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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm so happy to have found this forum and hoping for some insight on neighbourhoods to locate our family to.

We have two priorities: #1 good public schools and #2a minimal car commute time to work (near U of Auckland), and #2b walking or bicycle access to nice, open, public spaces like beaches and parks.

For schools, our children are ages 14, 12 and 8 so will probably need to go to two or three different schools (I am assuming). Our older children are super sporty and want to play a variety of team sports (including water polo), swimming and tennis. They are also highly motivated learners and are used to living amongst a global community with children of all different nationalities. Are there any public schools in the Auckland area that fit this description?

As for commuting, I would be ideal if my husband could ride his bike to work, or take a ferry but he does not want to deal with long car commutes.

And for me, I would love to live somewhere with liberal and open-minded. Would love to be involved in a yoga/healthy living community.

Would anyone be able to suggest some neighbourhoods to look at or is my criteria too unrealistic for Auckland? We have a reasonably comfortable budget for housing so would be open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks for any advise you can give to us!
 

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Hi there - welcome to the forum.
You'll find few previous posts that also discuss schools. There are some very good ones out there - and of course some not so good ones! There isn't really a 'good school' rating system, but there is a thing called 'decile ratings' - what these do is rate a school from 1 to 10, based on the average income of the families that attend the school. So 10 decile have the richest parents, and 1 decile the poorest.

the reason for this is that the lower decile schools will get a bigger fund from the Government! It's supposed to equal things up, but what ends up happening is the higher decile schools ask for a 'donation' from the parents. The better/richer the school, the higher the 'donation'.

So - what are good schools? Well there are the Auckland Grammar schools, Mount Albert Grammar, and (one close to where I lived) Macleans College in Howick. All are very good schools,, but you have to be in the catchment area (and watch those donations!)

Oh - and the other great thing about Howick, and in particular Buckland Beach (where Macleans is) is the fantastic 35 ferry journey into CBD every day. I really miss that!

See Auckland Region / Schools / Homepage - Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI)
And School decile ratings - Ministry of Education
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your reply, Topcat 83.

Could you give me an estimate on what "donation" would be considered appropriate for a 10 decile school vs an 8 decile school?

I had a look at the Bucklands Beach Intermediate school and really liked their value statement - diversity, global leadership, etc. However, they don't seem to have a lot of sports on offer, at least on their website. Also, with McLeans College, I love that the kids are from 50 different nationalities and they have high academic standards but there not much written about their sports program either. Sport is going to be a big factor for us in determining which schools to choose. Are there any schools out there convenient to the CBD like Bucklands Beach Intermediate and McLeans College but with more sports options (such as swimming, tennis, volleyball, basketball, water polo).
 

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Thanks for your reply, Topcat 83.

Could you give me an estimate on what "donation" would be considered appropriate for a 10 decile school vs an 8 decile school?

I had a look at the Bucklands Beach Intermediate school and really liked their value statement - diversity, global leadership, etc. However, they don't seem to have a lot of sports on offer, at least on their website. Also, with McLeans College, I love that the kids are from 50 different nationalities and they have high academic standards but there not much written about their sports program either. Sport is going to be a big factor for us in determining which schools to choose. Are there any schools out there convenient to the CBD like Bucklands Beach Intermediate and McLeans College but with more sports options (such as swimming, tennis, volleyball, basketball, water polo).
You would be hard pushed to find any school in New Zealand that didn't do lots of sports! And BBI and Macleans are no different! Macleans in particular has a wonderful cliff-top sports field (my son couldn't believe that it was a 'state school', and not a private school), with rugby, tennis, netball, and many more. My cousin's son (who goes there) is an avid sports player. Most of the Grammar Schools have excellent rugby and netball reputations - they're a bit of a religion over here! You could look at Pakuranga College too.

Macleans 'donation' for 2013 is $490 - see http://www.macleans.school.nz/parents/assets/chargesnonpaymentfees2013.pdf for a very interesting page that shows you how much parents will be charged for extracurricular activities if they choose not to pay it! I think it makes very interesting reading.... even with a 'donation' you have to pay something on top towards things. Frankly, it's a bit of a joke!
After saying that, Macleans has an excellent academic reputation.....

One reason why the sports may not be advertised quite so much in this area is the high Chinese school roll - generally, academic and music achievement is sought after by these communities.
 

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Which Auckland Uni campus: City, Grafton, Taāmaki or Epsom? They're each in different suburbs. I work on Grafton campus in the health sciences faculty.

Yay more Canucks in NZ!
 
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