Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your interest in St. John’s College. Our College was founded in 1941 by the Marist Fathers and is the only Catholic Boys’ School in Hawke’s Bay. As a College, we are inspired by the work of the Marist Fathers who emphasised God’s unconditional love in their work with young people. It is this love and belief, in the dignity of each child that motivates us to provide an environment of both high support and high challenge; a place where students will learn to value excellence and the work ethic that is required to achieve their full potential. In New Zealand, Marists focus their ministry on youth and education, have a preference for missionary parishes, and ministry outreach into wider society, beyond traditional Church structures.

We pride ourselves on knowing our students well, understanding that the relationships between teachers and students are foundational in developing confident and successful learners. To assist this aim, our Vertical House System allows families and students to journey through their five years at St. John’s with the same teachers as House Leader and Learning Mentor. We learn much about the needs of our students through this partnership between home and school and encourage our parents to participate in their sons’ learning at every opportunity.

As a vibrant multicultural learning community, St. John’s provides students with a range of subject offerings and pathways. The College’s holistic vision extends to student achievement and support in Pastoral Care, Academia, Sport, Arts and Culture. Our aim is to produce well rounded young men able to face a competitive secular world with confidence. This is the vision of a ‘St. John’s Man’. The extension of our school are our parents and Old Boys. We are not just a school; we are a community. We value your input and support.

Together we can teach our young men to be well grounded in their faith, independent and able to make wise decisions based on Christian values, with resilience to deal with the complexities of modern-day life.

Many thanks for your interest in our College. If you require further information, please visit our Parent Information page.

Opere et Veritate ‘In Word and in Deed.’

Rob Ferreira

Covid 19 Updates

Please read the latest updates below for Covid 19

14 May 2020

Kia ora tatou


I hope this message today finds you well.  As you are aware the Prime Minister announced on Monday that we will move to Alert Level 2 on Wednesday, 13 May at 11.59pm.  This means we will be back on site with all students attending on Monday, 18 May.  I am delighted with this announcement, and the Senior Leadership Team and staff and looking forward to welcoming your sons back to
St. John’s.

The Health and Safety Committee met on Tuesday, 12 May, and we have put together a comprehensive return to site plan. Please click here to access the plan which will be discussed with your sons on Monday.

We have also implemented an extra layer of contact tracing which will be useful should it be needed.  It is a short survey students and staff will complete at the beginning of each day at house class time.  This information will be held by me, and it will be deleted when it is no longer required. 

Contact Tracing Form – Please Click

Tomorrow (Friday, 15th) is a non-teaching day.  Your son will have work set by his teachers which he needs to work on.  I have decided it is important to transition staff back on site first, before we begin the process with our students on Monday.  Staff will begin the day with some professional development followed by department meetings and the opportunity to bring teaching resources back to their classrooms.

The format for Monday – 18th May 2020 is as follows: 

All students must bring their device each day.

Bell times for school to run as normal per the updated bell times. 

Students must enter the school grounds through the gates opposite the Performing Arts Centre only.

Students must bring their own drink bottle, as the usual way of using drinking fountains will not operate.

All students who arrive at school must please enter the school and not walk to the corner dairy. 

Parents when you drop your son off at school, please do so on Jervois Street.  If you enter the school premises you will need to sign the register and follow school protocols for Alert Level 2.

Monday will start off with House class time.  There will be no formal teaching in lessons one and two.  Formal teaching will occur from lesson 3 onwards.  Please ensure that your son comes to school prepared for Day 2 of the timetable.

Distance learning will be available for those who need to remain at home.  Distance learning is distinct from online learning.  The teacher will not be expected to teach class at school and be available on line at the same time.  Nor would we expect the teacher to provide full one on one sessions after each lesson with students who are distance learning.  The students who are unable to be on site will be provided with work and links to any resources.  Teachers will endeavour to keep communication open to assist the student in a timely manner. 

I would urge you to please consult your doctor before you make a decision to keep your son at home.  Public Health Officials have advised that schools are safe to open at Alert Level 2 if appropriate public health controls measures are in place. 

An outline for return to Sport is also available by clicking here 

News on Tim Donkin has been encouraging over the last week.  An inaccurate blood test last week saw his family very worried about his recovery, however a second test proved that the initial test delivered a false result.  Tim is now able to eat solids and he is able to spend time with his parents who have a flat on site.  He still goes to the ward on a daily basis to undergo care.

Thank you for all your efforts over this difficult period.  I look forward to welcoming your son on Monday.

Yours faithfully

Rob Ferreira


Previous Covid-19 Updates

Special Character at St John's

Every school aims to develop and nurture a positive environment. At St. John’s College, our culture is centred on the life of Jesus Christ and the example he set for us all. Our aim is to provide a high quality education for young men, grounded in Gospel values within our Catholic and Marist tradition. Founded in 1941 by the Marist Fathers, we strive to teach these values, while immersing our young men in an experience of living in a Catholic community. Action is fundamental to our beliefs; if we say it, we must follow with action – ‘In Truth and in Deed.’

We have a full school Mass every term, monthly Sunday Mass in our Chapel, weekly lunchtime Masses, liturgies and retreats, regular Benediction, a strong Religious Education programme and our students are encouraged to participate
in the life of their local parishes.

Academia at St John's

Excellence is a habit: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” These words endorse our academic philosophy at St. John’s College. Our aim is to produce self-reliant workers, able to take responsibility for their own learning and develop study habits that will see our young men attain the highest level possible.

Sport at St John's

Sport is an integral part of a boys’ school. It does not build character, it reveals it. At St. John’s College we cater for the needs of all our students. This includes compulsory sport for all Year 9 and 10 students in the winter; and the pursuit of excellence in our main sporting codes. It is supported by first class coaches to help young athletes attain their sporting goals. Introduced as a Gifted and Talented Programme, The Sports Institute was founded in 2014 to support such athletes.

Extra Curricular at St John's

St John’s Cultural and Arts Programme reflect and celebrate the diversity of all our community. Students are encouraged to share their cultural practices, in an compassionate multicultural environment

Sports Institutes

St John’s College Institute students will be responsible representatives of the College who will be committed to developing a culture which supports and fosters achievement for all. Achievement will not be measured in winning or losing but in improving, competing, learning and developing into better people. As representatives of a Catholic and Marist college our actions will reflect Gospel values.

Cultural Institutes

Holistic education is critical to the full development of a young man.  This entails academic, as well as spiritual, social, psychological and physical growth.  To assist this co-curricular progamme, St. John’s College has set-up Institutes so that each gifted and talented student receives specific tuition in their chosen area of specialisation.

Initially St. John’s College set up five Sport’s Institutes which has been very successful.  The College has now expanded the Institutes programme by an additional five new Institutes in a broad range of subjects.

Fine Arts – Teacher in Charge – Mr Don Dickson

Performance Arts – Teacher in Charge – Mr Christopher Wilson

Culinary Arts – Teacher in Charge – Mr Craig Ireland

Debating – Teacher in Charge – Mrs Lyndie Balfour

Music – Teacher in Charge – Mr Christopher Wilson

Parent Information

We welcome all prospective students to St John’s College. Please download an enrolment form from below. Once completed please return to the office at St John’s College. New Zealand law requires we demonstrate a preference with 95% of our roll having a connection to the Catholic Church. If your son has a connection to the Catholic Church, please also download the preference form below and return it to the office at St John’s College.

There are scholarships available for attending St John’s College. Please enquire about them at the School office. If you have any question or queries about enrolment at St John’s College please contact us.

We have a fabulous Parents and Friends Association (PFA) who involve themselves in fundraising for the College.  This is a fun way for parents to be involved in the College life.

Staff & Responsibilities

  Board of Trustees



Term Dates




House Leaders

  Kamar Portal


News at St John's

Pear - Symbol of the times

Students from St John’s College in Hastings collaborated remotely to find a solution to a real-world problem emerging from the Covid-19 crisis.

Learning in Level 3

SJC and SHC join forces for Level 3 learning.

Canoe Polo

Senior Canoe Polo – 2020
HBSS Regional Champions
NZSS National Champions

Junior Canoe Polo – 2020
HBSS Regionals – Runner-up
NZSS – Runner-up

SJC students succeed at Chess

New format chess tournament sees success for St John’s College students


A new format chess competition has seen three St John’s College students step up to the board, securing a place for the school at the National Finals.

The Chess Power Teams Chess Week 2 Regional Zone tournament, held on May 12 saw 38 students across all three categories; junior, intermediate and senior from Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Blenheim and Nelson take part online.
Jeevanjot Singh came first in the senior category receiving the Gold Medal, along with the Picket Fence and Brave Bishop badges.
Ivan Roberts placed 5th in the senior category receiving the Quick Knockout badge.

For Hunter Wilson, having only started learning and playing the game in March, didn’t stop him from placing eighth in the senior category and receiving the Pawn Power Badge.

Jeevanjot said he just wanted to try his best in the tournament.

“I thought the tournament would be a good experience and it means a lot to win because I didn’t think I would.”

The year 9 student started playing a year ago and was drawn to how peaceful the game is, but also the strategy involved. “I saw it on youtube and it just looked cool to me,” he said.

Accounting teacher Simon Thomson, who is in charge of the chess club, said he was proud of what the boys’ had achieved.  Although, he feels like he hasn’t “done much”, rather just coordinate it, as lockdown came into effect a week and a half after their first met for the year.  The new teacher took up the opportunity to lead the club after the teacher formerly in charge of the club retired at the end of last year.

At this stage, they have 20 boys’ registered in the club and are hoping to get more people involved. A chess ladder is being organised to allow the boys’ to play somebody with a higher skill level than themselves.

Operations manager and founder of Chess Power, Paul Macdonald, said Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown meant they were not able to run in-person events. “With Covid-19, that pretty much destroyed that whole structure that we normally operate in.”  As a result, they built technology that allowed the chess tournaments to be run online which enabled a caregiver to register a participant, and for participants to take part in the tournament in real-time by being able to connect to the arbiter, and also play chess.  “It is very responsive. As soon as they make a move, their opponent will get that move on their board instantly and it keeps track of their time as well,” he said.

They had the intention to run four competitions comprising of the 30 regions, but schools reopened term three tournaments in-person giving the 25 regions who were not able to participate, a chance to make the nationals in November.

Having started Chess Power ten years ago, Macdonald says they believe chess is a “great way” to build key life skills around decision making, focused concentration, how to take risks, and strategical thinking.  “There’s nothing like chess, it’s unique and it is purely intellectual in that you out-win your opponent by thinking and we think thinking is a really important skill for the future,” he said.

The Term 3 Hawke’s Bay Regional Tournament is scheduled to take place on Thursday, August 20.

The Chess Power National Finals will be held in Auckland on Friday, October 16.   A special invitational tournament, Champions Trophy, held for the best youth chess players across the country will be held the following day.

They had the intention to run four competitions comprising of the 30 regions, but schools reopened the following week meaning they weren’t able to continue. They now plan on holding their usual term three tournaments in-person giving the 25 regions who were not able to participate, a chance to make the nationals in November.  Having started Chess Power ten years ago, Macdonald says they believe chess is a “great way” to build key life skills around decision making, focused concentration, how to take risks, and strategical thinking.

“There’s nothing like chess, it’s unique and it is purely intellectual in that you out-win your opponent by thinking and we think thinking is a really important skill for the future,” he said.

The Term 3 Hawke’s Bay Regional Tournament is scheduled to take place on Thursday, August 20.

The Chess Power National Finals will be held in Auckland on Friday, October 16.

A special invitational tournament, Champions Trophy, held for the best youth chess players across the country will be held the following day.

2019 at a glance

As we look back at another wonderful year at St. John’s College, the list of achievements is worth celebrating. We hope your son has made the most of the opportunities presented to him and he has enjoyed the year. Here is a small synopsis of what we have achieved in 2019: 



Outstanding NCEA results in 2019: 

Level 1 – 91.0%
Level 2 – 90.8
Level 3 – 90.6%
University Entrance – 60.9% 

  • Gurjas Sekhon, a Year 13 student, was awarded two outstanding scholarships in Calculus and Chemistry. He also achieved scholarships in Physics, Physical Education, and Biology. 
  • St. John’s College achieved nine scholarships in total, three of which were outstanding scholarships. 



  • Senior Canoe Polo. – HBSS Reginal Champions. NZSS National Champions. 
  • Junior Canoe Polo. – HBSS Regional Championships runners up. NZSS National Runners up. 
  • Canoe Polo Toby Mills – HB A2 Men. NZ U18 A Oceania Championships (Gold), Eastern Men’s & U21 NZ Secondary school’s tournament team, NZ U21 Development team (Ireland & Belgium), NZ U21 Worlds selection (final 16). 
  • Canoe Polo Ben Evans – HB A2 Men. NZ U18 A Oceania Championships, (Gold), Eastern U21 & U18, NZ Secondary school’s tournament team 

Sport (continued):

  • The Culinary Arts team winning 5 Gold, 9 Silver and 9 Bronze at the National Championships in Auckland. 
  • Surfing Jack Ryan – HB Scholastics team. 
  • Softball Jameel Geor – HB U18 & U23, NZ U19 dev. Canadian tour. 
  • Cycling Max Williams – Bronze North Island U20 Road Race, Gold in NISS track cycling points race, NZ U19 Oceania Track cycling team, Bronze team Pursuit. Tank Guy pro team China, NZ development team dynamo team series. 
  • Hockey Marcus Ambrose – HB U18; HB Men; Central League U18; Central men’s Squad 
  • Basketball Sam Start and Braxton Payne – Swish BB Club USA tour 
  • Squash Blake Knox – Eastern Zone senior Sec Schools Champion, Eastern Zone Junior Team. 
  • Squash Isaac Pilcher – Eastern senior Sec Schools Runner up, Eastern Zone junior Team, NZ Squash Junior Development team 
  • Canoe Polo – 6 Hawke’s Bay and 4 National representatives. 
  • Basketball – 5 Hawke’s Bay representatives and 1 national official (Logan Start) 
  • Rugby – 7 Hawke’s Bay representatives. 
  • Football – 7 Hawke’s Bay and 4 Central Federation representatives and one U19 national youth league player. 
  • Futsal – 2 Central Federation representatives. 
  • Cricket – 6 Hawke’s Bay representatives. 
  • 3 Hockey, 2 Touch HB representatives 
  • Waka Ama –  


  • Jamie Nichols Year 13: Recipient of BP’s Innovation Scholarship (Social Enterprise Team: Environ-Crete. Accepted into the University of Canterbury for a Double Degree in Industrial Product Design and Commerce (2020). 
  •  Ben Gardiner and Brad Selwood (February 2019) Invited to meet New Zealand’s Governor General, to celebrate National Enterprise Success. 
  • Hamish Ross, New Zealand Economics Competition – Auckland University – top 1% of participants 


Social Enterprise Teams: 

  • Louis Gaffaney – Selected in 2019 to attend workshops with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and had the  opportunity to travel to Thailand in October (sponsored by the Southeast Asia Centre for Asia Pacific Excellence). This provided  engagement with other youth enterprise organisations and validated their product internationally. 
  • Kupa Pohe (Ngati Porou) – Out of 1200 applicants, was selected to represent Young Enterprise NZ, and presented, at the Latin American Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
  • Te Tuitui Mātauranga (2019):  An enterprise that has researched and developed a process to reduce irrigation requirements in pea and bean seeds, producing promising results for agricultural industry in climactically challenging environments. 
  • Winners: The Global Kaitiakitanga Project (2019) 
  • Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTv-NQLxPns 
  • Environ-Crete (2019):  Environmentally friendly concrete, 4000 plastic water bottles formed part of a range of seats. 
  • Kear(2019): A solar powered steriliser for medical equipment. 


  • Wonderful school spirit with sports participation at 88%. 
  • 90% of teachers involved with coaching or managing sport. 


Important Dates 2020

We will keep you up to date with any cancellations and closures due to Covid-19

Wednesday 15th April – Start of Term 2

Parent Teacher Interviews

Due to the Lockdown these interviews will be at a later date.

We will keep you updated

Prospectus Evening –  This is our first promotional evening and we invite Year 8 students and parents to attend.

New dates to be planned – we will keep you up to date

Monday 1st June – Queen’s Birthday
Tuesday 2nd June – St. John’s College holiday – school closed

Term Dates 2020

Term Two
Wednesday 15th April – Friday 3rd July – to be confirmed
Term Three – to be confirmed
Monday 20th July – Friday 25th September
Term Four – to be confirmed
Monday 12th October – To be announced

General Notices

COVID – 19

The College is following Ministry of Education guidelines and will keep parents and caregivers updated . For more information please use the link below


The importance of keeping kids learning, and maintaining routine

As you’ll know it is important to keep children and young people engaged in education and, wherever possible, maintaining their usual routines. Routines are reassuring and can support children and young people’s wellbeing, connection with others, and their learning.

We all need to work together and help each other at this time.

Our Board of Trustees

Mrs Tessa Barrett is the Board of Trustees Chairman.

Other Board members are:

Mr Jay Campbell Parent Rep
Mr Luke Homan Proprietor Rep
Mr David Ivory Staff Rep
Mr Warwick Jones Proprietor’s Rep
Mr Rob Ferreira Principal
Mrs Susanne Rauth-Roess Parent Rep
Mr David Russell  Parent Rep
Mr Josh Villanueva Student Rep
Mrs Donna Te Amo Proprietor Rep
Mr Grant Thompson Parent Rep
Mrs Kath Clews Minutes Secretary