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Villa Maria College

Te rohe - Location
21 Peer Street, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch 8041

Ngā haora mahi - Opening hours

Te utu - Admission

The Villa Maria College Archive is housed on site at the College and holds a range of material significant to the history of the College, its staff and students. With financial support from the Villa Past Pupils’ Association, the Archive has begun digitising this material to preserve and make accessible its collections to the wider College Community.

A Brief history of the College:
The Sisters of Mercy purchased the property on which the College is now situated in 1917 and the school was opened on 18 February 1918 with 14 pupils enrolled. In 1921, the sisters staffed and provided classroom space for a new Riccarton Parish School, which eventually became known as the Meadow School, for those Catholic families who could not afford to pay for their children’s education. When another Catholic school (St Teresa’s) opened nearby in 1937, boys were transferred from Villa and from 1941 the school reverted to being a college for girls. The boarding school phased out from 1979 and Villa Maria became a day school. In 1981 the College was integrated into the New Zealand state school system. With the resignation of the last Sister of Mercy Principal in 1992, the first lay Principal was appointed. In 1995 the Sisters gifted the Villa Maria convent buildings to the College for use as classrooms. Villa Maria College, together with the Sisters of Mercy, and past and present students and staff, celebrated the College’s 100th Birthday in 2018.

To view more digital content relating to Villa Maria College go to our Digital NZ site:

Ngā momo kohinga -
Collection Strengths

Archives and manuscripts

  • Newspapers


  • Historic photography

Social history

  • Textiles and clothing

Whakapā mai -

Kei te mahere -
On the map

Tūhuratia te kohinga -
Explore collection