Wanganui Collegiate's outstanding historic and heritage significance has been recognised with Heritage New Zealand combining six individual property listings into a single, Category 1 historic place entry on its New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero.

"The school warranted the highest recognition because of its considerable architectural and historical qualities," says Central Region general manager Claire Craig.

"Category 1 recognition reflects the significance Wanganui Collegiate has as a campus with an important history expressed in its architectural styles and landscaped grounds.

"The new listing includes buildings previously formally acknowledged such as the original main school building, known as Big School, the Chapel, and the original boarding houses. In addition it recognises the important contributions of later 20th century buildings, showing the development of the school."

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Since 1982 individual Cate-gory 2 listings recognised Wanganui Collegiate's chapel, pavilion, toilet blocks and the Grey, Hadfield and Marris houses. Between 1909 and 1912, a new campus was created on part of its estate to accommodate the expanding college.

"There are a range of architectural styles that reflect the changing nature of the school and society from the early 20th century," says heritage adviser architecture Alison Dangerfield.

"These include Big School, the cricket pavilion and student and staff housing with a distinct English Domestic style, while the Modernist style of the 1960s is reflected in the Science Block and Empson, Marris and Porritt houses.

"And then there is the 1980s designed Prince Edward Auditorium which honours the time His Royal Highness spent there as a tutor over two years."

Heritage New Zealand's board approved the new listing when it met in December. The decision followed a number of submissions received when the proposal was publicly notified, and after discussions with the Wanganui Collegiate Board of Trustees.