Wellington East Girls' College

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Wellington East Girls' College
Austin Street,
Mount Victoria,
New Zealand
Coordinates 41°18′10″S 174°47′07″E / 41.3028°S 174.7852°E / -41.3028; 174.7852Coordinates: 41°18′10″S 174°47′07″E / 41.3028°S 174.7852°E / -41.3028; 174.7852
Type Single Sex Girls State Secondary (Year 9-13)
Established 1925
Ministry of Education Institution no. 274
Principal Sally Haughton
School roll 1079[1] (August 2018)
Socio-economic decile 8P[2]

Wellington East Girls' College (Maori name: Te Kura Kōhine o te Rāwhiti o Te Upoko o Te Ika) is a state single-sex girls' secondary school which sits directly above Mount Victoria Tunnel, Wellington, New Zealand. Serving Years 9 to 13 (ages 12 to 18), the school currently has 1079[1] students.[3]

The College primarily serves families of the eastern and southern suburbs and inner city Wellington. However, it also has students from all over Wellington, the Hutt Valley and Porirua City. The school has a Special Needs Unit catering to approximately 20 students, some of which are integrated into the school system.

Ethnicities of Students are:

  • European/Pakeha 57%
  • Māori 9%
  • Samoan 8%
  • Indian 7%
  • Chinese 5%
  • African 3%
  • Other Asian 3%
  • Other European 3%
  • Other Pacific Island 2%
  • Other ethnic groups 3%

School leadership[edit]

The school's longtime principal Janice Campbell retired halfway through 2007 and was replaced by Sally Haughton.

Currently, the Senior Leadership Team consists of the principal herself and three deputy principals. There is also a principal's nominee, a staff member nominated by the principal who is responsible for maintaining quality within the School to ensure the validity and credibility of assessment for qualifications according to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).[4]

The school also employs a Guidance team (composed of one international and five year-level deans, careers advisors, counsellors, and a Guidance Leader)[5] as well as a sports director and many department heads.

Period Principal
1925-1937 Miss A. M. Batham
1937-1949 Miss N. G. Isaac
1950-1957 Miss M. L. Wilson
1957-1967 Miss M. J. Riley
1968-1981 Miss N. McMaster
1981-2007 Miss J. Campbell
2007- Mrs S. Haughton


Wellington East Girls' was built on reserve land bordering Wellington College in 1925, to cope with the demand for female education in Wellington at the time. By the end of the First World War, there were over 800 pupils at Wellington Girls’ High School (now Wellington Girls' College) in Thorndon, and teaching became severely hampered by the overcrowding - so much so that rooms in nearby houses were rented out to use as classrooms. Miss A. M. Batham, who had served on the staff at Wellington Girls for 22 years and would be the first Headmistress of Wellington East, petitioned the Board of Governors repeatedly until it was agreed that a new school would be founded on the other side of the city. [6] The school was originally named Mt Victoria Girls College but was changed to avoid confusion with Victoria University of Wellington, which was called Victoria University College at the time.

The school celebrates Founders Day annually on 15 September and held a 90th reunion on the date in 2015.


In 1931, Headmistress Batham divided the school into six houses for sports competitions. These six houses were named Islington, Ranfurly, Onslow, Jellicoe, Fergusson, and Bledisloe, and were named after:

Sometime before 1950 both the Ranfurly and Freyberg Houses were renamed. They became Cobham and Freyberg, in honour of The Viscount Cobham (the ninth Governor-General) and Lieutenant-General The Lord Freyberg (the seventh Governor-General). Then, sometime before 1955, Freyberg and Cobham were dismantled and students in either became parts of the other four houses.

The four current houses at Wellington East Girls' College are:

Buildings and Grounds[edit]

Wellington East Girls College shares with Wellington College the administration of the Gifford Observatory.

The architecture of the original building is interwar stripped classical. The grand main building has a Category I listing in the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Register.

In 2011, earthquake strengthening work was begun on the building, but was halted when engineers found it to meet just 17% of the national building standard (the minimum for existing buildings is 34%).[7][8] The building, which was built in 1924, was empty until late 2014, when work was restarted with the aim of strengthening and redeveloping the building. The redevelopment project will keep the facade of the old heritage building while a new multi-story block is built behind it.

The old block only held nine classrooms (not including the music department) which held 250 pupils, as well as spaces for staff.[9] The new building will contain a Wharenui, as well as 28 classrooms and spaces such as a new library, art studios, food technology rooms, music facilities and a media suite.[10] A second additional two-storey building will be constructed, housing three additional classrooms and spaces

Since the closure of the Main Block, areas previously housed inside the building have been forced to relocate. The Mathematics department, along with the School Office, Student Services Centre, Hauora Centre, and the Senior Management offices were all located in the areas deemed unusable in 2011, and have since been housed in "The Village"; a set of pre-fabricated buildings that has existed since late 2011 on the old lower netball courts. The music department was located in a portion of the Main Block still usable until its demolition in 2014; it is now housed in pre-fabricated buildings located on the top field.[11] It is soon to be joined by another set of pre-fabricated buildings, which will house the Art Department until completion of renovation on the South Wing (built in 1966).

Most buildings on the school site are being redeveloped in some way or another. In 2016, the Sports Center saw strengthening and repainting. The Homecraft Block, which was built in 1952, is set to be demolished. The Fabrics room as well as the food technology room and the school canteen will shift into the new buildings upon completion. The baths, which since construction in 1958 have already witnessed the removal of the diving pool (replaced by the Special Needs Unit), are undergoing total reconstruction. Plans in place are set to redesign the outdoor swimming pool to have more of a community focus - the new design renders the pool indoors and heated. Seemingly, the only buildings on site left untouched by the redevelopment will be the East Wing (built 1956) and the Science Block (Opened 1985).

The entire project is currently due to finish January 2019,[12] and the school will be able to cater to approximately 1250 students.[13]

He Huarahi Tamariki[edit]

He Huarahi Tamariki is a teen parent unit under the jurisdiction of Wellington East Girls College. It serves approximately 50 teenage parents[14] in Years 9–15 (age 12–19) in continuing secondary school education. The unit is largely autonomous and is located in Porirua, and incorporates the Griffin 2 School, an Early Childhood Centre that caters for the children of its students.[15] It is noted that the Teen Parent Unit roll is returned with the one belonging to Wellington East Girls' College.

Notable alumni[edit]

Dates denote leaver/graduation year as student

The Arts and the Humanities[edit]



Football (Soccer)[edit]



  1. ^ a b "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. ^ "New Zealand Schools - Education Counts". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  4. ^ "NZQA Principals Nominee Specifications". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  5. ^ "WEGC Staff List". Wellington East Girls' College. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  6. ^ Gambrill, Millie D. (May 1975). Our First Fifty Years. Wellington East Girls College Library: Wellington East Girls College Jubilee Committee. p. 14.
  7. ^ "Wellington school evacuated over quake fears". Television New Zealand. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  8. ^ Duff, Michelle (8 November 2011). "We won't risk kids' lives, Wellington school says". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Redevelopment of Wellington Schools". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Building Updates 21 March 2016". Wellington East Girls College. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Building Updates 21 April 2015". Wellington East Girls College. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Building Updates 21 March 2016". Wellington East Girls College. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Redevelopment of Wellington Schools". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Interview with Sally Haughton". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  15. ^ "About Us". He Huarahi Tamariki. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  16. ^ http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writer/beaglehole-ann/