Old School

Kohukohu in the late nineteenth century was a thriving community riding the wave of the kauri timber boom. The children of the area needed an education, so the first classroom of the Kohukohu School was built in 1883. The school became a focal point for the community, educating many generations of Hokianga families. In 1972 the school was scheduled for demolition. The community banded together to save the original 1883 classroom, but unfortunately the older classrooms were destroyed. Today, the former Kohukohu School is a representative example of a 19th century school, few of which have survived.

Eric Harrison describes the early history of the school: ‘The school was erected in 1883 on a site purchased three years earlier. It had a shingle roof, one large room and a porch and was expected to accommodate 60 students. From a photograph and an old architects drawing, it appears that the school porch was extended to twice the original size, probably during the 1890’s. The extra space would have been used as a temporary classroom to accommodate the schools rapidly increasing population.’

By 1902, the average attendance at the school was 86 pupils. There were approximately 56 families in the settlement and an estimated 112 children of school age within three miles.

For more information about the old school see Kohukohu Historic Reserve Former Kohukohu School Heritage Assessment.

Photograph for sign from Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.