‘Fear God, Honour the King’ (Motto 1888)

Current Motto

‘Whaia Te Iti Kahurangi’ - 'Reaching for the Sky’

'Our goal is to help you reach your goals'

In the Beginning

Researched by Joanne Gardner (2020)

In 1886 Walter McCaul, a farmer in New Lynn and 17 other settlers organised a petition for a local school for their 61 children, which they presented to the Auckland Education Board. Children had to go to either Avondale or Henderson Hill Schools, which were long distances to travel. Finally in 1888, consent was given and New Lynn School was built on Great North Road on land close to where Kelston Girls now stands. The school had two teachers and cost £185 to build. The first teacher was Thomas Chapman who was paid £80 a year.


With the growth of the clay works and tannery in New Lynn, there was a growth in the population, which meant overcrowding in the two-room school in Kelston. In October 1910 there was an application to have another larger school constructed, which would be nearer to the railway station to cater for the growing number of pupils.

In 1913 the building of a new school on land on the corner of Hutchinson and Margan Avenues began. In 1914 the new school opened with 164 children, four teachers and Howard Ellis as Headmaster. The original schoolhouse in Kelston was put on rollers and moved to Glenview Road, opposite Waikumete Cemetery and became the first school in Glen Eden.


In September 1948, Headmaster Fred Breach, aware that New Lynn’s large grounds meant that many children did not hear the bell to come from break times, asked that “The Navel Department in Britain be written to asking for a bell from a dismantles warship…” This was done and eventually two years later the bell of H.M.S ‘Mameluke’ was installed. ‘Mameluke’ was a fast one thousand ton minesweeper launched in Toronto, Canada, on 19 July 1944 and as part of the third mine sweeping flotilla out of Liverpool and Scapa Flow she swept German mines from April 1945 until four years after the war in 1949. H.M.S ‘Mameluke’ was broken up at Stoketon-on-Tees on 10 May 1950 and her bell sent to New Lynn School.

The ships badge of the H.M.S. ‘Mameluke’

Researched by: Walter Swift Year 6 Student

In 1885 Walter McCaul went to the Education Board (now Ministry of Education) to ask for a school in New Lynn. There were 61 children who needed a school close to where they lived. In 1888 New Lynn School was built and opened on the land where Kelston Girls’ High School is now. It cost £185 (approximately $400) to build.

The first teacher was Mr Chapman who was paid £85 (approx $200) per year. Later in 1888 Miss Duncan came to teach as the school was becoming overcrowded. The school kept growing and growing so an even bigger school was built in 1914. In 1897 The Education Board chose New Lynn School as the Model Country School. The Headmaster and Teachers must have been so proud. In 1910 the community asked for the school to be located in a more central position as they thought “Kelston was too far away and too dangerous!” In 1914 the Education Board (MoE) agreed and moved New Lynn School to where it is today.

Our 1914 New Lynn School Opening

1916-1918 1919-1939

For a long time New Lynn was the only local school. Then came Arahoe (1958), Kelston and Fruitvale (1963) which relieved the pressure off New Lynn School.

In the early days some children came to school by horse. The horses patiently grazed away the school hours in the school paddock next to the Headmaster’s house. Some games that were played at school included: marbles, corner tag and puss in the corner. Back then classrooms were cleaned with a mop and broom. In 1938 W.D Taylor proposed that the Education Board put an electric power point in every building (not every classroom). Soon after this a vacuum cleaner was purchased and used to clean up the messes. This was very special and modern back in 1938.

Finding the preserving jar with records of New Lynn School 1914

Maker of the Peace Proclamation, Headmaster Mr Howard Ellis. November 1918.

In 1975 the old brick schoolroom at New Lynn School had to be demolished. When they cleared away the building’s rubble an interesting jar was found, which had been buried when the building was made in 1914. A preserving jar with records of the day was cemented in the foundation stone by the front steps. It had a copy of the first New Zealand Herald newspaper inside of it.

Today, New Lynn School is quite different. There is more than one power point in each classroom. Our present school Principal, Mr Roebuck, does not live on the school grounds. No one rides their horse to school. Sliding down muddy banks is not really allowed and there is no free hot chocolate. The school roll is approximately 305 students and it is growing. New Lynn School is one of the VERY GOOD establishments in New Lynn, Auckland.