Our History

William Colenso College was established in 2004 as the result of a voluntary merger between Wycliffe Intermediate School and Colenso High School.

Who is William Colenso?

In the main foyer of our school you might have noticed a painting of a man with a stern face, long white hair and a rather bushy grey beard.   This is the man Colenso High School was named after.  Why name a high school after a man who has passed away a long time ago?  What did he do that was so special?

William Colenso was a very important person in the early days of the Hawkes Bay area.  He was a printer, missionary, explorer, teacher, botanist, translator, politician and farmer.

The naming of the new school (William Colenso College) came from consultation with community, staff, student and parent/caregiver feedback.

With the two schools merging it changed the intake of the school from a Year 9 level to Year 7.  Since the merger we have found this to be a positive influence to our school community and families.

The College continues to grow with many changes in the last few years to buildings, uniform and teaching practices.

We were very proud to be awarded the Prime Minister’s Education Award for Excellence in Leading in 2017.  We were also finalists for Teaching & Learning and Governance.