Remuera Historic Heritage Sites




St Kentigern to sell Remuera Road campus, the former Corran School

Monday, February 25, 2019

St Kentigern plans to sell the Remuera Road campus which accommodates its pre-school and girls’ primary school, ahead of a move to its Shore Road campus in Remuera. St Kentigern had taken over the old Corran private girls' school at 514 Remuera Rd in a 2009 merger. The pre-school will remain at Remuera Rd until the end of 2022 when the new buildings will be ready at Shore Road. 

The history of Corran School is very much part of Remuera’s history. The St Kentigern website says:

“Corran School began in 1947 as a Private Kindergarten for boys and girls in the home of the school's founder, Mrs Victoria Constance Duthie, at 13 Wairua Rd, Remuera. The kindergarten then moved to rooms behind the Remuera Library, and as it grew further, moved to the home of Mrs Duthie at 15 Orakei Road, Remuera. Such were the high standards attained by Mrs Duthie, that she was persuaded in 1952 to increase the scope of her school and establish a Primary School which was officially registered on 28 July 1952. A Trust Board, comprising Mr P Hanna, Mr S.K.Burcher, Sir William Goodfellow, Mr J.R.Cropper and Mr G. Pollard (parents who wanted their daughters to further their education at Corran) was established in 1954. 

A school badge was designed incorporating the school motto ‘Gaudeamus’ (which means ‘Rejoice’) around the Tudor Rose. The rose was later changed to the Manuka flower which was felt to be more appropriate for a New Zealand school. Community interest in Corran generated sufficient funds to purchase 514 Remuera Road, the current site of the school, from the Mormon Church in 1955. This gracious home, known as ‘Korinina House’ had been built in 1918 for the Louisson family who, in later years, built a smaller but similar home in a corner of the property before selling the original home to the Mormon Church. When the transfer of Corran School to 514 Remuera Road took place, the roll was 70. The philosophy established by Mrs Duthie remained long after her retirement in 1960. She wanted the school to remain small, caring and Christian, with an emphasis on academic and cultural excellence. In this, we see many parallels with the focus of the Saint Kentigern Trust Board to establish schools of excellence with a Christian family environment. 

There has been much discussion over the name of Corran School and where it came from. In the 1969 school magazine, a senior pupil wrote an article stating that it was named after a small girls' school in London called ‘Corran House’ which was bombed during the Second World War – this was the story Mrs Duthie told as to how the school was named. In 1956, the co-educational kindergarten closed and the following year the secondary part of the school was registered with the Education Board. In the intervening years, the school has had seven Heads, the final being Mrs Sally Dalzell who should be acknowledged for her strength of leadership during 2009; a very difficult year for the students, families and staff of Corran School as they came to terms with the implication of the changes – when in May 2009, the Saint Kentigern Trust Board assumed responsibility for all the operations of the former Corran School. 

Over the years, the physical campus on the Corran site has seen many changes, including the acquisition of six neighbouring properties to accommodate expansion. The growth to form a full Year 1-13 school saw the addition of many specialist teaching amenities including technology facilities, art rooms and a science block. This along with a very fine library, music suite and a swimming pool set in beautiful grounds has left a legacy of superb facilities for the ongoing education of primary girls on the site. During the course of 2010, extensive refurbishments took place to turn Upland House into a Preschool for boys and girls - reflecting where the Corran story began.”


[1] St Kentigern Girls' School History, from the St Kentigern website


[1] Saint-Kentigern-Girls-School-Corran-House-2010_St Kentigern website 2019

[2] The new Corran School. 1954. Auckland War Memorial Museum. PH-NEG-C310278

[3] St Kentigern Girls'. Colliers 2019