St Mary's College Wellington

New Zealand


History of St Mary's College Wellington The present College is on the site of St Mary’s School for Girls, opened and blessed by Bishop Viard in 1850. It was built on land which was the gift of the Honourable Henry Petre. The early school was attended by children of all denominations and when boarding accommodation was added, in 1852, students came from as far away as Otago. In 1861 the Sisters of Mercy from Auckland took over the school and some years later Sisters from Melbourne, England and Ireland augmented the staff. A new school, with accommodation for boarders, was erected in 1878 in order to meet the requirements of a growing population. For fifty years this school was the centre of education in Wellington. St Mary’s Convent School was registered as a College in 1926 and in 1931 the red brick building was opened and blessed by Archbishop Redwood. The College was placed on the first list of schools empowered to accredit entrants to the University of New Zealand. In 1977 the Administration Block was blessed and opened, followed by the McAuley Block in 1979. On 2 March 1983 the college was integrated into the State education system. The demolition of the classrooms of the old brick building was carried out between December 1983 and February 1984, and the second teaching block, Carlow, came into use in February 1984. Cardinal Williams officially blessing it on 2 December of that year. In 1995 the first lay Principal was appointed, with the Sisters of Mercy remaining as the Proprietors of the College. In 1998 further building development took place. The Teresa Walsh Technology Block, a weights room addition to the gymnasium and a senior physics laboratory were blessed and opened by Bishop John Dew. These facilities enhanced the existing ones, to ensure that all aspects of the curriculum can be taught in an excellent working environment.


To provide an excellent Catholic education for young women.


The school motto, "Misericordia et Sapientia" (Mercy and Wisdom) expresses the commitment of the school community to the vision of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, whose charism incorporates faith, hope and charity and the core Mercy values of: • Te Tapu o Te Tangata: Respect for human dignity • Aroha: Compassion • Tika: Justice • Awhinatanga: Service