Our Houses

Our school Houses have been an important part of our tradition for close to 60 years. The aim of a House system is to foster school pride and the engagement of students so that they form a greater connection with the school through competing against and supporting each other.


House Competition Format

A House system also acknowledges the importance of the history and traditions of the Houses. We have a number of activities that students are involved in that are House competitions.

Up until 2011 there was no overall winning House. This meant that those existing individual events tended to lose focus/importance as House competitions. In 2012 we started to collate points for each event and crown an overall House champion. This has led to an increase in House spirit and has added more value to the individual events. The number of events has also grown over the last few years.

The points system is designed to reflect the different nature of each House event and allow for new events to be easily added as the years go by. Our House competitions fall into three different categories in terms of how many points they are worth in the overall competition.

Category 1 - Full school events (must involve a large group of students – 100 plus)

Examples = Swimming Sports, Athletics Sports, Cross Country, Haka and Waiata

Category 2 - Smaller events open to the whole school (but participation is below 100 students)

Examples = Triathlon, Lyp-Synch, Talent Quest, Divas & Divos

Category 3 - Additional events that we want to include in the House system

Examples = Blood donation



Past glory: Athletics champions: 1981, 1984, 1987 and 1992

Swimming champions: 1990, 2004, 2012

Cross Country: 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1979 and 1982


The history of Gledstanes House

The name Gledstanes has been associated with Katikati since early 1879 when Mary Gledstanes, a widow with an adult family of sons and daughters, arrived in the district. Mary was a sister of George Vesey Stewart, the founder of Katikati, and Mary built and owned Twickenham. Mary’s son Edward was Secretary of No 2 School on no less than three occasions between 1887 and 1931, serving a total of 28 years on the board. Edward farmed at a property that he named Levley, now Levley Lane.

Edward later owned a farmlet of 10 –12 acres where the College now stands. He died in 1945 during negotiations to sell the land to the Education Board .The sale eventually took place some years later. Edward’s house was opposite the Primary school gates.

Daughter Helen lived with her father and was for many years a teacher at the Primary school.

Edward’s eldest daughter Mary became a teacher and from 1906-1909 was sole teacher at No 1 School, Tuapiro.

Mary later married Hugh Atkinson and for many years they too lived at Twickenham.

Their daughter Margaret [Meg] married Hilton Rayment who built the Memorial Hall and some of the school buildings as well as the R.S.A. and many other buildings in Katikati.



Past glory: Athletics champions: 1983, 1985, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010

Swimming champions: 1999, 2005

Cross Country: 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009


The history of Macmillan House

Macmillan House is named after the Macmillan family. Donald was born in the western Highlands of Scotland in 1833 to an Episcopalian minister Rev John Macmillan and his wife Maryann Kennedy.

During the 1860s he was in St. Croix in the West Indies managing a Sugar plantation for relatives from Northern Ireland when he met and married his second wife Maria Elise Barca of Danish, German and Italian extract.

An insurrection caused by a Negro uprising swept the island in 1878 and the family escaped with only the clothes on their backs, travelling back to England.

By this time George Vesey Stewart was seeking settlers for Te Puke so the family joined the “May Queen” and arrived in Tauranga in December 1881.

Donald did not approve of his allocated land in Te Puke so he purchased Castle Grace at Kauri Point from Fitzgibbon Louch and there the family lived till Donald’s death in 1896.

Donald’s life in Katikati complemented George Vesey Stewart’s life and between them they were on nearly every board in the district and were a voice to be reckoned with. All the early School and Roads Board records are in Donald’s handwriting and many times he is both Chairman and Secretary of the number 1 and 2 schools.

By the 1900’s Donald and Maria’s son Charles was involving himself in local politics and with Mervyn James Stewart, (son of Hugh and Adela Stewart), he became involved with the commencement of the first butter factory that opened in Katikati in 1902.

In 1908 Charles, his wife Ethel (nee Latham) and family moved to Tauranga where Charles became a director and secretary of the Tauranga Co-Operative dairy company.

Charles was a Tauranga Borough Councillor for 12 years and Mayor of Tauranga from 1915-1917. In 1923 Charles was elected to Parliament and in the 1930s became Minister of Agriculture and Mines. It was Charles who was responsible for setting aside a large area of the hills behind Katikati that has since become part of the Athenree State Forest. At the time of his death in 1941 Charles was deputy Mayor of Tauranga. Charles is still the only person, who during his life-time was both Mayor of Tauranga and Member of Parliament for the district.



Past glory: Athletics champions: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2011 and 2012

Swimming champions: 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2006-2011

Cross Country: 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1990, 1993, 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2011


The history of Mulgan House

Mulgan House is named after the Rev Mulgan and the contribution the Mulgan family made to the Katikati district. Rev. Mulgan, his wife Arabella and family, arrived with the first party of settlers on the Carisbrooke Castle in 1875, and he was nominated to the first school board in 1876.

Their son Edward Ker Mulgan married Frances Johnston the daughter of Canon and Frances Johnston of Hillside. Edward became a teacher and was head teacher at No 2 School (Central) Katikati from 1888 to 1890, then the family moved to Auckland.

Edward enrolled at Auckland University and graduated BA in 1894 and MA in 1896.

In 1896 he was appointed Inspector of Schools for the Auckland Education Board and later attained one of the highest posts in the New Zealand Education Service.

Edward and Frances’ son Alan, (who was born on the farm in Katikati,) entered journalism as a cadet for the Auckland Star in 1900. Alan married Marguerita Blomfield, one of the first women to gain a Master’s degree at Auckland University College.

Alan was a lecturer in journalism at Auckland University and in 1935 he joined the Broadcasting Service. In 1947 he was awarded the O.B.E. At the age of 77 Alan published his autobiography ‘The Making of a New Zealander’ and one chapter contains his memories of life in early Katikati. It is a wonderful personal story relating to many of the family members who were attending his grandparents golden wedding anniversary at Hillside in Katikati in 1931.

Alan also wrote at least another twelve books.



Past glory: Athletics champions: 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1997 and 1998

Swimming champions: 1992, 1997, 1998 and 2002

Cross Country: 1971, 1974, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, and 1996-1998


The history of Stewart House

Stewart House is named after George Vesey Stewart. He was the founder of both the Katikati and Te Puke settlements. He was the first Chairperson of the Katikati Highway Board and Katikati School Board and, among his many other achievements, he was elected the first Mayor of Tauranga in 1882.

Vesey Stewart, the name by which he was known locally, was born in England in 1832.

His parents were Captain Mervyn and Frances Stewart nee Vesey from Martray, County Tyrone, Ulster, Northern Ireland.

Vesey Stewart was a visionary who tried many ideas, some with great success, others with failure. His thoughts were always to the future and that is why he arrived in New Zealand in 1874 looking for suitable land to start his own settlement, his “Ulster Plantation”, away from religious problems and greedy landlords.

In late April Vesey arrived in Tauranga and was very impressed with the area.

The Survey Office put at his disposal a young man named Sam Middlebrook and together they rode towards the northern end of the harbour, through trackless hills, swamps and rivers. They eventually reached Aongatete and Vesey could see the harbour stretched out before him and decided that perhaps his search was nearly over, being satisfied that his conditions had been met.

On June 8th 1875 the “Carisbrooke Castle” left Belfast with 238 settlers, including his wife Margaret and their nine children aged between 2 and 19, all bound for Katikati.

For the next 45 years Vesey Stewart made his mark not only in the Bay of Plenty but right throughout New Zealand. He returned to England many times to recruit more settlers to the country. It is believed he enticed over 4,000 people to settle in New Zealand.

He died on the 3rd March 1920, the day of the annual Katikati A and P Show, and is buried in the Katikati Cemetery with his second wife Alice.