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Thread: Primary schools in Auckland

  1. #1
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    Question Primary schools in Auckland

    Hi everyone, my OH, me and our 5 yr old son hope to be moving out to Auckland later this year. We have been browsing real estate websites to get a feel for houses and areas and are leaning towards North City Shore and Waitakere City (initially to rent and then possibly to buy a property). Can anyone particularly recommend an area where we would fall into the zone for a good primary school? We'd prefer a catholic school but its not the number one priority.

    Any suggestions welcome, OH is going out a reccee trip at end of April so it would be good to have some idea of where he should start.

    Thanks, Anneliese

  2. #2
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    As you've probably realised North Shore City is a pretty big area and on the whole many of the primary schools are very good. So it might be a good idea to check out property prices to see where you can afford and commuting requirements to help narrow down the search.

    This is a very well thought of catholic school just outside the Devonport 'village' bit:

    St Leo's, Devonport

    http://www.tki.org.nz/e/schools/disp...school_id=1500

    http://www.ero.govt.nz/ero/publishin...tent/Home+Page (Type in Devonport to find latest report on St Leo's)

    This link might be useful as it lists catholic schools in Auckland:

    http://www.catholic.org.nz/nzceo/pag...-auckland.html

    To live within walking distance of St Leos you will be looking to pay about $750000 to $950000 for an OK 3 bed villa. Obvioulsy you can find places for less or a whole lot more. I'm not sure how zoning works with catholic schools so its possible you could live further away if the local area is too expensive.

    As Devonport is on a pennisula its quite easy to commute to the CBD via ferry, but if you need to drive, you can be stuck in traffic on the one road out of town.

    Hope this helps

    Cheers

    Tia

  3. #3
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    Default Thanks

    Sorry for not saying thanks earlier... this is all useful info.

    Anneliese

  4. #4

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    Good luck with your search. We just spent 4 days in Auckland investigating a move there (my husband had a potential job offer). We spent a lot of time in the North Shore area (Devenport, Takapuna). The traffic was awful- didn't really matter what time of the day- whether it was a week day or Saturday, etc. (and we grew up in Los Angeles- where traffic is horrific- the Auckland area is like a mini L.A. in that respect). And yes, the home prices in the areas close to the big private schools (Epson, Mt.Eden, Remeura etc.) and in the North Shore area extremely high- again, they were comparable to our house on the coast near L.A. We walked away with the conclusion that this wasn't a place for us. Sorry to be so negative- but we just got home yesterday and we were disappointed.

  5. #5
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    We live in neither of the areas you mentioned Annaliese, but in Bucklands Beach. We love it here. My firend's three go to Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary and she is delighted with it. http://www.starofthesea.school.nz/main.asp

    There is a good senior school after (Sancta Maria) and you are not tied to living in the most expensive parts of town.
    Good luck,

    Gil

  6. #6
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    Seattle, sorry you had such a disappointing trip, but at least you got the opportunity to check things out first!

    You are right, the house prices are awful in the areas you looked at because they are the ones near the private schools, or within 15 minute of the CBD whether it be by ferry or car. Like you said city living is the same the world over.

    But if you really love the idea of NZ don't let it put you off. I chose to live in Devonport because coming from London I couldn't bare to live somewhere rural. To me Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch still seem like large towns rather than cities and that's enough of a compromise for me. Interestingly enough most of the Americans I have met in Devonport seem to come from San Francisco.

    Perhaps you just need to check out the Auckland suburbs further out. Or it could be that you, like many, feel that Auckland doesn't represent the 'true NZ'. From what I understand it is easier to acheive a more rural lifestyle and commute to Christchurch & Wellington if that's what you're after.

    NZ's cities all have a very different feel, just like New York and LA are worlds apart and probably neither represent America as a whole. In other words don't let central Auckland put you off NZ.

    By the way I should add we still don't know if we're in NZ for the long term but we are enjoying the experience!

    Good Luck with whatever you decide.

    Cheers

    Tia

  7. #7
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    Catholic schools aren't zoned so you can live anywhere you like, but they do have a maximum roll number so can close their intake if they want to .. wouldn't think that many of them do though.

    If you would prefer a catholic education then I'd say you are at a big advantage as most people have to be very careful to choose/find a house within the right zone and when you have both primary and secondary age kids it can be a nightmare!

    We live in Meadowbank near Remuera, my youngest goes to Mt Carmel School (co-ed) and my eldest to Baradene College (girls) .. both of these are Catholic, incidentally there is boys college - Sacred Heart which is in nearby Glendowie. Costs for a 3/4 bed house in Meadowbank - approx $600 - $800K .. to rent would be approx $500 - $600 a week. School fees are approx $300 a year for primary .. $3,200 a year for Baradene and approx 1,500 for Sacred Heart. There is a cheaper but just as good girls high school in Ponsonby which costs about $1,500 I think - St Mary's College.

    Have a look at this:

    http://www.catholic.org.nz/nzceo/pag...-auckland.html

    Good luck with the recce

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by willowshouse View Post
    most people have to be very careful to choose/find a house within the right zone and when you have both primary and secondary age kids it can be a nightmare!
    Yes, I found that really difficult. Ours are only primary school now, but I wanted to plan a bit further ahead. There seemed to be a number of primary schools that seemed okay, I had my eyes on Titirangi, but not too many secondary schools.

    We will now move to Glendowie/Glen Innes, in zone for both Glendowie College and Glendowie Primary school.

    It is quite amazing though what being in one of those zones, or both even, does ot the house prices. We didn't have to check anymore after a while if any particular street was still in the Glendowie Primary school zone, we could actually tell from looking at house price.

    Daniela

  9. #9
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    Nov 2004
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    Hi Anneliese,

    There are a number of Catholic Schools on the Shore and in Waitakere, Primary and High Schools, co-ed and single sex. The church schools have quite a good reputation and some operate zones whilst others are quite strict about active church going.

    Have you come across the ERO website which gives reviews of NZ schools?

    This is from their site http://www.ero.govt.nz/ero/publishin...A001B449E?Open

    If you're thinking about a school which operates a zone policy I'd say it's not worth the premium in paying above the odds to buy a house in-zone, there are other ways to get your kids in - renting for a while or applying for an out of zone place (which a lot of schools offer)

  10. #10

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    Tia- you are right about Auckland. Our complexity is that we are set on private schools since I've had several conversations with American and UK families who moved to NZ and found that that the curriculum was a few years behind what they were doing in U.S/U.K. We experienced the same thing during a current expat assignment in Europe (our kids are just not challenged). We are looking for a different lifestyle than the hectic good ol' usa so the thought of long commutes doesn't accomplish that either. We haven't given up though... Christchurch seems to be more our pace. Have you found a school you are happy with yet?

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