School Uniform: New Zealand School Regulations

Schools have differed greatly from country to country and over time in the required uniform pants. New Zealand has long been regarded as "more British than the British," clinging to conservative aspects of the Home Country no longer in effect. Most New Zealand secondary schools do insist on uniforms. Most parents think that uniforms are appropriate and a positive contribution to the overall educational effort.

The regulations concerning those uniforms can be quite detailed.

The 1990s

Here are some representative school uniform regulations in the 1990s. The following school dress codes seems to admit only grudgingly to a minimum of contemporary teenage fashion styles, (pantyhose for girls, long hair on boys) while still proscribing the blue jeans so common in the rest of the western scholastic world.

State secondary school

Hawerahs High School: Hawera is a small city of some 8,500 population, located on the South West coast of North Island, in the ruggedly scenic Taranaki District, but is typical of public schools nationwide.

It is school policy, approved by the Board of Trustees, that all students wear the uniform determined by the Board. Parents are expected to outfit their children in the uniform described in this booklet and the Principal and Staff have delegated to them the rights to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the policy is effective. All parts of the uniform should be clearly named (marked). It is also useful to have a unique or secret means of identifying items of clothing. Students at Hawera High School have a most attractive uniform and wear it with considerable pride.

the boys uniform is as follows:
Summer Uniform:
Shirt: Grey brand or similar.
Shorts: Grey regulation.
Footwear: Plain black, brown or navy blue sandals worn without socks, or plain black leather lace-up shoes.
Jersey/coat: The approved school jacket/coat is the only garment students an wear over their uniform. NO OTHER COAT MAY BE WORN.

Winter Uniform:
Shirt: As for summer.
Trousers: Regulation charcoal grey LONG trousers. (Jeans, corduroy or drainpipe trousers are not acceptable.) Boys who do not wish to wear long trousers may wear regulation navy blue SHORT trousers.
Jersey/coat/scarf: Same as for the summer.
Socks: Regulation school socks if SHORT trousers are worn. Socks to be worn at full height and one turndown. With LONG trousers dark socks are to be worn.
Footwear: Plain black leather lace-up shoes. (Any form of boot is not permitted.)
Belt: Plain black or brown.


Students representing the school on interschool sports, cultural or field trips wear the regulation school uniform unless weather or field conditions dictate otherwise. Groups may opt to wear dress uniform which is winter uniform with a white shirt and school tie. School ties can be purchased from the uniform shop.

Purchase of Uniform: Items of uniform are available from local retailers. The School operates a very efficient uniform shop in Dixon Block where uniforms can be sold or purchased. The Assistant Principal oversees this operation. Uniform sales are held during the year, generally around uniform change-over dates.

Notes on Grooming: Students must wear a complete uniform at all times and ensure that it is clean and tidy. Attention should be paid to personal cleanliness. Boys should be clean shaven at all times and their hair should be a tidy length. Unusual styling is not accepted, eg skinhead, dreadlocks etc.

Note: Students wearing non-regulation uniform items without a pass risk having the garment confiscated for a period of time.

Christopher Wagner

Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Late 19th century] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s]
[The 1970s] [The 1980s]

Created: November 10, 1998
Last updated: August 28, 1999