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Context & History

Context
The school is located within the established residential area of Beach Haven on Auckland’s North Shore. It is unique, in that it serves a community of distinctly different social and economic backgrounds.

There is excellent community support and pride in the school. The related educational institutions are Kauri Park Kindergarten, Birkdale Intermediate School, and Birkenhead College. The roll of Kauri Park School has been growing since 2000. It began that year with a roll of 271 and is now around 350. This is made up of approximately: 65% NZ/European; 25% Maori and Pasifika students; and 10% other.

In 2003 the Ministry of Education mandated that we implement an Enrolment Scheme to manage growth.

History
Our school opened its doors to children on the 4th February 1969. At the time, the grounds, paths, fences and furnishings were far from complete. For this reason the school was not officially opened until 17th October 1970, by which time most of the shortcomings had been rectified. The opening ceremony was performed by the Birkenhead Member of Parliament, Mr NJ King. 

The school has been well served by many capable and dedicated people on the School Committee, Board of Trustees, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Staff, with many parents having shown their interest by attending a variety of meetings, working bees and fundraising activities. We are indebted to these people, who are such a vital part of the educational scene. Undoubtedly, we have a uniquely attractive site for our school and our present Board of Trustees and PTA are steadily working to further develop our grounds and environment.

Prior to European settlement, the Birkdale/Beach Haven area was covered to the water’s edge by thick bush, pohutukawa, ferns and giant kauri trees. Maori tribes inhabited the area, but were decimated by wars and finally succumbed to the newly acquired guns of Hone Heke. In 1844 the area was sold to the Government and became deserted. One of the first settlers in the district established an orchard near Soldier’s Bay and as the kauri trees were gradually removed from the land, it was found to be an ideal place for fruit growing, especially grapes and strawberries. Most of the kauri trees taken out were used by boat builders for masts and spurs.

Kauri Park Reserve, which is within the school’s district and from which the school takes its name, was declared a scenic reserve in 1921. During the depression years of the early 1930’s, tracks were formed and additional trees such as karaka, rimu and pohutukawa were planted. The sub-tropical kauri grows alongside the sub-antarctic beech, giving the park a unique feature. From the 1880’s, Beach Haven was a popular summer resort, with many city dwellers making the trip across the harbour to Island Bay for excursions and holidays