Pakuranga College

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Pakuranga College
180 Pigeon Mountain Road
Half Moon Bay
Auckland 2012
New Zealand
Coordinates36°53′52″S 174°54′10″E / 36.8978°S 174.9028°E / -36.8978; 174.9028Coordinates: 36°53′52″S 174°54′10″E / 36.8978°S 174.9028°E / -36.8978; 174.9028
TypeState co-ed Secondary School Year 9–13
MottoCaelum Certe Patet
(‘Reach for the skies’)
Ministry of Education Institution no.80
PrincipalMichael Williams
School roll2228[1] (March 2019)
Socio-economic decile7O[2]

Pakuranga College is a co-educational secondary school in east Auckland, New Zealand. The school is named after the suburb it is located in, Pakuranga. The school emblem is the pegasus and the motto "Caelum Certe Patet".[3]

The current principal is Michael Williams, as of 2009.


The school was built on part of an old dairy farm that was known for its swampy soil in winter. The school initially opened on 7 October 1961 by Ronald Algie.[4] The founding principal was Kenneth Rae with an initial roll of 312 students and 17 staff members.[5]


In total, the school has seen a total 7 principals: Kenneth Rae was the head of the college till 1967, taken over by Ernest Rive. From 1978, Stan Seager was the principal. The school then saw leadership from Pamela Stone from 1987 to 2003. Bali Haque was principal during 2003 – 2006. Prior to being principal, Haque was formerly president of the Secondary Principal's Association and also was principal at Rosehill College.[6] He then went on to be the Deputy Chief Executive of NZQA.[7] After Haque, Heather McRae, who was Associate principal under Haque, became principal of 2006 to 2009. McRae left on a promotion to be principal of Diocesan School for Girls and was replaced by the current principal, Michael Williams from Aorere College.[8]


As part of a school science project in 2004 at Pakuranga College, two 14-year-old school girls (Anna Devathasan and Jenny Suo) discovered that Ribena, a blackcurrant fruit juice drink sold in 100 ml ready-to-drink containers contained very little Vitamin C, contrary to advertising for the product. Approaches by the two teens to the company did not resolve the issue but the matter was publicised on national consumer affairs television show Fair Go and came to the attention of the Commerce Commission (a government funded 'consumer watch-dog'). The commission's testing found that Ribena contained no detectable vitamin C. On 27 March 2007, GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty in an Auckland District Court to 15 charges relating to misleading conduct, and was fined $217,000.[9][10]

School buildings[edit]

Pakuranga College has traditionally named its blocks of classrooms after past principals and staff. This is evident in all the principals from Mr Rae to Ms Stone having classroom blocks named after them:

  • Rae Block – a general purpose block, with a strong focus on the social sciences.
  • Rive Block – a general purpose block, containing science classrooms, computer labs and the languages department.
  • Seager Block – the mathematics block, containing all the mathematics offices.
  • Pamela Stone Block – the English block.
  • Jill Sweeny Block – the most recently built science block, containing most of the schools' science classrooms (Chemistry, Biology and Physics). The block is named after the former science teacher and head of department, Jill Sweeny, who contributed a lot to the science department.

There are a number of other buildings throughout the school, given generic names.

House system[edit]

The students of Pakuranga College are divided into six different houses named after New Zealand native trees. Each house is represented by a color and mascot. Although the students are not physically separated into these houses, it acts a system of administration.[11] The only time students are in house groups on a daily basis is through 'tutor groups'. This is for pastoral support of students such as attendance and the daily notices of co-curricular activities.

Students also participate in school events in house groups. Such events include the school swimming sports, athletics day and other inter-house competitions including House Arts.

House Name Mascot Colour Nicknamed as
Totara Tiger Yellow Totara Tigers
Kauri Lion Red Kauri Kings
Nikau Knights Blue Nikau Knights
Rimu Rhino Green Rimu Rhinos
Pohutukawa Pirates Orange Pohutukawa Pirates
Matai Moose Purple Matai Mooses

Houses each contain 14 tutor groups and headed by two deans of the house.


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 3 April 2019". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Pakuranga College Prospectus 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  4. ^ "History of Pakuranga College". Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Written Account by K. Rae" (PDF). Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Rosehill College History". Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Appointment of new Deputy Chief Executive". 15 November 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  8. ^ "New Challenges for Head". Eastern Courier. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Students' juicy discovery lands Ribena producers in court". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2007.
  10. ^ "NZ vitamin C row hits Ribena firm". BBC News. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2007.
  11. ^ "Pakuranga College House System". Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.