Wesley College

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Our Special Character /
Te mauri o te kura

Wesley College was established in 1844. It is New Zealand’s oldest registered school. Wesley College was the first Private School to integrate in the State Education system under the terms of the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975. The Integration Agreement was signed in 1976.Under the terms of the Agreement:

  • The School is governed by the Wesley College School Board and operates like any New Zealand State School;

  • The Proprietor's [Trust Board] hostel was not integrated and remains a private boarding establishment;

  • Wesley College has a Special Character, based on a relationship with the Methodist Church of New Zealand – Te Hāhi Weteriana o Aotearoa; and the special character includes religious observances. 

our Special Character says:

We are Christian in Practise
We are Methodist in ethos
We are accepted as we are
We are called to be the people of God and to do God’s work
We belong to the Wesley College family and the family of God.

2023 Special Character Cmyk

Our Methodist Ethos  

  • Treasuring our Christian heritage and learning to express it relevantly. This includes religious observances.
  • Openness to the future and to new insights, experiences and people.
  • Support for values that respect the integrity of persons and communities.
  • Consideration of the needs of others, especially the marginalised.
  • Use of language and images that are inclusive and which express equality.
  • Provision of safe environments in which students can learn to live and work together in harmony.
  • Opposition to cultures of violence and to systems of domination and exclusion.
  • Processes for dealing with conflict, harassment, abuse and violation.

To read more about the Methodist Ethos and the Historical Development of our Special Character.

John Wesley Manifesto

Historic Information 

Reflections of the history of Wesley College.




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