Whanganui High School has a new principal.

Martin McAllen takes over from acting principal Ross Brown in February. He is the deputy principal of Manurewa High School.

In a release announcing the appointment, board chair Randal Southee said "the board was particularly aware of the need to recruit a principal who was able to make a long term commitment to our school, and who could demonstrate their ability to develop strong relationships with our student whanau/families, Iwi and wider community.

The decision to appoint Mr McAllen was unanimous he said.


Mr McAllen began his teaching career as an English teacher.

He has a Master of Educational Leadership with First Class Honours; Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership; Diploma of Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts.

"Martin will be moving with his wife, Sandy, who is also a secondary school teacher. They have two adult daughters, one who is currently at university and an older daughter who is working in Wellington.

"Martin is delighted with his new appointment and is particularly happy to be moving to Whanganui, a place that has been very special to him."

Mr McAllen has connections with the district as a "favourite great-aunt" lived here.

"I have many memories of enjoying my time there during the school holidays.

"As a secondary school student and keen athlete, my school running team travelled annually to Whanganui to compete in the Virginia Lake relay and it was one of my favourite sporting events every year."

Mr McAllen said he would be making a "long-term commitment to the on-going educational success of the school and also contributing to the wider community".