About - History

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, and 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 water ways in bullrush (raupo)
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 history, one explanation
of Tokomairiro is to leave in a direction poling a canoe.
This explanation is captured in our school’s crest.

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

The community is employed mostly in farming and forestry industries and their associated services. We have a woollen mill (QualitYarns NZ Ltd), a boat building industry (McLay Boats Ltd), and the headquarters for a major construction and development company (Calder Stewart Industries). Several sawmills operate in the district.
A number of people also commute to jobs in Dunedin and Mosgiel, and Balclutha (to the south).

Milton is well served with a variety of facilities, including a heated swimming pool, public library, community recreation centre/gymnasium, a well-staffed medical centre, police station, primary schools, day care centres and kindergarten.

Tokomairiro High School aims to provide the highest possible educational opportunities to meet the needs of our students and community. We take a balanced and holistic approach to education as well as providing extra curricular opportunities.

The Tokomairiro way is reflected in all dimensions of school endeavour through a nurturing and challenging environment that allows students to develop to their full potential.

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