Is your school New Zealand’s oldest?

Issue: Volume 97, Number 22

Posted: 6 December 2018
Reference #: 1H9pXk

Wakefield School in Nelson, believes it is the oldest continuously operating school in the country.

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In 1843, a pioneer in the district, Mary Ann Baigent, set up the first classroom in her own home, close by the current school site, as there was no school in the area for children at the time.

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Mary Ann Baigent

Classes were held for three months in a room in the house, until the growing numbers of students forced a move to another building. There has been a school in varying forms on the site since then.

Principal Peter Verstappen says if there is another community that believes its school has been operating for longer, he would welcome contact from them.

His email is

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BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 2:19 pm, 6 December 2018

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