Our History
Since 1936

Built on a rock

St. Peter’s was founded by A. F. B. Broadhurst in 1936 on the educational standards of nurturing body, mind and spirit.

Leaving behind his prosperous cotton business in Manchester in 1924 at the age of 34, Broadhurst, a proud Scotsman, Oxford scholar and WWI veteran, left on a mission to create a preparatory school for boys.

After a decade-long global quest for the right school site, he discovered Cambridge, New Zealand. This English town with its oak trees and rural charm would be the base for his school.

Working with Architect, Roy Alston Lippincott, the main building was designed in the style of an English country home. This aesthetic followed through to the chapel, dining hall and throughout the school, becoming part of the St. Peter’s identity.

With dignitaries like the Minister of Education and Archbishop of New Zealand in attendance, the school opened its doors on 22 February 1936. With the presentation of a golden key, the first school term started with seven staff and 36 boy boarders.

Broadhurst led the school until 1960,
St. Peter’s 25th Jubilee year, setting educational standards and leaving behind a legacy of philanthropy which included paying students’ fees and gifting the school to the St. Peter’s School Trust Board in 1939.

In 1971, St. Peter’s expanded to secondary education. The school welcomed female students, starting with just 25 girls, in 1987. 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.

Historical abuse apology

In November 2021, St. Peter's Trust Board made the proactive decision to issue a public apology for and acknowledgement of historical abuses of former students by former staff.

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