NZ’s third oldest school is in…..


Nelson College is New Zealand’s third oldest school – preceded only by Christ’s College and Wanganui Collegiate.

Nelson Boys CollegeModern Nelson was founded by the New Zealand Company in 1842 – and if Nelson College had been built straight away, it would have been the oldest school in New Zealand.

Nelson College has a very proud history and a clear and unequivocal vision: to prepare young men to take their place in the world.

Nelson College has indeed educated many prominent citizens over the years.

From its ranks have come:

  • the founder of Rugby in NZ, Charles Monro¹, who organised, coached and played the first rugby game in New Zealand, on 14 May 1870, played between teams from Nelson College and Nelson Rugby Club at the Botanical Reserve
  • six particularly eminent scientists – including Noble Laureate Lord Ernest Rutherford
    whose discovery of how to split the atom changed the world forever – ushering in the nuclear age,
  • two Prime Ministers, Sir Wallace Rowling, and Sir Geoffrey Palmer, and I’m told a couple of Foreign Ministers, including Rt Hon Don McKinnon, now the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth,
  • ten Senior Defence Force Personnel – among them Chiefs of Defence, Chiefs of Staff, Air Vice Marshalls and Rear Admirals,
  • six All Blacks (and as mentioned in the previous post, the first rugby game in New Zealand, on 14 May 1870, was played between teams from Nelson College and Nelson Rugby Club),Match Ball
  • five New Zealand cricketers and a New Zealand soccer goal keeper,
  • ambassadors, and Rhodes Scholars,
  • artists, writers, entertainers, journalists, and broadcasters – including one of the current hosts of Morning Report on National Radio.

Since 1856 Nelson College has been motivating both staff and students to aspire to the highest possible standards in achievement and behaviour.

Maybe there must just be something in the water here ……….

¹ Charles Monro, prior to being sent to Christ College, Finchley in London from 1868-1870, went to Nelson College 1861-1865, while his father Sir David Monro, a Nelson founder was one of the first Governors and Trustees of Nelson College.