The first school in Motueka opened in 1847 and was operated from a church.  Motueka Primary School was established in 1857 on the corner of Greenwood and High Streets.  A new school was built on the present site of the Motueka Museum in 1866, catering for primary students only.  Over the years further buildings were added.  In 1902 the Motueka District High School was opened with one teacher and a roll of 21 pupils! In 1913, as the roll grew, a new brick building (now the Motueka Museum) was opened. The present Parklands buildings were opened in 1944, and then in 1955, the secondary department transferred to the new Motueka High School in Whakarewa Street. The following year the name ‘Parklands’ was adopted for the Primary School. Today, Parklands School is a co-educational state School and one of the largest full primary schools in the Motueka district.

Motueka is a rural township, 50 km from Nelson, servicing a population of 12,000 expanding to 20,000 during the summer. It is a diverse community, with farming, horticulture, commerce, forestry, fishing and tourism, being the main contributors to the economic base. Services and facilities available in the town cater for most of the needs of the community. These include a public library, museum, recreation centre, airport, sports and cultural clubs, as well as a comprehensive shopping centre and range of professional services.

The School is centrally located in the township, close to the business area. It is also handy to community facilities and to the region’s rivers, beaches and national parks. Amongst the School Community, are a wide diversity of lifestyles, cultures, philosophies and beliefs.