New Plymouth Boys’ High School Crest

Although established in 1882, the New Plymouth Boys’ High School Crest as we know it now was created in 1911. It was designed by a drawing master Mr D Hutton. Mr Hutton used the well known imagery of the day of Mt Taranaki, the Huia, the Ponga tree and the letters N.P for obvious reasons. Higher aims and noble thoughts were the underpinning themes of this crest. Latin mottos were popular of the day and our motto (Et Comitate, Et Virtute, Et Sapienta) is shared with our sister school New Plymouth Girls’ High School

Prior to 1911 the school ‘insignia’ consisted of the letters N.P.H.S in a monogram form on a shield with the current motto beneath it – Et Comitate, Et Virtute, Et Sapienta.  

The refreshed crest maintains all our traditions whilst refreshing, simplifying and accentuating the key elements. It was created by graphic design expert and consultant, Old Boy, Scott Wilson (1976-1980) in 2015. Scott generously donated his time to this project.

Te Maunga – Mt Taranaki

It is fitting that Te Maunga (Mt Taranaki) dominates the crest and takes premium position on our crest. Mt Taranaki (meaning shining peak) is formidable, it represents perfection, consistency and great heights. Reminding us continually to aim high and for excellence in everything we do, every day.

Ponga Tree

Ponga, (Cyathea dealbata), is the silver tree fern endemic to New Zealand. It is where we get the colour silver from in our school colours. The Ponga symbolizes our students, large in numbers, standing tall, reaching for the sun, fast growing, practical, uncomplicated, pragmatic, valued by the community for their versatility and resilience.

Tiger Stripe

The Tiger Stripe arrow represents our famous Tiger Jacket. The Tiger Jacket symbolises excellence and tradition. The Tiger Jacket is our most revered school award and is nationally recognised, distinctive and uniquely New Plymouth Boys’ High School. It also forms our colour pallette; Silver, white, black and gold.


The Huia a beautiful song bird found only in NZ was deemed extinct in 1907. The Huia was extremely valuable and significant to Maori for their skins, beaks and long striking white tipped tail feathers. The Huia for Maori is a symbol of nobility and high endeavour. Something readily identifiable and still relevant to our school today.  

Deforestation was another contributor to the Huia’s demise reminding us how important committing to the protection of our environment and sustainable practises are.

The Huia on our crest is appropriately the female variety reinforcing that while we are a boys school, woman are very important and influential in our lives. They are to be respected and protected at all times.


The very first insignia had the letters NPHS which then progressed to just NP in 1911. We have restored this to NPBHS, the acronym we have called ourselves for many decades.


Our birthday. Enough said.

Motto and Ribbon

Since 1882 our Latin motto has remained steadfast:

Et Comitate (Comradeship)

Et Virtutue (Valour)

Et Sapienta (Wisdom)

While our everyday words may have changed to more identifiable nouns no one can question or deny friendship, courage and education are part of our DNA.

The current motto wasn’t without challenge as in 1909 a ‘special committee’ recommended that the Maori phrase of Runga-Riro (meaning ‘above all’) become our motto. While it wasn’t to be, it is coincidental that over 100 years later our similar vision of ‘Be The Example’ (Kia Tu Hei Tauira) has been adopted.

The ribbon on our refreshed crest is returned to the original square variety with the third ‘ET’ sitting in the correct section of the ribbon!



Prior to 1911 the school ‘insignia’ consisted of the words N.P.H.S in a monogram form on a shield with the current motto beneath it – Et Comitate, Et Virtute, Et Sapienta.