sapientia
"Comradeship, Valour and Wisdom"
Established 1882
Ministry of Education Institution no. 171
Headmaster Paul Verić
School roll 1173[1] (August 2018)
Socio-economic decile 7O[2]

New Plymouth Boys' High School is a single-sex boys' state secondary school in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.

The school currently caters for approximately 1300 students, including 210 boarders, on its 15 hectares (37 acres) site.[3]

The school often collaborates with the very close-by New Plymouth Girls' High School. For example, the Hillary Challenge team for New Plymouth always draws students from both schools and the jazz band and concert band include musicians from both schools.


New Plymouth Boys' High School was founded in 1882 and celebrated its 125th Jubilee in 2007.[4] Thomas Shailer Weston was for some time a governor of the school.[5]


New Plymouth Boys' High School currently has four houses. Students are sorted alphabetically into their houses, with the exception of Hatherly, which consists of boarders only.


The school has implemented a 6-day timetable system, allowing for more subject choices. The first day of school in the year is automatically day 1, with each day after it being the next day until it reaches 6, at which point it goes back to 1. Each student gets a timetable with all 6 days listed on it. There are 5 subject periods in a day, as well as interval, lunch and assemblies.

  • Mondays and Fridays are School Assemblies, in Ryder Hall (the main assembly hall of the school that can seat 1,200 students on two floors).
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays are House Assemblies, in which each student goes to an assembly for their respective house (Donnelly in Pridham Hall, Barak in Ryder Hall, Hatherly in the Boarders' dining lounge and Syme in the gymnasium.
  • On Wednesdays, however, each student goes to their Huia Ropū, made up of about 30 boys (see below).

Huia Ropū system[edit]

Huia Ropū (formerly called Groups) is a class attended by all students on a Wednesday period 4 (the period 4 class gets shifted into period 3's time, and the original period 3 class gets lost). In the class, students learn about a variety of topics, including time management, mindfulness, anti-bullying, goal setting and career path planning, among others. Students stay in their Huia group throughout their time in school. There are 15 ropū per house, and each ropū is referenced by the first letter of its' house followed by its' number (e.g. D13 for Donnelly #13).


In 2008, the school acquired a new wing (now known as the French-Wright Block, named for the former headmaster Lyal French-Wright) with facilities for administration, science and mathematics. The wing incorporates modern architecture to add a new flavor to the traditional school.[6] The wing was opened by the Prime Minister at the time, Helen Clark.[citation needed]

The school has a boarding hostel, providing accommodation for up to 200 boys.

Student-based radio station[edit]

New Plymouth Boys' High also had their own radio station named "Gully FM" (however this is discontinued), as the school's "Gully Grounds" (the terrace-style rugby field of Boys' High) are a major part of New Plymouth Boys' High. Gully FM broadcast locally to New Plymouth on 87.9 FM. Gully FM was founded in 2011 after a small group of students got together and put forward a proposal to the headmaster. Gully FM mainly broadcast pop, modern rock and dubstep aimed at the students of the school.[7]

United Space School[edit]

New Plymouth Boys' High School and New Plymouth Girls' High School are the only New Zealand schools to take part in the Foundation for International Space Education's United Space School which is held in Houston, Texas each year. One student from each school (and in 2009 a teacher[8]), is selected to attend.

Exchange programme[edit]

An exchange relationship has been established with a Chilean High School so that every year, students alternate exchanges. In 2006, NPBHS travelled to Chile and in 2007, students from Chile came to NPBHS. The school also associates with schools in New Plymouth's sister cities in China and Japan.

Controversy over bullying[edit]

After an incident in 2008 when a boarder was beaten by four other students[9] the school's board of trustees commissioned an independent report on bullying in November 2008. The report, released in late January 2009, identified a culture of bullying amongst students in the school's hostel, although the school's board of trustees disputed some of the report's findings.[10] A 2010 Education Review Office review of the school did not highlight any bullying issues, and gave the school a positive report.[11]

Notable alumni[edit]

Many successful men have come from the school, including Australian Idol winner Stan Walker, musicians Matt Thomas, Hayden Chisholm, former Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy Rear Admiral Tony Parr,[12] David Gauld, president of the New Zealand Mathematical Society (1981 - 1982), the author and journalist John McBeth and 24 All Blacks.

In 2018, Professor Emeritus David Penny received one of the highest honours in the science world, to be named a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) foreign associate [13].

Members of Parliament who attended the school include Andrew Little, John Armstrong, Bruce Beetham, Merv Wellington, Cam Calder and Ken Comber.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 13 September 2018". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2] Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Scholefield, Guy, ed. (1940). A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography : M–Addenda (PDF). II. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs. p. 484. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Headmaster's Report" (PDF). Through the Gates. New Plymouth Boys' High School Community. 21: 3. April 2009.
  7. ^ Moir, Jo (15 August 2011), School radio gets too close for comfort, Taranaki Daily News Online, retrieved 2 December 2011
  8. ^ Palmer, Harriet (10 June 2009). "Teacher first for space camp". Taranaki Daily News. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Four Teens Given Diversion Over School Bullying". 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  10. ^ "Bullying culture revealed at Taranaki school". The New Zealand Herald. 31 January 2009.
  11. ^ "New Plymouth Boys' High School". Education Review Office. 13 December 2010. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  12. ^ [3] Archived December 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Fuseworks Media. "Professor Emeritus welcomed by prominent US Academy". Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  14. ^ Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. p. 304. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.

External links[edit]