Pekerau School, located approximately 30 kilometres south of Hamilton, was officially opened on 3 February 1958 with a roll of 263 pupils, initially known only 'Te Awamutu No. 2 school'. ‘Pekerau’ the official name was given to this school on 17 April 1958, was supposed to be an abbreviation of Pekapekarau, the early Māori name for the area. The spelling should have been ‘Pekarau’ but was mistakenly written as
Pekapekarau means ‘a multitude of bats’.