|St Pauls College, Auckland|
|183 Richmond Road,
|Type||Integrated Catholic Boys Secondary (Year 7-13)|
|Motto||Confortare Esto Vir — take courage , be strong|
|Established||1955; 61 years ago (original school founded in 1903)|
|Ministry of Education Institution no.||51|
|School roll||218 (July 2016)|
St Paul's College is a Catholic secondary for year 7 to 13 boys owned by the Marist Brothers and located in the central Auckland suburb of Ponsonby on a spacious 7.3 hectare campus. The Marist Brothers first opened a school on the site (Sacred Heart College) in 1903. St Paul's College (named after the apostle Paul) commenced operations in 1955 and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015.
The college, which became a State-integrated school in 1982, makes full use of its extensive grounds in sporting and other activities. The school offers the standard intermediate and secondary school curriculum leading, for the senior year levels, to the National Certificate of Educational Achievement assessment system (NCEA). The school has good pass rates in NCEA. The college excels in sport, especially Rugby football and in Polynesian and other cultural activities, notably in the annual Polyfest competitions. The Marist Brothers, the proprietors of the school, maintain a small community of non-teaching brothers on the campus to encourage the continuation of the Marist charism.
The Marist Brothers arrived in Auckland in 1885 and began operations on the site of previous schools in Pitt St in central Auckland. In the 1890s they began teaching secondary classes there but it became evident that the Pitt St site was too small and noisy. By 1900 negotiations were underway with Bishop Lenihan who arranged for the brothers to lease part of a block of land of 48 acres (10 hectares) near Cox’s Creek in Ponsonby. This land had been gifted to the Diocese of Auckland in 1851 by Hugh Coolahan, an Auckland Catholic businessman. He had come from Ireland and had prospered during the early days of Auckland’s commercial development. He had been a member of the building committee for St Patrick’s Church (later the cathedral)  and was a founding member of the board of St Peter’s School in Pitt St. The Marist Brothers leased 7.3 hectares of the land at £30 a year for a 42-year term.
The school, Sacred Heart College, was opened on 21 June 1903. The first building was a large three storied building with a prominent encompassing verandas. It was built from brick resting on concrete foundations. The bricks were coated in white plaster which later became grey with age. This building was a prominent landmark and became the main school building of St Paul’s College until it was demolished in 1980.
The site required much development. A gully ran through the middle of the property and the land was very unevenly contoured. Some of the land was farmed by the college. Over time the land was leveled, grassed and drained and other buildings were gradually built. In 1955 the complete campus and buildings was taken over by St Paul’s. But by the 21st century, the only Sacred Heart College structures left at St Pauls were a classroom, the old infirmary and a statue of the Sacred Heart.
It was only on 4 September 1946 that the Marist Brothers had acquired the freehold of the St Paul’s College Richmond Rd site. On 14 June 1946 the site was vested in the New Zealand Marist Brothers' Trust Board and there was a small ceremony and Bishop Liston was thanked by the Marist Brothers. One brother later observed, perhaps sardonically, that the Marist Brothers had been paying for the land for over forty years and had effected great improvements.
The school operated as St Paul's College after Queen's Birthday 1955 (from Tuesday 7 June) under the same motto "Confortare esto vir". The same traditions were faithfully upheld as they had been for the previous 50 years. Many sons of old boys preferred to attend St Paul's in the following years, both because it was more central and because their fathers had attended school there. The school maintained a substantial roll into the 1970s. On 8 August 1982, when the school was integrated it had a roll of 330 (280 in the secondary section and 50 in the middle or intermediate school), but this was increased in 1998 to a maximum roll of 400. However, with the establishment of other secondary schools in the school's traditional catchment, enrolment numbers declined. Many of the families associated with the school moved out of the local area as the socio-economic character of suburbs adjacent to the school changed although many still sent their sons to St Paul's by bus, mostly from South Auckland. The school is attempting to attract the sons of the new local demographic as well as the college's traditional supporters. In 2015 a 1700 square metre slice of unused school land was sold to fund new class rooms, an administration block and a new middle school due to open in February 2017. The middle school block is expected to enable St Paul's to increase its roll from 280 to 400 students. Afterwards $25m is to be spent to redevelop the secondary school so that the total school roll would be 1000 by 2025. The school hopes, particularly, to enrol more local students from the nearby suburbs of Grey Lynn and Westmere by "exhorting students" to "exam success" and "altruistic action." The Headmaster of St Paul's appointed in 2016, Mr Kieran Fouhy, has said that St Paul's is a huge job in transforming culture. He is trying to incorporate students' families in the life of the college and to encourage a spirit of independence and personal responsibility in the boys.
The names and colours of the St Paul's College Houses are: