Rathkeale College

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Rathkeale College
Rathkeale College logo.jpg
Willow Park Drive, Masterton, Wellington Region, New Zealand
Coordinates40°53′57″S 175°41′11″E / 40.8993°S 175.6865°E / -40.8993; 175.6865Coordinates: 40°53′57″S 175°41′11″E / 40.8993°S 175.6865°E / -40.8993; 175.6865
Typetrinity school single sex boys (Years 9-13)
MottoLatin: Nil mortalibus ardui est
"Nothing is impossible for mortal man"
Ministry of Education Institution no.245
PrincipalMartin O’Grady
School roll331[1] (August 2018)
Socio-economic decile9Q[2]

Rathkeale College is a state-integrated Anglican boys secondary school on the outskirts of Masterton, New Zealand.


School House, former Rathkeale Homestead

Rathkeale College was established in 1963 to complete the family of schools managed by the St Matthew's Schools Trust Board, which already had a girls school in St Matthew's Collegiate School and a preparatory school in Hadlow School. The foundation Headmaster was E.J. Norman, a housemaster from Christ's College in Christchurch, while the deputy headmaster was Bruce Hamilton, also of Christ's. The school was established in the homestead of Rathkeale farm, previously owned by the Maunsell family. The Rathkeale homestead is now known as School House. The school was officially opened in 1963 by Governor General Brigadier Sir Bernard Fergusson.[3] The school was officially called St. Matthew's Collegiate School for Boys, but has always been known as Rathkeale College, after the farm on which it was situated. The farm's name comes from Rathkeale in County Limerick, Ireland, where the Maunsell family was originally from.



Rathkeale is currently owned by the Trinity Schools Trust, managed by the Trinity Schools Trust Board, chaired by Denise Beazley, while the school is governed by a Board of Trustees chaired by George Murdoch.


Current senior staff positions:[4]

  • Principal: Martin O'Grady
  • Deputy Principals: Mason Summerfield, Adam Gordon


Boys are split into three houses to compete in various sporting, cultural and academic competitions. The houses were originally named after old English schools; Rugby House, Cranleigh House, and Repton House. In 2009 these were changed to Halberg, after gold medallist runner Sir Murray Halberg, Hillary, after mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, and Blake, after yachtsman Sir Peter Blake.

Rugby team training


Both summer and winter sport is compulsory at Rathkeale College, with a wide range of sports offered.[5] The main summer sports are cricket and tennis, while the main winter sports are rugby, hockey and association football. Rathkeale College has sports exchanges with Christ's College, Lindisfarne College, Hutt International Boys' School, Wanganui Collegiate and St. Patrick's College, Silverstream.

A house haka


Houses compete in a range of cultural competitions, including a House music (choral and band) competition, House haka competition, and in previous years, a House drama competition. The college also offers lessons in many musical instruments, as well as the Viva Camerata choir, combined with St. Matthew's Collegiate, and previously, a barbershop group. Many small drama performances are produced by drama classes or for the Shelia Winn Shakespeare Festival, as well as a major school production being produced every year, which usually alternates between dramas and musicals. Past shows have included King Lear, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Crucible, Footloose, Les Misérables and Twelfth Night.

Special Character[edit]

As a State Integrated school, Rathkeale must have a "Special Character" to justify its existence. Rathkeale College's Special Character includes being single-sex (until year 12), a boarding school, and having compulsory sport participation. However, the main factor is its Anglican religion. Boys attend weekly chapel services, and junior boys take religious education lessons. This special character has recently been enhanced by the purchase of a chapel for the school - St. Martin's on the Close, formerly St. Martin's Church, Mangaweka. The chapel was purchased, moved and restored by the Friends of St. Martin's Trust. Former Board of Trustees chair Robyn Prior received the Bishop's Medal from Bishop of Wellington Tom Brown for her services in acquiring and restoring the chapel.[6]


  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. ^ Hamilton, Bruce, Rathkeale : Rathkeale College history and register, 1964-1988, Masterton, N.Z., Trinity Schools Trust Board, 1989
  4. ^ Rathkeale College Staff
  5. ^ "About Rathkeale College". cnirugby.co.nz. All boys are required to participate in summer and winter sport.
  6. ^ Rathkeale Chapel website Archived 2007-07-04 at the Wayback Machine.