Hamilton Boys' High School

Hamilton Boys' High School
Peachgrove Road
Hamilton East
Hamilton 3216
New Zealand
Coordinates 37°47′12″S 175°17′47″E / 37.7868°S 175.2964°E / -37.7868; 175.2964Coordinates: 37°47′12″S 175°17′47″E / 37.7868°S 175.2964°E / -37.7868; 175.2964
Type State single-sex boys, Secondary (Year 9-13) with Boarding Facilities
Motto Sapiens fortunam fingit sibi (A wise man carves his own fortune)
Established 1955
Ministry of Education Institution no. 131
Headmaster Susan Hassall
School roll 2197[1]
Socio-economic decile 7O[2]

Hamilton Boys' High School is a boys' secondary school in Hamilton, New Zealand and is the largest secondary school in the Waikato region. The school was established as Hamilton High School in 1911 but was later split into separate boys' and girls' schools Hamilton Girls' High School, with the current school opened in February 1955.[3] The school crest features a lion, sash and star, and bears the motto "Sapiens Fortunam Fingit Sibi" which translates to "a wise man carves his own fortune". The school colours are black and red.

Most of the school's approximately 2300 students are day boys from Hamilton and surrounding townships such as Cambridge, Te Awamutu, and Morrinsville. Around 130 boys are housed in an onsite boarding hostel, Argyle House, which forms one of the six houses into which the school is divided. The boarding house is located on the school grounds, but is essentially a private institution, with students paying approximately $12,000 per year to attend[4]

In 1999 the school appointed Susan Hassall to head the school. In doing so the school became one of the first boys' schools in New Zealand to appoint a female headmaster.[5]


The school offers both the state run NCEA and external Cambridge International Examinations for students to undertake.[6]


In 2009 the school won the national secondary rugby championship school for the second year in a row defeating St Bede's College in the final 17-0 and went on to win the 2010 Sanix World Rugby Youth Invitational Tournament, beating Truro College 40-8.[7]

Hamilton Boys' High School competes as part of the Super Eight group of boys' high schools from eight provincial cities in the central North Island of New Zealand. Their 1st XV Rugby team has won the Super Eight Rugby 1st XV competition twelve times, as of 2019.[8]


Hamilton Boys' High School currently has six houses. All of the day boy houses (all houses except Argyle House) are named after former headmasters of the school.

  • Tait - Red
  • Taylor - Green
  • Wilson - Blue
  • Steel - Grey
  • Baigent - Yellow
  • Argyle - Black

After every House competition, the new scores will be added to the previous scores. The House with the highest number of points at the end of the year gets to have its House name on the yearly House win list. No House has won in a row more than twice.


Like all previously selective state schools, Hamilton Boys' High School operates an enrolment scheme.

Enrolment was traditionally by academic examination followed by an interview. Alternatively a student might be enrolled if he had a family connection to the school. The school still examines new students but only for the purposes of streaming students.

Notable alumni

As well as a number of All Blacks and All Whites, the following people are Old Boys of Hamilton Boys' High School:

The Arts

Public Service




  • Eben Wilson MA 1911 - 1937
  • Harold Tait MA, OBE 1938 - 1957
  • Aubrey Baigent MA, BCom 1958 - 1969
  • Richard Taylor BA, BSc 1970 - 1979
  • Tony Steel MA (hons) 1980 - 1989
  • James Bennett DipEd, MNZM, JP 1990 - 1999
  • Susan Hassall MA (hons), DipTchg 1999 -

See also


  1. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Hamilton Boys' High School - History". hbhs.school.nz. 2008. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Hamilton Boys' High School - Boarding House". Hamilton Boys' High School. Hamilton Boys' High School. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Boys' schools flexing their ABS". Subtext: The newsletter of the Education Forum. May 2004.
  6. ^ "Hamilton Boys' High School - Academic - Qualifications". Hamilton Boys' High School. Hamilton Boys' High School. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  7. ^ http://sanix-sports.info/rugby/english/diary.cgi?field=2
  8. ^ "HBHS 1st XV wins Super 8 Title". Hamilton Boys' High School. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Going for a song". Waikato Times. Fairfax New Zealand. Archived from the original on 28 October 2011.
  10. ^ http://www.hbhs.school.nz/Old-Boys/List/1?filtername=Stan+Walker&decade=&year=&filterenrolled=&filteryear=&sortorder=ASC in the official website
  11. ^ http://www.hbhs.school.nz/Old-Boys/List/1?filtername=warren+gatland&decade=&year=&filterenrolled=&filteryear=&sortorder=ASC in the official website
  12. ^ Gray, Wynne (2 May 2014). "100 Greatest All Blacks: Ron Hemi". The New Zealand Herald.

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