Tokomairiro High School

High School • Southland

About Us


In 1966, our modern-day school replaced the existing District High School, which had its roots in the first school opened on the Tokomairiro Plain in 1856. Our state co-educational high school catering for students Year 7 to Year 14 was the first of its type in the lower part of the South Island.

Our school’s name is derived from pre-European times. The Tokomairiro Plain was a wetland area fed by the Tokomairiro River as it made its way from the hills to the Pacific Ocean. The early Waitaha people who arrived in the area about 445AD travelled the waterways in bullrush (raupo) and canoes (mokihi), which were propelled by poling. The Kati Mamoe (Ngati Mamoe) who followed them and then the Kai Tahu (Ngai Tahu) who came in the late 1700's also poled canoes through the wetland. Based on this story, one explanation of Tokomairiro is to leave in a direction poling a canoe. This explanation is captured in our school’s crest.

Tokomairiro today

Today, Tokomairiro High School is a Year 7 to Year 13 school, situated in Milton, which is on State Highway One, about 55 kilometres south of Dunedin.

We serve the Tokomairiro District. This covers Lake Waihola in the north to the coast south of the Taieri River in the east, Lovells Flat in the south, and the Manuka Gorge on State Highway 8 in the west. Milton, with a population of approximately 2000, is roughly at the centre of the district. The surrounding area is rural in character, with several small townships. The district, as a whole, supports a population of about 3500 people.

Key Information

  • Region: Southland
  • Co Ed Status: Co-Educational
  • Roll Total: 229
  • Authority: State
  • International roll: 0
  • Decile: 4


238 Union Street Milton
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