St Stephen’s School | Tīpene is among Aotearoa New Zealand’s oldest and most prestigious boarding schools, predominantly serving young Māori men since it began operations in 1849, and is the brother school to Queen Victoria | Kuini Wikitoria. In 1933 the kura relocated to its current location in the Bombay Hills, south of Tāmaki Makaurau.
After more than 151 years of service to the community, the school was closed in 2000. At the time, the decision to close the school was seen by the School’s Trust Board and the church as being in the best interests of Māori education, to ensure the school could renew and retain its status as a taonga for Māori. Since then, the collective efforts of many alumni have kept the spirit of the school alive.
The Charitable Society, St Stephen’s School Old Boys Association has played an integral role in continuing to advance the educational aspirations of the School’s alumni and supporters. Thousands of hours of pro-bono work have gone into keeping the mana of the school intact, and ensuring that one day, the doors would reopen. Tīpene entrenches tikanga Māori with Anglican values to develop character beyond the curriculum. We recognize that nothing is more important than the essential goal of building good character. Our commitment to character is seen in our focus on the Tīpene Graduate.
Our kura focuses not only on what is learned but how it is learned, providing a holistic approach to education that fosters the talents and development of each tauira. We concentrate on creating an environment that elevates rangatahi through providing an equitable education model with a deliberate goal to ensure rangatahi excel. Our kura is committed to Te Reo Māori and its use is prevalent within our grounds. We acknowledge the connection to one’s whakapapa and tūrangawaewae is paramount and give attention to crafting leaders who are empowered to give back to their community.
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New Zealand Education Act
In the 1920–30 period, St Stephen’s slowly developed its own secondary department.