Timeline of Schools at View Road

Waiuku History

The name Waiuku comes from a story about two prominent brothers, Tamakae and Tamakou, who competed for the hand of a beautiful high-ranking Waikato chieftainess. Tamakae was a provider for those around him and was good with his hands while Tamakou was a very skilled public speaker and storyteller. Tamakou met her first, but the chieftainess asked to meet Tamakae. He was working in the kumara gardens and needed to clean himself up. He washed in the wai (water) and uku (a particular type of mud/clay) at the stream that flows into the Manukau Harbour, before he was able to meet her. Tamakae won her heart and married her. From then the place was named Waiuku. 

Waiuku was the site of an important portage called Te Pai o Kaiwaka, between the Manukau Harbour and the Waikato River (via the Awaroa Creek), avoiding the dangerous sandbar at the Manukau Heads. 

Our local iwi and mana whenua are Ngaati Te Ata, a Waiohua iwi formed by the marriage of Te Atairehia of Te Waiohua, and Tapaue, a Tainui warrior, who settled in the Waiuku area in approximately the 1700s. 

'Ka whiti te ra ki tua o rehua ka ara a Kaiwhare i te rua’

‘As long as the sun shines over the west coast Ngaati te Ata will rise from the depths of the Manukau’ 

Te Ata-i-Rehia 


Schools at View Road

Thank you Trish Holmes for compiling this history from various sources regarding the school site at View Road. If you have any additional information or wish to discuss this version or recording please contact the school office via phone, email or DM. 

The land which includes the View Road School site was of special value to several tribes due to its closeness to the portage. The land was part of about 17,480 hectares which was purchased from ten tribes by the crown in April 1854. The same land, now known as Okokeka No 1 Block, was again purchased from Ngaati Te Ata in June 1854 on whose behalf Ahipene Kaihau and others signed. Another purchase which nearly duplicated the first, under the name of Whakaupoko Block, was made in November 1854. The school site became Crown Land and the rest of the block was surveyed into the roads and sections we still use today. The land at View Road was set aside as an Educational Reserve. 


School Committee suggested the school be moved from George St into new buildings at the View Road Reserve


Local businessmen advocated the moving of the secondary school to new buildings on View Road. Education Department suggested selling the Reserve but the school committee and Board objected


Health Inspector recommended that the whole school be moved from the George St site to View Road Education Reserve. The School Committee met an Auckland Education Board officer and requested a Secondary Department be built on the View Road Reserve. In July the Education Board proposed this plan to the Education Dept.


In January, the Director of Education sought views from the Education Board on the suitability of the land. In February, the Board reported that the site was “eminently suitable", about 10 acres being needed. In May, the Director of Education suggested 5 acres would be enough but the Education Board insisted on 10 acres. In June, Mr Gillibrand, who had been leasing the 10 acres, agreed to give up his subleaseSeptember: The Minister of Education approved the idea and new leases were provided and the 10 acres for the school was marked out.


In February, the School Committee received communication from the Minister of Education stating that work would start immediately and plans were drawn. In March, the Education Board called for tenders for the buildings. In May, Mr E.J Curlett won the tender. In October, the School Committee met at the View Road site to decide how the surroundings would be developed. 150pounds was made available for the work. In November, the Franklin County Council agreed to allow its grader to do the leveling earthworks at the site. In December: The Committee were given a list of furnishings for the new school and they considered an opening ceremony. A letter was sent to the Minister of Education asking him to officiate and to suggest a date for it.


In January, the Minister had not replied to the letter asking him to officiate . The Committee arranged to have 100 invitations printed. The Committee asked the Education Board for an assurance that the school would be ready by February 4th 1941. The buildings were all completed and furnished and classes commenced on this day, although the grounds were still quite rough. All secondary students were now at View Road and the Secondary Department was separated from the remainder of the District High School which continued at the George St site.

There is no record of an official opening ceremony ever having taken place. It is thought with the way World War 2 was progressing that the ceremony was deemed of little importance and became irrelevant and was forgotten.

Opening day at View Road 

Poppies being placed on Memorial Wall at ANZAC service


The steep banks down to the estuary were planted in pine trees under supervision of the Maioro Forest Service.


The Past Pupils Association arranged to plant a row of memorial Totara trees along the road frontage of the school. 


A request was made for more classrooms due to the growing roll.


A Silver Jubilee of the Secondary Department was held and a Roll Of Honour was unveiled listing past pupils who had served in the forces. Memorial name plaques of the fallen soldiers were placed under the Totara trees. The plaques now sit on a memorial wall placed under the school’s flagpole. 


Two prefabs were added to the grounds for Form 1 and 2 students at times having over 100 children in them.                                                                                             


3 additional classrooms were added to the northern wing of the original block


Two new buildings were added to the site for manual training. Separate buildings were added close to the road frontage for woodwork and home economics.


The Manual Training Centre was opened and classes began.


The Education Department purchased land on Constable Road for a college. 


The School Board recommended to the Education Department that Waiuku District High School be translated to the new status of Waiuku College. 

At the end of the fifties there were five permanent classrooms, the library, the laboratory, and some smaller rooms used as stores and the office all in the main block; the potting shed being used as the art room, and 6 prefabs together with various toilet facilities, bike sheds, heating system and a caretakers shed on the school grounds. As well as the two buildings for the Manual Training Centre. 

Prefabs for the Form 1 & 2 pupils   

With additions completed 1951


The Education Department purchased land on Constable Road for a college. 


The School Board recommended to the Education Department that Waiuku District High School be translated to the new status of Waiuku College. 


The college began its first year at the Constable Road site.  


The School Committee suggested that rather than having two separate primary schools at the George St and View Rd sites they would try a little “Social Engineering”. The two sites would run as one school with View Road having Std 3 & 4 and forms 1 & 2. The Education Board gave its approval for this plan.


The High School did not complete its full transition to the new College site until this year.                                            

It was considered that the Manual Training Centre was the property of Waiuku College and plans were made to move the buildings to the college site on Constable Road. There were heated discussions between the Education Board and the School Committee. The Minister of Education, the Hon Mr Skoglund, visited the school while a meeting was being held. He listened to both sides and then decided that the Manual Training Centre buildings would remain at View Road.


A community pool was planned and substantial local funds were needed to do this. All schools at the time were entitled to a grant to help build school pools. It was decided that the View Road School grant would be put towards the building of a town pool. The Education Board agreed and in exchange View Road School would have extended school use of the town pool.


Considerable redecorating was done at View Road and heating installed in much of the school.


The School Committee suggested that View Road School be changed to an intermediate school. 


While approving the idea of a four year intermediate school the Education Board stated that there were no funds available for this change.


The Main block had been supplemented with three prefabs to the south and two more at the rear, giving a total of twelve classrooms.


After a public meeting the Education Board made its plans known for schooling in Waiuku. The scheme proposed  that new buildings on the View Road site would include a new administration block, a new library, an art and craft room, the conversion of the existing library to a seminar room, a new four-room block complete with extra toilets, a new boiler house, a bus bay and parking and instead of a hall there would be a general purpose room constructed of two joined relocatable classrooms. There would be changes to staffing which would include an Intermediate Grade Principal and the appointment of an art and craft teacher. 

The School Hall nearing completion 1985

The Woodwork block destroyed by fire 1990


The schools at the George St and View Rd sites had been known collectively as Waiuku Primary School. At the start of the school year it was decided to split them into two separate schools; Waiuku Junior School and View Road Senior School. On March 22 1978 the official opening of View Road Senior School took place. It was now a school of some 360 pupils, fifteen teachers and two Manual Training Centre teachers, plus teacher aides and caretaking staff.


This was deemed a troublesome year due to the refurbishment of older classrooms and building had begun on the new classrooms. The new classrooms were of the new “Variable Teaching Spaces” variety, commonly known as open plan classrooms. Seminars were held for teachers to help them learn how to organise themselves. From this has developed a system of teaching syndicates. Each syndicate is a group of teachers within one of the spaces.


The completion of the building work would continue. Renovations of the old building did not start until this year. The Art Deco towers and facade at the entrance were removed. All the buildings, renovations and ground development cost some $700,000 at the time they were done. The first Senior School magazine was produced this year. The lunch room was opened with volunteer parents providing lunches at a reasonable cost. The official opening of the new buildings took place on 20th September 1981.


The roll was 384, one in five pupils identifying as Maori. After a series of working bees by parents an adventure playground was built. A Special Education Unit building had been put on site.


Fundraising began to build a school hall


The possibility of a school uniform was put to the parents. 63% of parents were in agreement of having a uniform but the School Committee had required 70% agreement and stood firm on that decision.

Rebuilt Woodwork Block 1991 

Children playing on the quad 1991


As the school year began work had already started on building the new school hall at a cost of $307,068. The hall was opened on September 28th 1985. On December 23, arson destroyed all but one classroom of the original block. 


On January 13th a second fire, again arson, completed the destruction of the entire original block. Two glue sniffers were arrested and charged with the second fire. In these fires the school lost five classrooms, the art room, its seminar room, three store-rooms and the lunch room. The Education Dept provided temporary classrooms and a toilet block in time for the school to open in the new year. 


On June 24th the 38 year old woodwork block was the target of arson. Despite hard work from the local Fire Brigade it was a complete loss.


The new Woodwork Block was rebuilt to complement the Economics room.

The entrance way to the Administration Block 1991


After consultation with the Ministry of Education, Waiuku Junior School, our school community and the View Road Staff a decision was made for View Road to become a full primary school at the start of 1999.

In April, with input from the Education Advisory Services resources were purchased and other resources made. In June, the school focused on publicity and enrolments. A leaflet drop was done as well as large advertisements in the local newspaper. Families were invited to open days and encouraged to speak with other View Road School families for their opinions.  In October, enrolments to date are indicating a roll of 250. An additional classroom may be needed, as well as extra staff will have to be appointed.


The school year started with a roll of over 320. Extra classrooms were placed on site ( Rooms 13 & 14 ) and until they were ready classes were held in the library.

1999-present day

Other than refurbishments of rooms and some of the outside spaces, View Road has remained virtually the same physically. On site we have the administration block including a dental clinic, 3 technology classrooms and 12 classrooms. 

The Totara trees have stood tall along our road frontage for 77 years. (2023)

The memorial plaques have sat proudly on site for 74 years. (2023)

The Home Economics block is the only original building on site, having been here for 71 years (2023)