Whanganui Collegiate School

Whanganui Collegiate School (formerly Wanganui Collegiate School; see here) is a state-integrated, coeducational, day and boarding, secondary school in Whanganui, Manawatū-Whanganui region, New Zealand. The school is affiliated to the Anglican church.

Whanganui Collegiate School
Wanganui Collegiate School logo.jpg
Liverpool Street, Whanganui, New Zealand
Coordinates39°55′44.51″S 175°2′15.48″E / 39.9290306°S 175.0376333°E / -39.9290306; 175.0376333Coordinates: 39°55′44.51″S 175°2′15.48″E / 39.9290306°S 175.0376333°E / -39.9290306; 175.0376333
TypeState integrated
Day & Boarding
MottoVestigia Nulla Retrorsum (Never A Footstep Back)
Established1854; 168 years ago (1854)
Ministry of Education Institution no.192
HeadmasterWayne Brown[1]
School roll457[2] (March 2022)
Socio-economic decile9Q[3]
The school and chapel in 1912


Whanganui Collegiate School was founded as Wanganui Collegiate School in 1854[4] thanks to a land grant in 1852 by the Governor of New Zealand, Sir George Grey, to the Bishop of New Zealand, George Augustus Selwyn, for the purpose of establishing a school. The school moved to its current site in 1911.[4] It was originally a boys-only school but in 1991 began admitting girls at senior levels and went fully co-educational in 1999. The school celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2004.

St George’s School moved to the Collegiate campus in 2010. The combined schools provide primary education for day students on the St George campus, and secondary education for day and boarding students on the Collegiate campus.[5]

Collegiate is an International Member of The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) which represents heads of the leading independent schools in Ireland, the United Kingdom and international schools mainly from the Commonwealth. Whanganui Collegiate is one of only three member schools in New Zealand.

Since 2019, Collegiate has been one of three Round Square schools in New Zealand along with King's College and Christ's College.[6]

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, spent two terms in 1982 at the school as a junior master during his gap year.

In November 2012, it was announced that the school would integrate into the state system effective January 2013, after requiring a $3.8 million bailout from the government to stay afloat.[7]

In January 2019, the Whanganui Collegiate School Board of Trustees and Whanganui College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to add an 'h' to the spelling of 'Wanganui', following other local organisations and secondary schools after the Whanganui District was similarly renamed in November 2015.[8][9]

School lifeEdit

As a boarding school, the house system plays a significant role in student life. Each house (of which there are 6 in total; four for boys and two for girls) accommodates approximately 80 students, and each has its own Housemaster, Assistant Housemaster and Matron. The school houses are named Harvey which is named after Reverend B. W. (Bache Wright) Harvey,[10] Hadfield which is named after Octavius Hadfield,[11] Grey which is named after George Grey, Selwyn which is named after George Selwyn,[12] Godwin and Bishops.

The school grounds also host numerous sporting facilities, including the Izard Gymnasium, High Performance Cricket Centre, A Water Surface Hockey turf a full-sized Cross Country Course and many team sports fields. The nearby Whanganui River is used by students for rowing training and competitions; rowing being one of the sports in which Collegiate has traditionally excelled, having won the Maadi Cup 17 times, a national record. The Collegiate women's squad had a particularly strong year in 2006 when it won the most prestigious women's race in the lower north Island, the Levin Jubilee Trophy, for the first time.[13] Unfortunately, such success could not be replicated on the national stage, with the u18 girls eight only managing bronze in the penultimate race of the 2007 Maadi Cup.[14] The School also hosts the nationally popular Whanganui Cricket Festival each year which sees over 1000 cricketers display their skills throughout the month of January.

Since 1925, the school's 'First XV' rugby team has played Christ's College, Wellington College and Nelson College in an annual quadrangular rugby tournament, this Tournament is played at a different school every year playing at Collegiate once every four years. In recent times, this tournament has been dominated by Wellington College. Whanganui Collegiate last won in 1991.

Since 1994, The New Zealand Opera School has been hosted at Collegiate by Donald Trott.[15]

Notable alumniEdit


  • Charles Henry Sinderby Nicholls (1854–1865)
  • Henry H Godwin (1865–1877)
  • George Richard Saunders (1878–1882)
  • Bache Wright Harvey (1882–1887)
  • Walter Empson (1888–1909)
  • Julian Llewellyn Dove (1909–1914)
  • Hugh Latter (1914–1916)
  • Patrick Marshall (1917–1922)
  • Robert Guy Wilson (1922)
  • Charles Frederick Pierce (1922–1931)
  • John Allen (1932–1935)
  • Frank William Gilligan (1936–1954)[18]
  • Rab Brougham Bruce-Lockhart (1954–1960)[19]
  • Thomas Umfrey Wells (1960–1980)
  • Ian McKinnon (1980–1988)[20]
  • Trevor Stanton McKinlay (1988–1995)
  • Johnathan Rae Hensman (1995–2003)[21]
  • Craig Considine (2003–2008)
  • Tim Wilbur (2008–2013)
  • Chris Moller (2013–2017)[22]
  • Ross Brown (2017–2017) (acting) [23]
  • Wayne Brown (2018–)


  1. ^ "Headmaster's Newsletter" (PDF). Wanganui Collegiate. 20 September 2017.
  2. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b "WCS Museum & Archives". Whanganui Collegiate School. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Headmaster's Welcome". Wanganui Collegiate. Archived from the original on 26 May 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  6. ^ WhangaChron, Staff Reporter news@whanganuichronicle co nz (19 June 2019). "Whanganui Collegiate School accepted as a Round Square School". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  7. ^ Moir, Jo (13 January 2014). "School gets aid despite assets worth millions". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  8. ^ "'H' to be added to Wanganui District name". Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). 17 November 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Wanganui Collegiate School changes to Whanganui Collegiate School". Whanganui Chronicle. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Harvey House". Whanganui Collegiate School. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Hadfield House". Whanganui Collegiate School. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Selwyn House". Whanganui Collegiate School. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Magnificent final day at the Maadi Cup".
  14. ^ "We did ok, says rowing coach - NZ Herald".
  15. ^ Davidson, Doug (5 December 2019). "Donald Trott: A Lifetime of Achievement" (PDF). River City Press.
  16. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 315.
  17. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 313.
  18. ^ "Eminent Old Alleynians : Sport". Dulwich College. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  19. ^ "Major Rab Brougham Bruce-Lockhart". Retrieved 26 August 2009.[self-published source]
  20. ^ "Their Brilliant Careers" (PDF). Ingenio. University of Auckland: 24. Autumn 2005. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  21. ^ Full list with biographies in The Register of the Wanganui Collegiate School, 1854–2003, 7th edition, 2003, ed. P. N Irvine, ISBN 0-473-09863-6, pp 21–23
  22. ^ "Headmaster of Wanganui Collegiate sentenced for drink-driving". New Zealand Herald. 13 December 2016.
  23. ^ "New head for Wanganui Collegiate". Whanganui Chronicle. 28 July 2017.


External linksEdit