Our History

Hamilton Boys’ High School officially opened on Peachgrove Road 1955, with 556 pupils and 54 Masters.

“Word has just been received that the Education Department has sanctioned the transfer of a block of 45 acres, which is part of a secondary school block reserve just behind Hamilton East school, to the board of Governors for the purposes of erecting in due time, a separate school for the boys . . .”

“Patience has long been rewarded, for I am pleased to report that construction has finally now commenced on the site in Peachgrove Road”  H. D. Tait, First Headmaster Hamilton Boys’ High School.

When H. D. Tait wrote those words and referred to patience, he was serious. The laying of the foundation stone followed a thirty year wait to see a dream come to reality.

On the Birth of a New School, Hamilton Boys’ High School

“I like to think of our school as much more than a building. To me it is a community of youth, cheerful in heart, buoyant in spirit, eager to face the adventure known as life. The community will endow these buildings with a soul”.  Mr H.D. Tait

From the Hamiltonian, December 1955

HBHS Historic Trail

Historical Timeline


The school enlarged and Secondary classes were moved to the Knox Street Volunteer Hall for lessons. The next year classes moved again, this time to the basement of the old Town Hall, whilst alterations to the original school took place. The whole school worked in one large single supper room. Pupils could hear and watch the construction of the traffic bridge on Bridge Street at the same time.

There were calls for the establishment of a new, permanent High School in Hamilton as the only other High School in the whole Waikato/Bay of Plenty area was at Thames.


Hamilton High School begins. Mr Eben Wilson and two staff members and 70 boys and girls moved into the new school on the site of the present Girls’ High School.


The Board of Governors of Hamilton High School acquired 47 acres in Peachgrove Road for a new High School.
By the early 1950’s Hamilton High School had grown to the point where it was split in two separate Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools.


Hamilton Boys’ High School officially opens at Peachgrove Road with 556 pupils and 24 masters. The first Headmaster, H D Tait, had been a staff member of Hamilton High School since 1920. He set about the considerable task of developing the rough 47-acre area and planned the environment of trees, gardens and playing fields that today give Hamilton Boys’ High School its attractive appearance.


Mr A G A Baigent was appointed Headmaster. A man of considerable talent and vision, he oversaw extensive building developments and the school experienced impressive results in Scholarship, sporting and cultural activities.


Mr R J Taylor began duties as Headmaster. He had worked as a teacher for H.D.Tait at Hamilton High School in 1947. The 1970’s was a testing time for the School and Mr Taylor had to face teacher shortages, a new zoning scheme and most importantly, a threat to do away with single sex schools. The School’s successes in Scholarship, sporting and cultural activities continued to impress.


Mr A G Steel was appointed Headmaster and a proposal to combine the two single-sex schools in Hamilton was dropped. An extensive building programme commenced and a range of refurbishments, including art rooms, science laboratories, staff and administration areas, a Maori studies room and an engineering workshop were all completed.


Mr James Bennett became Headmaster. Mr Bennett led Hamilton Boys’ High School for the next nine years. In 1995, an enrolment scheme was implemented. The 1990’s was a decade of considerable educational change.


Mr James Bennett became Headmaster. Mr Bennett led Hamilton Boys’ High School for the next nine years. In 1995, an enrolment scheme was implemented. The 1990’s was a decade of considerable educational change.

A new faculty system based on the Essential Learning Areas was introduced, new curriculum initiatives, a Qualifications Framework, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the Education Review Office all emerged.


Present Headmaster, Mrs Susan Hassall assumed her leadership of the school. The roll subsequently increases to over 2200 and the school, under Mrs Hassall’s leadership, builds a formidable reputation both scholastically and across a wide range of sporting and cultural activities.


Hamilton Boys’ High School won six National titles, cementing its position as the top sporting school in New Zealand. This followed sporting and cultural achievements in 2008 which were considered at the time as being ‘difficult to emulate.’ Highlights of the 2009 successes include:
Rowing: Springbok Shield won for a third year in a row (overall total of 13 occasions); Maadi Cup also won for the third year in a row.
Touch: the Secondary Schools Touch National Championship was won for two years in a row.
Rugby: the School’s 1st XV was crowned NZ Secondary Schools’ champion in winning and retaining the Moascar Cup.
Multisport: Hamilton Boys’ High School won the National Secondary Schools’ event, the Motu Challenge.


HBHS achieves NCEA, Cambridge & Scholarship results which place it 7th in NZ and ahead of all other Waikato schools. In 2010 HBHS achieved 48 Scholarships and in cocurricular, 8 NZ titles in Maadi & Springbok Rowing, Touch, Triathlon, Cross Country, Athletics, Waka Ama and Junior Softball.


Hamilton Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools celebrate a century of education.


Headmaster, Mrs Hassall is awarded National School Leadership Award (NEITA). HBHS achieves 63 Scholarships and National Titles in Premier Scholar, AS History and Economics, IGCSE Science and Geography and ICAS Mathematics. In cocurricular, NZ titles in Cycling, Touch and Triathlon.


HBHS achieves National Titles in Rugby, Hockey, Touch, Cycling, Cross Country, Wrestling, Maadi, Springbok and top school in Rowing. Curriculum NZ titles in Economics, Computing and Teen Agriculture.


HBHS was named NZ School of Character. National Titles in Rowing, Touch, Rugby, Hockey. Curriculum Achievements in Science World 1st IGCSE, Economics, Geography, NZ 1st Top 5 subjects IGCSE.


National Titles in Shooting, Duathlon, Wrestling and Rowing NZ


World 1sts in Science, History, Business Economics and Mathematics, English, Science, 83 NZ Scholarships. Christopher Mayo becomes the first HBHS student to be named NZ’s Top Secondary School Scholar.


93 Scholarships, placing the school in the top 6 academic schools in NZ. NZ Secondary Schools Football Champions, National Condor 7s Champions and NZSS Rowing Champions.


NZ Condor 7s and Touch Champions, Springbok Shield 2018 (NZ record), Cricket NZ Super 8 champions 6 consecutive years. Patrick Dowd received a NZ Top Scholar Award. New G Block 6 classroom block was constructed.


NZ Condor 7s and Touch Champions, Cricket NZ Super 8 champions 7 consecutive years, Tennis NZ Super 8 champions 2019-2020, Kiaan Watts gold medal winner, Madison event, at the Junior World Cycling Championships. New Hockey Turf was completed.


Extensive renovations were undertaken on the school pool. The school was closed for 6 weeks for a nationwide lockdown for COVID-19.


NZ Water Polo champions and NZ Condor 7s champions for the 6th consecutive year. Significant national tournaments were cancelled due to COVID-19. Present Headmaster, Mrs Susan Hassall was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours, for services to education.


World Schools (Thailand) 1st XV title, national titles in 1st XV Rugby, Condors 7’s for the 7th consecutive year, Maadi Cup U18 rowing champions. Achieved 79 scholarships with 9 outstanding and a New Zealand Premier Scholar award.


Indoor Dome Completed. Construction of Marae commenced.