Kohimarama School has been at the heart of the Kohimarama community since 1921.

Long History

In 1919 two acres in Rawhitiroa Road were purchased at a cost of £860. A building was built at a cost of £950 and Kohimarama School was opened in 1921 as a side school to St Heliers School.

It contained one room only and was over-crowded from the start, as it was built to accommodate 50 children and 54 were enrolled on the first day. However, from May 1922 the newly erected Presbyterian Church was made available to the Education Board for some of the classes.

Mr F J Lownsborough, first assistant at St Heliers School, supervised the school until 1924 when it became independent of St Heliers. Mr Kenny was then appointed as first headmaster. The roll in May 1924 was 180.

Kohimarama School in the 1960’s

House System

The school's house system was established as a way of encouraging spirit among the students, and also to provide an avanue for inter-school sport and competitions. The house system was strong for many years and competition for the house cup was fierce. The house system faded away as years went on and at one point did not exsist at all. However in the early 2000s the House Structure was resurrected and it now thrives.

Today every student in the school is placed in one of the four houses; Atkin, Colenso, Patteson or Selwyn upon their enrolment in the school, with families being kept together.

Coat of Arms

The "Ship" represents a scow named "Kohi" which was sailed by Captain Biddock and was well known in Auckland and North Auckland waters during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The mast of this scow was presented to the school by Captain Biddock, and is still in use today as the school's flagpole. The Ship's Bell was also donated to the school and is located at the entrance at the top of the stairs of the main block.

The "Heraldic Cresent" represents the name "Marama" meaning moon.

The "Fish" are piper and represent local colour - in the past many piper were caught in this area.

The "Southern Cross" symbolizes the school's contribution, meaning service and refers to the school's motto.

Flagpole and Bell

Another ship well known in the area when the school opened was the scow “Kohi”.  It was sailed by Captain Biddick and was part of a fleet used to transport cattle. It was common practice at the time to land cattle on Kohimarama Beach.  After selling the fleet in the early 1920s, Biddick became involved with the school.  The topmast of the scow “Kohi” was presented to the school by Captain Biddock and is still in use today as the school flagpole. The Ship’s Bell was also donated to the school and is located at the entrance at the top of the stairs of the main block.


School Motto

Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve - established in the early 1920's. In modern times we see our motto as meaning, enter to learn as much as you can be, that academics, culturally, emotionally and physically. When students leave they are able to serve/do anything they want. Take advantage of all our School has to offer and leave being your best self.

Team Names

The school is divided into four teaching teams with each team being named after a famous New Zealander. This system of naming the teams after famous New Zealanders was instigated in 2001. 

Kiri Team: Years Zero and One

Kiri team is named after Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and is home to our Year Zero and Year One students.

Cowley Team: Years Two and Three

Cowley Team is named after Joy Cowley the famous New Zealand children's author.

Hillary Team: Years Four and Five

Hillary Team is named after Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand's famous mountaineer, and first man to conquer the mighty peak of Everest.

Snell Team: Years Six, Seven and Eight

Snell Team is named after Sir Peter Snell, New Zealand's famous middle distance runner.