A Tradition of Excellence

St Peter’s was founded on the vision of one man — Arthur Francis Brooks Broadhurst.

Broadhurst, a proud Scotsman, Oxford scholar, and WWI veteran, left his prosperous Manchester cotton business in 1924, aged 34. His aspiration: a preparatory school for boys. First, as a teacher, he embarked on a decade-long global quest for the right school site.

Cambridge, New Zealand, was his discovery – an English town with oak trees and rural charm. 

Architect Roy Alston Lippincott joined Broadhurst, designing the main building in the style of an English country home. This aesthetic touched the chapel, dining hall, and more, becoming part of St Peter’s identity.

On 22 February 1936, the school opened grandly, with dignitaries like the Minister of Education and Archbishop of New Zealand. Lippincott presented a golden key, and the first term welcomed seven staff and 36 boy boarders.

Broadhurst's legacy included philanthropy, paying students' fees and gifting the school to the St Peter’s School Trust Board in 1939.

He set educational standards, nurturing body, mind, and spirit. He led until retiring in 1960, St Peter’s 25th Jubilee year.

In 1971, St Peter’s expanded to secondary education. In 1987, it welcomed female students, starting with just 25 girls. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, St Peter’s grew rapidly while preserving its original character. By 1996, the school had 552 students, including 283 boarders. Today, it boasts over 300 boarders and around 1,200 students. 




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