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Tararua District


( )
Main town: Dannevirkemarker
Other towns: Pahiatua, Norsewood, Woodville, Eketahuna
Territorial Authority
Name: Tararua District Council
Mayor: Maureen Reynolds
Land area: 4,360.56 km² (1,683.62 sq mi)
Extent: Norsewood to Eketahuna;Pacific Ocean to Ruahine Ranges
See also: Manawatu District, Palmerston Northmarker
Regional Council
Name: Manawatu-Wanganuimarker (Horizons Regional Council); Wellington Regionalmarker Council

The Tararua District lies near the south-east corner of New Zealandmarker's North Islandmarker. Created in 1989, it was named after the Tararua Rangemarker, which forms much of its western boundary. It has a population of and an area of 4,360.56 km².

The district's northwest boundary runs along the top of the Ruahine Rangemarker; its south-east boundary is the Pacific Oceanmarker. The catchment of the Manawatu Rivermarker generally defines the north and south extremities. The catchment is also the reason why the majority of the district is in the Manawatu-Wanganuimarker Region, although traditionally many of the people of the district regard themselves as living in either Hawke's Baymarker (in the north) or Wairarapa (in the south).

Towns and regional government

The district's chief town is Dannevirkemarker, settled by immigrants from Denmarkmarker in the 19th century. It is also the centre for a Community Board. Other towns (from south to north along the main valleys) include Eketahunamarker and Pahiatuamarker, which have their own Community Boards, and Woodvillemarker, Ormondville, and Norsewoodmarker. Near the coast are Pongaroamarker, Herbertville, Akitio, and Alfredton.

While the vast majority (98.42% by land area) of Tararua District is part of the Manawatu-Wanganui Region, a small triangle of rural land (1.58% by land area) north of the Owahanga River in the southeast of the district is part of Wellington Regionmarker. According to the 2006 Census this area, known as Mara, has only 3 residents (down from 12 in 1996 and 2001).

Schools in Tararua District

"Forty-Mile Bush"

When Europeans settled the area, it was almost entirely forested and was called "Forty-Mile Bush". Industrious clearance has made it a busy pastoral district, although the region close to the Pacific coast is still sparsely populated. The original name lives on in that of the local National Provincial Championship rugby union team, Wairarapa-Bush.


Agriculture is the district's main industry. Other industries include textiles, food processing, and retailing. Commercial forestry is expected to become more important to the district's economy in the next few years.

Weather forecasts

Before 2006, weather forecasts on National Radio (as provided by MetService) had usually mentioned Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa but rarely if ever Tararua, probably leaving Tararua residents wondering which applied to them when the forecasts differed.

Officially it is considered a sub-region of the Wairarapa district. Since early in 2006, Met Service policy is that a separate Tararua forecast will be issued only if the expected weather in that area differs significantly from the other sub-regions (Mastertonmarker, Cartertonmarker, and South Wairarapa). However, by the time the forecast is actually broadcast over National Radio (at least until early March 2006), Tararua is simply listed as a separate district if it is mentioned at all (commonly in the phrase "Tararua and Wairarapa"), and if it is mentioned separately or bracketed with other areas apart from Wairarapa there is no indication that the Wairarapa forecast excludes Tararua.


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