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Primary Schools

Events In History

29 November 1877

The Education Act 1877 established free, compulsory and secular education for all Pākehā New Zealand children. Māori children could attend these schools if their parents wanted them to.

12 August 1816

The simple building measured about 10m x 6m and included an area for Māori students to sleep and a cordoned-off platform for teachers and Pākehā students


Schools and the First World War

Schools and children were quickly called into action at the outset of the First World War in 1914. Developing patriotic, fit and healthy citizens was seen as important to the survival of the country and the Empire. Hundreds of teachers joined the NZEF, including many from sole-teacher schools. Almost 200 never returned. Read the full article

Page 2 - Schools in 1914

The head of the Department of Education believed that ‘moral purpose should dominate the spirit of the whole school life.’ Schools and teachers were to shape children into

The mayor of Whakatāne plants an oak tree in the grounds of the public school in memory of ex-pupils who died during the First World War, 1919