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Tairāwhiti Gisborne's education sector is among the best in the country, featuring prominently in the Prime Minister’s Excellence Awards in 2015 and 2016.


Parents are a bit spoilt for choice when it comes to education in Tairāwhiti Gisborne. The district boasts more than 50 schools, including 40 primary schools, two intermediate-only schools and four secondary schools.

For male and female students who wish to enter the armed forces, we have Gisborne Girls’ High School’s Services Academy.

For families looking for a Catholic education, St Mary’s and Campion College are a part of the national diocese. There is also a huge range of early childhood education centres to suit the needs of any child.

We have a large number of total immersion options with early childhood education centres and kura kaupapas from year one to 13.


With a huge range of facilities no more than ten minutes drive from the Tairāwhiti Gisborne town clock, the afterschool activity-driving route is a whole lot easier than in big cities. Imagine taking only ten minutes between school and surf lifesaving clubs, rugby, netball courts, football, drama, gymnastics, trampoline, rowing, waka ama, music lessons or just home. It’s one of the major attractions of our region.

Being a smaller city, do children have the access to the same opportunities?

Yes! Tairāwhiti Gisborne’s schools feature prominently in national awards. For example, Ilminster Intermediate and Gisborne Intermediate have been national champions at the Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools Games, Gisborne Boys’ High School is regularly ranked nationally in the Super 8 schools rugby competition and tiny Nuhaka Primary School, between Wairoa and Tairāwhiti Gisborne, has three times won the local chess competition and last year also took out most successful school in the Hawke’s Bay competition. The school was partly the inspiration behind the internationally successful film, Dark Horse.

TŌNUI Collab

Tairāwhiti Gisborne is just one of four regions to host TŌNUI Collab, a pioneer in digital and collaborative learning. Set up to help children boost their creative and technical skills, Mind Lab offers holiday and afterschool programmes for school age children. Check out the website for details!

Tairāwhiti Gisborne is also home to Qmmunity, a high-school aged LGBT+ support group which is heralded as a leader in LGBT+ support throughout the country. Qmmunity’s 2016 chairman was invited to speak at Parliament in 2017 following a Ministry of Youth-funded documentary the group celebrated 30 years of homosexual law reform.


The Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards have been running since 2014. Each year the awards select the best education bodies – from early childhood to secondary schools – over four categories.

There are only 14 finalist spots nationwide, making this a highly prestigious accolade for both finalists and winners.

Te Puna Reo o Puhi Kaiti, a total immersion early childhood centre in the heart of Tairāwhiti Gisborne, received the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Atatu Award in 2016. The award celebrates teaching that transforms the learning of all children and young people, achieving sustained and improved outcomes for all.

In 2015, three schools from the Tairāwhiti Gisborne region featured as finalists, securing four out of 14 nationwide nominations.

Gisborne Boys’ High School’s (GBHS) Tu Tane programme (focusing on raising conscious, aware and respectful young men) featured as a finalist in the Atahapara Excellence in Engaging programme. This was alongside a joint entry by Kaiti Primary School and Te Kura Reo Rua o Waikirirkiri schools’ - One Community, Two Schools, 300 Whānau.

GBHS’ Whakairo Programme was a finalist in both the Atahapara category and the Atatu Award for excellence in teaching and learning. GBHS went on to win the Teaching and Learning Award, as well as the 2015 Supreme Award, making it the top secondary school in the country.