Welcome to Boarding

Join us at Nelson College to give your son a world-class range of academic and co-curricular opportunities.

Boarding welcomes students from Year 7 – 13. We have the staffing, processes and facilities to help safely support students from all age groups to flourish.

Boarding is at the heart of Nelson College.  Our staff work closely with you and your son, in recently renovated hostel facilities, to ensure that he enjoys a positive time in boarding and at Nelson College generally.

The majority of our boarders come from around New Zealand, with others also travelling from globally to join us in Nelson.

We provide extensive pastoral care to ensure students’ physical and mental health and wellbeing, both in boarding and at school.  Our Director of Boarding, Housemasters and Supervisors all work closely with whānau and students to get the most out of being at Nelson College.

Contact Director or Boarding Tim Middleton for enquires about boarding at Nelson College.

Start your son’s legacy at Nelson College today.

Tim Middleton
Director of Boarding

Tim Middleton

Director of Boarding


Tracy McLaren

Housemaster, Rutherford


Simon Mardon

Housemaster, Barnicoat


“I think that the social life here is a real high point in boarding…Learning to live with other people…lifelong friends”

– Fergus, Year 11

The road from Picton to Nelson College is a well-known route for me. Jack went into Boarding at Barnicoat House in Year 8, while at Preparatory School, however we stayed in Nelson for school at Prep and travelled home to Picton for the weekends from Year 7! Jack is now in Year 13. Before that, Cam, another Grandson, also from Picton, completed his secondary schooling at Nelson Boys’ and was a Rutherford Boy. Therefore, that is a total of twelve years I have been heading over the hill!


Barnicoat Parent

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During the early years, I got to know Annette Taylor, previous Director of Boarding. What a wonderful inspiring woman she was, and a great help to me in wondering if I was doing the right thing in sending my boy into boarding. Sadly, Annette lost a tough, very bravely fought battle, to cancer. Her memories live on with all the Boarding parents, her students and teachers, who were so lucky to have known Annette.

Annette assured me that Jack would thrive in Boarding. She introduced me to Simon Mardon, House Master at Barnicoat. Annette had very high regard for Simon …. and from my experiences, he has never let her down. I believe Simon has great wisdom and great judgement, that is why the house functions in equilibrium. Jodie is Simon’s wife, and full credit to Jodie too, they’re an awesome team. Living on site, with their families, along with Vikki, Johnny and Samme certainly creates a lovely family environment for the boys.

Vikki Heays (now our Careers Advisor at Nelson College) was Matron to the Prep. Boys at Barnicoat. That first year poor Vikki got a few calls from me, yes, it was hard to let go!! Vikki was amazing, she is so kind, caring and so patient, and along with Johnny Fraser, her partner, another great Team. Johnny supervises at Barnicoat too. It is such a family affair, which is so awesome for our boys.

Debbie Baxter, Barnicoat Supervisor and former Sanatorium Nurse has played a huge roll in keeping our boys safe and well. Debbie knew how to care for our boys and when to refer on, so that our boys’ needs were always meet.

Our dear Georgina Klassen, although retired now and in London, has to have a mention. Georgina was Matron of Barnicoat for many years and nurtured and spoilt our boys so well. This year the boys have a lovely, hardworking new Matron, Lucy Burns. Jack and I were so happy when we heard of this new role for Lucy. Lucy has been at Barnicoat since 2018 where she commenced her employment as Barnicoat Cleaner was always sparkling. The boys are very fond of her. She is such a super role model    and a very caring Matron (endorsed by Jack). I always look forward to having a yarn with Lucy when I’m over at Barnicoat, she is a lovely friendly young woman.

Then there’s the boys! I love driving up that hill to Barnicoat and am recognised by Jack’s year, I even get the odd hug! I know that those boys will all be friends for life.

There have been other casual Supervisors over my years, all, I believe have been chosen so well. Kane Hames, Tony, Nathan Baxter and our dear Punn, to mention just a few, all of whom have given the boys discipline, the best of care, and great opportunities to have so much fun, while in boarding.

I have enjoyed getting to know and liaising with Samme Hippolite, our Director of Boarding. I have always found Samme to be very professional in her role with our boys, boarding staff and parents. I believe, both Samme and Simon have an ‘open door policy’. I have found that if I have any issues to deal with, they are readily available. I have always felt heard, fully supported and respected.

I am going to miss my experiences with Nelson College and Boarding next year, however I know I am so much richer for the experiences over the past twelve years.

Glass always half full….it has kept me young.

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