Rongotai College

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Rongotai College
170 Coutts Street
Wellington 6022
New Zealand
Coordinates41°19′S 174°48′E / 41.317°S 174.800°E / -41.317; 174.800Coordinates: 41°19′S 174°48′E / 41.317°S 174.800°E / -41.317; 174.800
Funding typeState
MottoLumen Accipe et Imperti
(Receive the Light and Pass it on)
Ministry of Education Institution no.277
PrincipalKevin Carter
Years offered9–13
SongNon Nobis Domine
School roll735[1] (March 2020)

Rongotai College is a state single-sex boys' secondary school in the southeastern suburb of Rongotai, Wellington, New Zealand. Serving Years 9 to 13 (ages 12 to 18), the school has 622 students as of July 2015.[2]

About 40 per cent of the students are of European heritage, 20 per cent identify as Pasifika, and 15 per cent Maori, and there are various Middle Eastern, Asian and African students.

A highlight for the school is the annual McEvedy Shield athletics event.


The school stands on the isthmus separating Lyall Bay and Cook Strait to the south from Evans Bay on Wellington Harbour to the north. It thus has the sea on two sides, and this gives it a particularly bracing microclimate, with gusty winds from the north and, in winter, icy blasts from the south. It is bounded to the east by Wellington Airport. Wellington's city centre is a few kilometres to the north-west.


Rongotai College was opened in 1928 with Mr Fritz Martyn Renner as its first headmaster and a teaching staff of seven. It was started as an "overspill" for Wellington College, which was overstretched, and Rongotai became the new school for Wellington boys in the eastern suburbs.[3]

Rongotai College originally accepted enrolments from students of Intermediate School age. However, when Evans Bay Intermediate School opened its doors in 1964, the school became purely a secondary school, catering for young men in what are now called years 9 to 13.

The Assembly Hall, known as the Renner Hall, was opened in 1966 and is named after the founding headmaster.


The 2013 ERO report was favourable whilst pointing out areas for improvement, for example in monitoring achievement and attendance levels.[4]

School leadership[edit]


Period Principal
1928–1945 Mr Fritz Martyn Renner
1946–1951 Mr H.A. Heron
1951–1962 Mr A.E. Lock
1963–1982 Noel Mackay
1983–1991 Mr A.D. Powell
1991–2009 Mr Graeme Jarratt
2010–present Mr Kevin Carter


The four houses at Rongotai College are named after the school's first four headmasters,[5]

  • Renner (Red)
  • Heron (Blue)
  • Lock (Green)
  • Mackay (Yellow)

Notable alumni[edit]

Dates denote period enrolled as student

The Arts[edit]


  • Dr Barry Dent (1973–1977) – CEO of BDG Synthesis, ( organic chemistry)
  • Professor Alex Malahoff (1951–1956) – pioneered use of submersibles to explore submarine volcanoes, CEO of GNS Science 2002–2012
  • Tony Mahon (1947–52) – built a reputation for his extensive research on geothermal energy; awarded Joseph Aidlin Award
  • Dr Campbell Nelson FRSNZ (1957–61) – ex-Professor of Earth Studies at Waikato University, awarded 2004 Hutton medal by the Royal Society


Politics and public service[edit]






Rugby League[edit]

Rugby Union[edit]


  • Derek Froude (1973–1977) – represented New Zealand in the men's marathon, at the Olympics in 1984 and 1992
  • Paul Lloyd (1979–1984) – represented New Zealand in the men's 110m Hurdles, at the Commonwealth Games, Auckland in 1990


  • Al Hobman dec. – former professional wrestler, trainer and promoter


  • Greg Wilcox (1974–1978) – former New Zealand world champion yachtsman OK Dinghy class


  1. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  2. ^ "New Zealand Schools – Education Counts". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Rongotai College History". Rongotai College Website. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Rongotai College Parent and Caregiver Guide" (PDF). Rongotai College. 2018. p. 16.

External links[edit]