Ponsonby News

Exciting Times Ahead At St Paul’s College – New Buildings and New Headmaster

St Paul’s College in Richmond Road has a new ambitious strategic plan for the redevelopment and revitalisation of the college.

St Paul’s College in Richmond Road has a new ambitious strategic plan for the redevelopment and revitalisation of the college.

The college owners, the Marist Brothers, have set out a vision statement and a mission statement. The vision statement says “St Paul’s will provide an outstanding holistic education based on Catholic Marist traditions of excellence.” While the mission statement says this: “St Paul’s will be the college of choice for Catholic boys from the local community and from within the college’s sphere of influence.”

The strategic plan goes on to explain that the vision statement makes it clear that the college’s purpose is the development of the whole person in all aspects of academic and pastoral care. The mission statement places the onus on the college to develop an environment of innovation, enquiry, participation, professional standards and facilities management that will encourage students and their caregivers to choose St Paul’s.

Two major initiatives will help St Paul’s achieve its goal to attract local boys. The first is a major new building programme, including a new state-of-the-art middle school, for years 7-10 to open in 2017. It will be an ultra-modern learning environment with quality teachers and an enhanced curriculum. There will also be a new administration wing, for reception, staff facilities and student services.

But the second new initiative will arguably be the more significant one. Following the resignation of Mark Rice as Headmaster, the current retiring headmaster of St Peter’s College, Epsom, has taken up the challenge of foregoing retirement to become the new headmaster of St Paul’s College.

At 68, it was widely expected that after 27 years as head at St Peter’s, Kieran Fouhy would take retirement and spend more time with his extended family, most of whom cluster closely together in Mt Albert.

Ponsonby News spent a delightful hour with the articulate, passionate and charismatic, Fouhy. Kieran Fouhy takes a holistic view of education. At St Peter’s he has insisted every boy learn a musical instrument. He values sporting participation, and has a burning desire to produce good men for the parents who entrust their boys to his school.

We asked Kieran Fouhy about his interests outside education. Isn’t he looking forward to time for golf, fishing or bowls?

He isn’t! “We are a service family,” he told us. “My wife Diana was a teacher, and so are my five daughters.” I suggested that he must have been a good role model for teaching, for all five of his girls to take it up after graduating with Masters Degrees from Auckland University. “I’m fit,” he insisted. “I’ve walked the Camino trail between Spain and France over the Pyrenees three times,” he says proudly. The Camino trail is no Sunday stroll, it is 900km long.
So it seems the patriach of this family which values education so highly will carry on serving for a while yet.

Kieran Fouhy’s holistic view of education places the school as the centre of
a village – a one stop shop for academic study, music and sport. Fouhy himself learned the flute as a youngster.

He is harder to draw on what he wants to achieve at St Paul’s, but believes it has what he described as “a huge asset base potential”.

“It’s not the size of the roll or the buildings, it’s what we do in a school that matters.”

Kieran was not about to exaggerate the importance of the new building programme. Not that he wanted to denigrate it, but he wants to emphasise the routines and rituals in a school that help boys succeed. He thinks schools are becoming too big. He likes to start the day with a full school assembly after meeting the boys at the gate.

“We enrol families, not boys,” Fouhy insists. He worries about inequality, and what he calls “poverty of the mind.” Inequality may benefit some, but the losses are inevitably socialised and we all pay for them, just as happened when banks and finance institutions failed during the global financial crisis. All society suffers under inequality.

Kieran Fouhy accepts that change is inevitable, but seeks always to ask who is benefiting from that change. He worries too, about falling academic standards – stressing the importance of content, as well as, process. He’s not a huge fan of NCEA.

St Paul’s has selected a dynamic new headmaster, who is both gentle and caring, but strong-minded and decisive. He brings to St Paul’s a lifetime of service to boys’ education, and instinctively knows how boys think, knowing when they are ‘acting for help’, perhaps taking an unwarranted punch at someone. He works hard to give boys a sense of belonging, stressing that no man is an island.

Kieran Fouhy’s ‘one gate policy’, is about coming together, living and working together, playing together, and finally leaving together. St Paul’s is fortunate to be getting the services of such a highly respected educator, one who literally walks the talk. The Marist Brothers values of faith, perseverance, passion, courage, brotherhood and respect will all be carefully upheld and nurtured during Kieran Fouhy’s tenure. (JOHN ELLIOTT)

St paul’s college, 183 Richmond Road, T: 09 376 1287,


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St Paul’s College new Middle School and Administration, the Marcellin Champagnat Building, newly opened in 2018.


 A Marist College with Marist Traditions was born on Richmond Road in 1903 (113 years ago). It was born with good bones about its purpose and direction and these fundamentals remain unchanged.

  • The Education of young men to become men of Christian belief and men of courage has not changed.
  • We still believe that boys should be taught how to be men.
  • The enrolment of families hasn’t changed.
  • Quality teaching and learning in all classes hasn’t changed.
  • All boys playing a Sport for their school has not changed.
  • The concept of struggle has been part of the tradition and DNA of a Catholic Education for boys at Richmond Rd hasn’t changed.
  • Routines and Rituals as the daily by-line for a boys school has not changed.
  • The motto “Confortare Esto Vir.” “Take courage and be a Man” has stayed the same. St Paul’s continues to Build Men of Courage!

K. F. Fouhy, 


St Paul’s 2018 Prize-Giving Recipients (click on link to access list)


NCEA 2017 – RESULTS vs National:

St Paul’s achieved excellent 2017 academic results benchmarked against the rest of the country.



St Paul’s College Newsletters


  • Confortare Quarterly Term 4
  • Newsletter #20 December 2018
  • Newsletter #19 November 2018
  • Newsletter #18 November 2018
  • Newsletter #17 October 2018
  • Confortare Quarterly Term 3
  • Newsletter #16 September 2018
  • Newsletter #15 September 2018
  • Newsletter #14 August 2018
  • Newsletter #13 August 2018
  • Newsletter #12 August 2018
  • Newsletter #11 July 2018
  • Newsletter #10 June 2018
  • Newsletter #9 June 2018
  • Newsletter #8 May 2018
  • Newsletter #7 May 2018
  • In Praise of Mothers of Sons
  • Newsletter #6 Apr 2018
  • Newsletter #5 Mar 2018
  • Newsletter #4 Mar 2018
  • Newsletter #3 Mar 2018
  • Newsletter #2 Feb 2018
  • Newsletter #1 Feb 2018


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