Fiordland College was opened on 4th February 1976 by the then Minister of Education, Hon W L Gander.
Mr Keith Scully was appointed as the College’s inaugural Principal and took up his position in 1975 to oversee the final stages of building and to begin the recruitment of staff.
Prior to the existence of Fiordland College, secondary schooling in the Te Anau Basin had been reliant upon Manapouri District High School situated in the township of Manapouri. Leading members of the Te Anau and Manapouri communities made strong representations to Parliament through the office of the Member of Parliament for the Southland/Fiordland area (Hon Mr Brian Talboys, who was also MP for Wallace and later Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand) for a new secondary school to be established in Te Anau so that full secondary education could be given to all the children of the area. These representations were finally successful and a “Form 1 to 7” College was established in Te Anau.
Prior to the establishment of Fiordland College, a large number of students had been sent from the area to be schooled in boarding schools throughout the South Island. The establishment of the College in 1976 led to the reversal of this practice.
Since 1976 the College has established for itself an excellent record of educational achievement. Its students have performed extremely well in external examinations. The College’s School Certificate and NCEA results have been well above the national average and these results proved to be a major factor in establishing local support for the College and a wider recognition of its educational leadership.
The Broader Area
The College has established a relationship with Otago University which has seen many of its students achieve top academic results at University and is recognised as an institution which provides excellent students for the various faculties of the University.
Taking, as it does, a wide cross section of students from its catchment area, the College has also successfully met the needs of both students and the community in providing students with a wide range of skills, knowledge, experiences and values which have made them highly sought after employees in trades, services, the armed forces, industry and business.