Each year, our nationally recognised Year 13 Hostel Programme brings students from all over New Zealand to our school to experience semi-independent living while undertaking a life skills and outdoor pursuits programme and completing a full academic course of study with students at our school.


The hostel is a well organised, supervised environment where students cooperate and learn to live together in self-contained villas of six in a simulated flatting situation. The hostel is co-educational, but each villa is segregated. Life skills are taught at the hostel and overseen by the hostel manager and assistant manager. Students share responsibility for budgeting, shopping, cleaning and cooking within each of the flats on a roster basis. The hostel staff assist the students with meal planning, budgeting and provide support when necessary. 

Outdoor pursuits

Outdoor pursuits is a major focus of the hostel programme and in addition to taking the college Outdoor Pursuits course hostel students are also involved in a full-day outdoor pursuits programme at the weekends which includes adventures to some of New Zealand’s most remote and iconic locations. This programme is designed to be experiential, allowing students to challenge themselves and develop new skills they can use both at school and in their future lives.

Essential life skills

The hostel programme offers students many opportunities to learn about themselves and others through carefully guided and meaningful experiences. The safe and controlled challenges of the Outdoor Pursuits programme provide an excellent physical balance to the demands of completing an academic programme at school. The hostel programme helps young people to make the transition from home to taking care of themselves by allowing them to develop the essential life skills they will need for independent living.

Making connections

The programme is an opportunity for the hostel students who come from all over New Zealand to make lifelong connections and friendships with other students on the programme while also connecting them with local students and making enduring friendships with people they might otherwise not have met.

How to apply

We are now accepting applications for our 2024 hostel programme. You can download the application form here

Applicant criteria and selection process

The process for entry to our Hostel Programme is via application with 30 places available for students in Year 13. Our selection is based on, but not limited to, the following selection criteria: 

  • willingness to take on new challenges, a ‘can do’ attitude 
  • willingness to get involved at school and outside school 
  • self-motivated and independent 
  • good behavioural record 
  • good academic attitude 
  • fit and healthy.

The application process comprises receipt of a personal letter and CV from the student, an interview with a member of our school’s senior leadership team, a confidential reference from the school dean, latest school reports and results, and a medical. 

Each member of the selection panel of five senior management staff considers each application individually and then the panel meets to discuss the applicants. Their decision regarding which students are offered a place is made at this meeting and is final.

More information

Please contact Jo-Anne Cooper 
tel: +64 (0) 3 443 0499