Pompallier Catholic College is named after Bishop Jean Baptiste Francois Pompallier who led the first group of Catholic Missionaries from Lyons, France, to New Zealand.

Arriving in the Hokianga with three Marist Priests and Brothers in 1838, he quickly set about learning the Maori language and meeting the needs of Catholics already present in New Zealand. This early group of missionaries went on to establish churches, health and education services throughout New Zealand.

In 2002 Bishop Pompallier's remains were disinterred from his homeland of France and, after a hikoi, which included a visit of his casket to Pompallier Catholic College, was re-interred at Motuti on the shores of the Hokianga Harbour on 20 April 2002.

The College was founded in 1971 after fund-raising among Northland Parishes. It started as a private Boys' Boarding School. The College is owned by the Auckland Catholic Diocese and had the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers and Brothers) as its foundation staff.

Responding to local needs and changing circumstances, the College became co-educational in 1977, closed the boarding facility in 1981 and in the same year became a State-integrated Secondary school administered by a Board of Trustees.

An attached Intermediate was opened in 1995. We are now known as a Year 7 - 13 State integrated co-educational Secondary School.