Wednesday, August 11, 2010

School Records

NZ School unknown
Since we do not have census data available in New Zealand, school rolls are a valuable source of material for locating families. Children started school on the day they turned 5yrs, with this date you can calculate their dates of births.

Photos like the one displayed here are rarely annotated with the names, but it does happen occasionally. These photos are sometimes found in school history books or local museums.

National Archives is the repository for school rolls. I looked at the Auckland Provincial School Inspector reports. The Schools have been listed in blue folders on the shelves in the reading room and I ordered YCAF 4135/25a, 1879-1900, (there are other years).

The register which arrived on the desk had the school reports bound (reasonable to delicate condition), with the schools listed alphabetically. Here is an example from Karangahake School which in December 1890 had 43 pupils.

The heads of schools often kept the rolls at home and some may still be found today amongst personal effects after deaths but ownership of them belongs to the Education Dept. So if you know of any, please contact Archives New Zealand.

The New Zealand Society of Genealogists indexing volunteers have been busy over the years compiling these rolls.


  1. I have been looking for records of a school that was opened in 1894 in Tauranga. At that time it was named Karikari Native School. It was situated at the old Tamapahore Marae site at Karikari point at the back of Mangatawa Hills in Tauranga. In 1943 it was moved to its current site in Welcomebay and was re named Papamoa Maori School. In 1968 it was re named again to Otepou. I am wanting to know how many children were enrolled at the begining and how many today. If anyone can find a yearly record or some archives then this would be great, kia ora.
    Na Kim

  2. Have you asked at Auckland National Archives because they are likely to have what you are looking for, though not all school records have survived.
    Good luck.