Villa Maria College

New Zealand

History The Sisters of Mercy purchased the property on which the College is now situated in 1917. The school was opened on 18 February 1918 with 14 pupils enrolled. Villa Maria began serving the district as a parish school when boys were admitted in 1921. When another Catholic school (St Teresa's) opened later nearby, boys were transferred from Villa and from 1941 the school reverted to being a college for girls. The school continued to grow due to housing developments in the area and additional building was undertaken to keep pace with the growth. This included accommodation for boarders which was maintained until a decision by the Sisters saw the boarding school phased out from 1979 and Villa Maria reverting to a day school. In 1981 the College was integrated into the New Zealand state school system.

In 1992 the last Sister of Mercy Principal resigned and the first lay Principal was appointed. In 1995 the Sisters gifted the Villa Maria convent buildings to the College for use as classrooms. Mission Empowering each young woman to determine her potential, live Gospel values, confidently embrace life-long learning and as a Mercy woman be inspired to make a difference.