Please note: New Zealand Now content reflects pre-COVID-19 conditions and outlook. For COVID-19 related updates to visa and border requirements, click here.

Whanganui - Manawatu education

Public and private education alternatives from preschool through to tertiary level are widely available right through the region.

At secondary school level, Whanganui is home to Whanganui Collegiate School which is regarded as one of New Zealand's finest private, co-education boarding schools. Whanganui is also a leading centre of tertiary education for creative industries.

Palmerston North has 40% of its population either attending or teaching at one of its 70 educational institutions including Massey University. Massey is New Zealand's premiere institution for food science and technology, biotechnology, advanced material sciences and product development.

If your children are New Zealand residents, permanent residents or citizens (this includes Tokelauans, Cook Islanders and Niueans), or they hold a student visa based on your temporary work visa, they can attend primary and secondary schools as domestic students. If this is not the case, you should check to see if they need visas.

Early childhood education

There are over 260 options for early childhood education in the Whanganui / Manawatu region. The Ministry of Education lists all childcare options in the region and their contact details.

There are many different types of early childhood services.  A key difference between these services is how much involvement they expect of the child's parents and family. The main types of early childhood education services are described on the Education Review Office website.

Early childhood education providers are listed on the Education Counts website. For more information about kindergartens in this region, visit the Whanganui, Dannevirke and Ruahine Kindergarten Associations from the New Zealand Kindergartens Association website.

ECE providers in the region | Ministry of Education

Kindergartens in the region | NZ Kindergarten Association

Types of early childhood education services | Education Review Office 


Playgroups are informal sessions where caregivers and children aged 0-5 meet together in a relaxed environment. In a playgroup, parents and caregivers stay to interact with the other adults and to play with the children.

Playgroups are usually set up and run by parents and caregivers, with children choosing from a range of activities. Activities at playgroup are either free or low cost, and may include music and singing, imaginative play, outdoor and free play, or arts and crafts.

Playgroups in the Manawatu region | Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)

Find a school

Visit the Education Counts website for information about schools in the Whanganui / Manawatu region.

You can search this website for single sex or co-educational schools and boarding schools in the region.

Information is provided on student population and attainment for each school, decile rating, website and street address as well as a link to their Education review office report.

More information on the types of schooling available in New Zealand and what qualifications are offered there can be found on the School System page.

Find schools in the Whanganui / Manawatu region | Education Counts

The school system

Check school zones

Not all schools have an enrolment zone, but if they do the school will have a Show/ Hide Enrolment zone option, and a blue marker. If you click either option a zone will appear on the map.

This website also shows transport options for the school. TKI is a service of the Ministry of Education.

Check school zones in Ruapehu | TKI Mapfinder

Check school zones in Wanganui  | TKI Mapfinder

Check school zones in Rangitikei  | TKI Mapfinder

Check school zones in Manawatu | TKI Mapfinder

Check school zones in Palmerston North | TKI Mapfinder

Check school zones in Tararua | TKI Mapfinder

Check school zones in Horowhenua  | TKI Mapfinder

Tertiary education

Tertiary education in the Whanganui / Manawatu Region is provided by Massey University, Universal College of Learning (UCOL), the Institute of the Pacific United (IPU) New Zealand and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

UCOL Polytechnic has a campus in Palmerston North, and Massey University's main campus is located in Palmerston North.

Massey University



Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Tertiary courses in the Whanganui/Manawatu region |

Adult Community Education

There is a range of adult learning opportunities in Palmerston North.

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Sign up to receive relevant job opportunities from New Zealand employers and practical advice on how to make your move to New Zealand a reality.