The history of the Ngaruawahia School dates back to 1869, six years after General Cameron and his 500 men hoisted the British flag at the confluence of the Waipa and Waikato rivers. On 15 November 1869 Mrs L’Estrange, the wife of a retired army officer, opened a school in her own home. She died shortly after and the work was continued by a
Mrs Hoskings in her home in Market Street above the Delta Hotel.

Mr Robert James became the first schoolmaster 1871-74. He had arrived in Auckland by sailing ship ‘Columbus’ in 1864 followed by his wife and two small children a few years later.

The first school committee was elected in the Delta Hotel on May 3 1873 and a new school was opened after the Easter holidays in 1886 and remained until it was dismantled in 1966, eighty years later.

In 1919 the Manual training building consisting of two rooms was erected. The march of progress continued with the installation of a modern septic tank and toilet blocks. Alterations were made to this block during 1962.

In 1966 without farewell functions and celebration, the old school buildings were reduced to ground level. A new assembly hall was provided in time for the Centennial celebrations on March 4 1969.

The school celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in 1933, its Centennial in 1969 and its 125 Jubilee in 1994. In 2019, the school celebrated its 150 Jubilee.

Almost 83 years later with a roll of 520 from 12 contributing schools, the school opened new Technology Centre facilities in August 2000. This included 4 refurbished classrooms linked by a Central structure.

ON 15 November 2001, 132 years, the opening for 6 new classrooms, a new administration block and the site redevelopment was also held. November 15 is a significant date in the school’s history as it marked the date when the original school was first opened.