Macleans College

Macleans College
Macleans Road
Bucklands Beach
Auckland 2012
New Zealand
Coordinates 36°53′00″S 174°54′55″E / 36.8833°S 174.9152°E / -36.8833; 174.9152Coordinates: 36°53′00″S 174°54′55″E / 36.8833°S 174.9152°E / -36.8833; 174.9152
Type State co-educational
Motto Virtue mine honour
Established 1980
Ministry of Education Institution no. 41
Principal Steven Hargreaves (2017)
Grades Secondary
Enrolment 2560[1] (August 2018)
Socio-economic decile 9Q[2]

Macleans College is a co-educational state secondary school located in Bucklands Beach, Auckland, New Zealand. The school is named after the Scottish MacLean family who lived and farmed the land of the school and surrounding reserves, and the school emblem contains the castle from their family crest along with six waves which symbolise the seaside location of the school.[3] Metro placed Macleans College as the number one Auckland high school in 2010 among those in the Cambridge International Examinations system.[4] In 2014, Macleans College ranked 2nd nationally in the Cambridge International Examinations.


The school is named after the MacLean family. Robert and Every Maclean immigrated to New Zealand from Scotland, and they owned the land in Howick. The family farmed the areas of land that is the school's current location, as well as the surrounding government controlled reserves.[5][6]

The school was opened in 1980 by then Governor General Sir David Beattie with an initial roll of 199 students.[3] The first principal was Colin Prentice, who later became director of World Vision in New Zealand, followed by his deputy Allan McDonald in 1989. In 2000, upon McDonald's retirement, Byron J. Bentley,[7] became principal.[8]

In 2015, the school auditorium was renamed the 'Colin Prentice Auditorium' in honour of the late founding principal after his passing. In 2017, Byron Bentley announced his retirement as principal. He stood as the longest serving principal of the school, governing for 18 years.[9]

House system

Upon admission, pupils are placed into one of the eight 'whanau houses'. These houses are named after significant New Zealanders, and the traits and achievements of this person influences the houses environment, charity and what it encourages. The selection is random, unless the student has or had any sibling or parent attend the school wherein the student has an option to be enrolled in the same house, or be randomly placed in any of the other seven.

The Whanau House system at Macleans divides the school into houses of about 300 students each, with two form classes of 30 or so students for each year level, all from the same house. The 'whanau house' system had previously been trialled at Penrose High School (now One Tree Hill College) by modifying existing buildings, but Macleans College was the first state school in New Zealand to be purpose-built around the system.

House nameHouse mascotHouse colourYear opened[8]
Mansfield'Dog' from Footrot FlatsPurple1984
Te KanawaTaniwhaDark Blue1987
BattenBuzzy BeePlatinum1998
SnellBlack pantherBlack2001
UphamLionLight Blue2003

The original houses were Kupe, Hillary, Te Kanawa and Rutherford, although Hillary was rebuilt and reopened on 29 October 1992 after it burnt down on 13 October 1991.[3] Mansfield House was hastily opened in 1984 due to a surge in the school's roll, however the building itself was used earlier as temporary classrooms, having been airlifted via helicopter as prefabricated units.[10]More houses have been added as the roll has increased, with the latest addition being Upham, which was opened in 2003. The school currently has a roll of over 2,500 students.

The school is currently in the process of rebuilding all of its previous buildings due to leaks found and poor original construction. The school is in consideration with the Ministry of Education about all of these rebuilds. The Batten, Snell, Rutherford, Kupe, Upham, Te Kanawa and Hillary Houses, along with staffroom, resource room and student advisory have all been completed, with Mansfield House and the technology and sciences blocks currently under renovation.[11] Through this process, classes has often been relocated to 'X Block', a set of temporary prefabricated units that are parked on a tennis court.[12]

The school has also recently added an astroturf for sports such as co-curricular football and rugby next to the pre-existing tennis courts located across the school fields. Changing rooms, and other facilities have been built around these areas.


The school uniform has undergone many changes since its founding. Currently, junior and senior students are distinguished by the pale blue shirts worn by juniors, and the navy and white striped shirts worn by senior students. Navy shorts and trousers are worn by boys, with navy skirts (ankle length for senior girls in the winter, and knee length for all girls in the summer) and Maclean tartan kilts worn by girls (the tartan skirts are only worn by junior girls in the winter terms).

Shoes include brown Roman sandals in summer and black lace-up shoes in winter (but can also be worn in summer). The school jersey is blue and v-necked with the school emblem on the left-hand side. Badges are sewn onto these jumpers when received by a student for representing the school in a premier team, such as in sports, drama, debating or music. School jackets, scarves, hats and schoolbags are also available, but not compulsory. For formal events, a blue striped blazer is worn with a school tie and long skirts or trousers. Senior students have the option to mix summer and winter uniforms throughout the year (apart from sandals only being worn in the summer and only with shorts or short skirts), whilst junior students must adhere to the assigned summer and winter uniforms.

The physical education uniform consists of blue shorts with the Macleans logo on the left leg, and a short-sleeved polo shirt in a student's house colour. For Year 13 students whom choose to take up PE, there is the option to use a short-sleeved sports shirt in the school colours (Navy Blue and Red Stripes) and have a small schools logo displayed in on the right side of the chest.

Setting and buildings

Macleans College is located in Macleans Park, the largest passive reserve in the Howick/Pakuranga district.[13] Due to its sloping terrain, the school has wide views of the adjacent Eastern Beach.

Each Whanau House has a one-storey building (with the exception of Batten, which has two due to being on a slope). This is due to a ban of buildings of over one storey in the whole Bucklands Beach-Eastern Beach area due to the scenery. Each house contains around 5 classrooms and 1 science lab and sometimes a computer lab, and often several associated prefabs (Kupe, Mansfield, Te Kanawa, Batten). Each Whanau House building also has a large central indoor commons area, which, along with being a general purpose socialising space, is used for house assemblies, lunch eating, and various co-curricular activities. Hillary, Kupe, Rutherford and Te Kanawa were built to a common design plan, known as the Whanau plan or S80 plan. Classroom blocks nearly identical to these were also built at Penrose High School and at Mountainview High School in Timaru. However these buildings have since been rebuilt according to new plan allowing for less classrooms and larger open commons spaces.

The school also contains specialised non-house associated Science and Technology, Computing, Graphics, Art, Music, and Engineering buildings, along with the large Barbara Kendall gymnasiums and a smaller Colin Prentice auditorium for productions and performance.



At the May 2014 Education Review Office (ERO) review of the school, Macleans College had 2271 students, not including 304 international students. Fifty-three percent of students were male and 47 percent were female. The school had an Asian majority with 54 percent of students identifying as such, including 31 percent as Chinese and 11 percent as Indian. Forty percent of students identified as European, including 27 percent as New Zealand European (Pākehā). Māori made up three percent and Pacific Islanders make up one percent of the roll.[14]

Macleans College has a socio-economic decile of 9 (step Q), meaning it draws its school community from areas of low to moderately-low socioeconomic disadvantage when compared to other New Zealand schools. This changed from decile 10 (funding step Z) at the beginning of 2015, as part of the nationwide review of deciles following the 2013 census.[2]

International students

The colleges main foreign student demographic is Chinese in ethnicity, though other student form Germany, Hungry, Brazil, Japan, Nepal etc are also present. Each student can be expected to pay NZ$14,000 per year (not including pay for accommodation, which is usually homestays with current students), though this is dependent of the students place of origin which might be partly or fully subsidises eg Brazil's govment offers a fully subsidises program & The Himalayan Trust worked closely with Hillary House (one of eight houses of which the school is made up from) to offer a cross exchange of student between said House and the Himalaya Secondary School. The International students body are also very important to the school as they contribute a significant part of the school's income.[15]


In 2013, 97.6 percent of students leaving Macleans College held at least NCEA Level 1 or IGCSE, 95.5 percent held at least NCEA Level 2 or AS, and 86.2 percent held at least University Entrance standard. This is compared to 85.2%, 74.2%, and 49.0% respectively for all students nationally.[16]

Extra-curricular activities

The school's unofficial extra-curricular guide for students, although not extensive and slightly outdated, includes 32 sporting codes, 13 academic activities, 7 drama activities, 14 musical activities, 22 cultural activities and 24 clubs as part of the larger 'Intercultural Club'.[17] Each student is required to participate in at least one long term extra-curricular activity per year.[18] An official student publication "The Collegian" launched in 2018.[19]


Instrumental groups

Macleans has one of the strongest instrumental music programmes in the region. In the annual KBB Music Festival which is held for secondary schools in the greater Auckland district, the Symphony Orchestra has been ranked the number one secondary school orchestra for the years of 2008 to 2012 inclusive, and 2014. The Concert Band has been ranked number one for the years of 2009 to 2013 inclusive, while the Chamber Orchestra was ranked number one for the years of 2010 and 2011. In 2015 the Concert Band won the most outstanding award while the Macleans Symphony Orchestra achieved gold in the annual KBB music festival.[20][21][22][23][24][25]

Singing groups

The choir has qualified on a national level, gaining a silver in 2010 and 2011 and a gold in 2012 at the Big Sing National Finale.[26][27][28] In 2011, the barbershop quartet gained second place nationwide while the girls' chorus placed fourth.[29] In 2012, the barbershop quartet were placed first, winning the national title.[30]

Musical theatre

Macleans College also has an annual musical production performance, performing famous pieces such as Les Misérables (2013), The Mikado (2014), Into the Woods (2015), 'The Addams Family' (2016), 'CATS' (2017), and 'Miss Saigon' (2018).


The college has an extensive sports co-curricular programme including sports such as kickboxing, basketball, volleyball, netball, hockey, tennis, badminton, football, cycling, swimming, aerobics, golf, rugby, rowing, sailing, waterpolo, fencing, squash, orienteering, and others.

Notable alumni

  • Andrew de Boorder – cricketer, Auckland
  • Derek de Boorder – cricketer, Auckland[31]
  • Scott Campbell – baseball, Minor league, Arizona Diamondbacks[32]
  • Jarek Goebel – rugby, Auckland Blues[33]
  • Kirsten Hellier – javelin, 1992 Olympics, 1990 and 1994 Commonwealth Games[34]
  • Barbara Kendall – windsurfing, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics; the Barbara Kendall school gymnasium is named after her[35]
  • Sean Lovemore – football, Wellington Phoenix[36]
  • Aaron McIntosh – windsurfing, 1996 and 2000 Olympics[37]
  • Corey Main – swimming, 2016 Olympics[38]
  • Kyle Mills – cricketer, New Zealand team[39]
  • Rhona Robertson – badminton, 1992 and 1996 Olympics[40]
  • Kamahl Santamaria – journalist[41]
  • Ryan Sissons – triathlete, 2012 Olympics[42]
  • Natalie Taylor – women's basketball, 2008 Olympics
  • Brooke Walker – cricketer, New Zealand team
  • Mark Weldon – swimmer, 1992 Olympics, former CEO of the New Zealand Exchange (NZX)[43]

An official Alumni Association was set up in 2016.[44]


  1. "Directory of Schools - as at 13 September 2018". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  2. 1 2 "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 "About Hillary House". Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  4. Metro Magazine (3 July 2010). "Metro names the best schools in Auckland". Scoop. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  5. "Maclean Family History". Macleans College. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  6. Cyclopedia Company Limited (1902). "The Hon. Every Maclean". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Auckland Provincial District. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand.
  7. Bentley, Byron. "Principal's Message". Macleans College. Retrieved 24 June 2018. B J Bentley MA
  8. 1 2 "General Information Booklet (English)" (PDF). Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  9. Kelly Teed (18 August 2017). "Farewell to a Macleans stalwart - Education, Local - Times". Times. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  10. "Mansfield House, Macleans College". Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  11. Wong, Zachary (9 June 2015). "Macleans May Actually Let Us Walk On Grass". Macleans Student News. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  12. "Batten House Re-Opened". 19 July 2010. Archived from the original on 8 December 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  13. "MacLeans Park". Archived from the original on 5 April 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  14. "Macleans College Education Review". Education Review Office. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  15. Macleans College International Student Fee Structure
  16. "School Qualifications -- Macleans College". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  17. "Extra-curricular Groups". Macleans College. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  18. "Extra-curricular". Macleans College. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  19. "Welcome To The Collegian". The Collegian. 2018-03-29. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  20. "Outstanding Awards at Music Competition". Macleans College. 27 August 2012. Archived from the original on 7 February 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  21. "Gold Plus Outstanding Awards - KBB Music Festival". Macleans College. 23 August 2011. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  22. "Four Gold Plus Three Outstanding Awards - KBB Music Festival". Macleans College. 30 August 2010. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  23. "Gold and Outstanding Awards at Music Festival". Macleans College. 9 August 2009. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  24. "Top Secondary School in Auckland - Macleans Orchestra Outstanding". Macleans College. 9 March 2008. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  25. "Macleans Orchestra Wins Gold at Festival". Macleans College. 27 August 2007. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  26. "The Big Sing Finale 2012 Awards" (PDF). Choirs Aotearoa NZ Trust. April 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  27. "Silver at Big Sing". Macleans College. 26 August 2011. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  28. "Silver to Choir". Macleans College. 12 August 2010. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  29. "Barbershops Perform in Wellington". Macleans College. 25 August 2011. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  30. "Barbershop National Title". Macleans College. 27 September 2012. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
  31. "Howick Pakurage Cricket Club - November Newsletter".
  32. "Scott Campbell Makes US Baseball Team". Macleans College. 9 June 2006. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  33. "30 March 2001 Newsletter" (PDF). Macleans College. 30 March 2001. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  34. "Kirsten Hellier: Top New Zealand Coach". Macleans College. 10 February 2009. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  35. "Barbara Kendall Opens Macleans College Gymnasium". Archived from the original on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  36. "Football Opportunity". Macleans College. 9 February 2009. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  37. "Athlete Profile - Aaron McIntosh". New Zealand Olympic Museum. Retrieved 24 June 2018. McIntosh, a product of Macleans College, Auckland
  38. "Corey Main | New Zealand Olympic Team". Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  39. "Kyle Mills at Rugby". Macleans College. 27 June 2011. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  40. Maddaford, Terry (28 August 2002). "Badminton: Veteran retiring to the warmth". The New Zealand Herald. NZME. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  41. "Pupils Prize Performance". Macleans College. November 1994. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  42. "Dream Come True". Macleans College. 11 June 2012. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  43. "Mark Weldon Guest Speaker at Macleans Senior Prizegiving". Macleans College. 4 November 2005. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  44. "Alumni". Retrieved 24 June 2018.
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