Hataitai School began life as Hataitai Side School, an offshoot of Roseneath School and under that school's control. It opened in a small wooden house in Grafton Road in September 1914 and taught children up to standard four. Two years later a two-room school was built on the present site at the junction of Hataitai and Hohiria Roads. It opened on 12 September 1916 with a roll of 108.
By 1921 the roll had reached 200. Ties with Roseneath School were cut and Hataitai School established in its own right, with Mr Balfour Kean as the first headmaster. A third classroom was built and opened in 1923 to cope with the ever-increasing roll, now at 297 - a 50% increase in only two years. Another room was opened in June 1925. Other buildings and facilities followed over the years - a tennis pavillion in 1934, staff room (1952), prefab classrooms (1953 and 1960), swimming pool (1963?) and a library (1969). In 1971 the roll was 430 and a golden jubilee celebration was held.
At the jubilee the idea of a school hall was raised. Fundraising went on for the next seven years. Much cash came from donations by ex-pupils, and there were grants from the City Council and the Ministry of Recreation and Sport. Building started in April 1978 and the hall was officially opened on 22 April 1979 by MP Bill Young. It was to be named the Ferguson Hall after Gavin and Molly Ferguson. Gavin had been at the school as headmaster and first assistant for 28 years, and Molly had taught and done office work at school for 22 years. The final cost including furnishings was $100,000.
In July 1994 the Minister of Education Lockwood Smith opened the school's "little village" complex. This redevelopment of an old building contained three classrooms for junior pupils, a reading recovery room and resource room and cost $450,000.
Today Hataitai School has a roll of around 330 and teaches children up to year 8 (the old form 2 or standard 6). The school's website is available here.