Nelson College

Nelson College is an innovative boys’ school founded in 1856. The college takes pride in being New Zealand’s oldest state school with a rich heritage of tradition forming a backdrop to modern educational practice. Nelson College celebrated its 150th Jubilee in April 2006.

Former students include such eminent New Zealanders as Nobel Laureate Lord Ernest Rutherford and New Zealand Prime Ministers Sir Wallace Rowling and Sir Geoffrey Palmer . And the leaders in education, business, academia, science, the church, performing arts and the military service.

Nelson College is situated in a picturesque setting, with excellent facilities for learning, sport, leisure and performing arts. Twenty two hectares of impressive grounds include playing fields, a pool, two gymnasiums, tennis and fives courts as well as a traditional hall and modern performing arts suite.

Nelson College has high expectations of its students in their academic, co-curricular and personal development. We pride ourselves on providing many and varied opportunities for young men that will give them a bright future and allow them to take their place in the world.

Why Study at Nelson College?

  • The college has a long history and students and staff are proud of its traditions. Its vision is to equip students with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and values that they need to fulfil their potential as citizens in the 21st century. High priority is given to a sense of belonging among students.
  • Teachers effectively engage students in learning. Interactions are respectful, friendly and cooperative. Positive relationships are evident between teachers and learners. Staff demonstrate a strong commitment to professional learning and development.
  • The college’s curriculum is driven by the board’s outcome-focussed strategic goals: academic excellence; personal development; and a sense of belonging. Senior leaders have developed a curriculum that effectively meets the changing and increasingly diverse needs of individuals and groups of students at the college.
  • School-wide career education and guidance is cohesive, sequential and effectively co-ordinated.
  • Located in beautiful Nelson City (sunshine capital of New Zealand), with its mountains, rivers and beaches close to Abel Tasman and other National Parks, a regional centre that boosts and supports a vibrant arts community, Nelson is an important airline hub, and is the fourth busiest airport in New Zealand.