Our History

Aquinas College was established in 2003 by the Catholic community of Tauranga to provide a quality Catholic education for Year 7 to Year 13 students. It is named after St Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of students and Catholic schools.

Perhaps the greatest of the Doctors of the Church, St Thomas gained a reputation for his ability to reconcile faith, reason and science. He was a man of the heart and humility, and a great servant to his community — an excellent role model for our students.

St Thomas Aquinas is also historically connected to Tauranga Moana. In 1840, when Bishop Pompallier first arrived here, he dedicated the Catholic Mission in Tauranga to St Thomas Aquinas.

Our Houses

Aquinas College has four Houses — Browne, Cluny, Foy and Hēni Pore.

Students are assigned a House for the duration of their Aquinas journey. This whānau becomes a strong source of camaraderie and school spirit. House honour is fiercely defended at our annual inter-house competitions, be they sporting, cultural or academic. Each House is led by two senior students.


Named after Bishop Denis Browne, former Bishop of the Hamilton Diocese and key supporter of the establishment of Aquinas College.

Named after Fr Pat Foy, a loved and respected parish priest of Tauranga in the 1990s.

Hēni Pore

Named after Hēni Pore, a Wāhine Toa (warrior woman) and catechist well-known for her Christian actions during the 1860 Land Wars.


Named after the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny, the Catholic order that has been present in Tauranga Moana for more than 80 years. The Cluny House colour is blue.