An appeal has been launched to restore the historic St Patrick's Catholic Presbytery in Auckland's central city.

The appeal is aimed at raising $3 million for the presbytery, the longest continually lived-in Auckland central city residence and the only purpose-built Roman Catholic cathedral presbytery from the 1800s to survive in New Zealand.

A spokeswoman for the Auckland Catholic Diocese said the building had a leaking roof, needed seismic strengthening and was in poor shape.

The Cathedral Heritage Foundation and the cathedral parish are understood to be also contributing financially to the restoration, which could cost up to $3.5 million.

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Heritage New Zealand said the building is listed as Category A.

"Erected in 1888, the two-storey building of Gothic Revival design was built as a priests' residence and as the administrative centrepiece of the Diocese of Auckland, the Cathedral complex of St Patrick's and the local Cathedral parish.

"The presbytery was part of an important ecclesiastical complex in the city centre, initially founded in the 1840s by Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier (1801-1871), the pre-eminent Catholic clergyman in early colonial New Zealand," the Heritage NZ listing says.

The planned works come after $13 million was spent renovating and restoring the cathedral last decade.

The project is scheduled to begin next year and be done by mid-2017.

St Patrick's
1885: Larger Cathedral Church of St Patrick and St Joseph rises next door.
1888: Presbytery designed by Edward Mahoney and Sons, built by EJ Matthews for £2000.
1960s/70s: Interior modifications made to presbytery.
2017: $3.5 million restoration to be completed.