Otorohanga (Maori: Ōtorohanga) is a north King Country town in the Waikato region in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located 53 kilometres (33 mi) south of Hamilton and 18 kilometres (11 mi) north of Te Kuiti, on the Waipā River. It is a service town for the surrounding dairy-farming district. It is recognised as the "gateway" to the Waitomo Caves and as the "Kiwiana Town" of New Zealand. Until 2007, Otorohanga held a yearly 'Kiwiana Festival.'[2]

Otorohanga
Coordinates: 38°11′S 175°12′E / 38.183°S 175.200°E / -38.183; 175.200Coordinates: 38°11′S 175°12′E / 38.183°S 175.200°E / -38.183; 175.200
CountryNew Zealand
RegionWaikato
Territorial authorityŌtorohanga District
WardOtorohanga
ElectorateWaikato
Government
 • MayorMax Baxter
Population
 (June 2021)[1]
 • Total3,270
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Postcode(s)
3900
Area code(s)07

HistoryEdit

 
War memorials in Otorohanga
 
Corrugated Iron Kiwi in Otorohanga
 
Otorohanga district library

Early historyEdit

Until the 1860s Otorohanga was a Ngāti Maniopoto village, with whares, peach trees and a flour mill.[3] Huipūtea is a 300-year-old kahikatea tree, just to the south east of Ōtorohanga,[4] which was the site of a skirmish in 1822 between Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāpuhi.[5] The village was abandoned after the invasion of the Waikato, except for Lewis Hettit's (or Hetet)[3] farm.[6] The area remained insecure, with Hettit's store being robbed by Te Kooti[7] in 1869,[8] but a meeting with Donald McLean later that year signalled moves towards peace.[9]

John William Ellis became postmaster and opened a store in 1885[10] with Henry Valder[11] and John Taonui Hetet.[12] In 1886 Ngāti Maniopoto built a court room for the Native Land Court[13] and from that year mail was delivered 3 times a month[14] and disputes which had delayed development[15] were settled.[16] On 9 March 1887 the railway was extended 14 mi (23 km) from Te Awamutu[17] and a 14-room[18] hotel was built, primarily for those attending the Court.[19] The sawmill, later run by Ellis and Burnand, started in 1890[20] and closed in 1912.[21]

Modern historyEdit

In the early 1900s many businesses were established by Māori, in particular John Ormsby (Hōne Ōmipi).[22] The Otorohanga Times was formed in 1912; it merged with the King Country Chronicle to form the Waitomo News in 1980.[23] McDonald’s began a limestone quarry south of Otorohanga in 1968,[24] which was bought by Graymont in 2015.[25]

Otorohanga’s population grew from 367 in 1916 to 1,569 in 1951, after which growth slowed. Although population dropped from 2,652 in 1991 and to 2,514 in 2013, the fall was much less than in the rest of King Country.[22]

HarrodsvilleEdit

In 1986, the town briefly changed its name to "Harrodsville". This was a protest in support of a restaurateur, Henry Harrod of Palmerston North, who was being forced to change the name of his restaurant following the threat of lawsuits from Mohamed Al Fayed, the then owner of Harrod's department store in London.[26][27]

As a show of solidarity for Henry Harrod, and in anticipation of actions against other similar-sounding businesses, it was proposed that every business in Otorohanga change its name to "Harrods". With the support of the District Council, Otorohanga temporarily changed the town's name to Harrodsville.

After being lampooned in the British tabloids, Al Fayed dropped the legal action and Harrodsville and its shops reverted to their former names. The town's response raised widespread media interest around the world, with the BBC World Service and newspapers in Greece, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Canada covering the story.

 
1934 and 2014 Ōtorohanga maps, showing the diversions of the Waipā. In 2004 the river flooded its old course.

FloodsEdit

Ōtorohanga is built on the Waipā's flood plain,[28] but is largely protected by stop banks built between 1961 and 1966,[29] following a major flood in 1958.[30] However, in 2004 Ōtorohanga Primary was flooded by about 0.6 m (2 ft 0 in) of water[31] and children were temporarily transferred to the then recently closed Tihiroa Primary School,[32] about 12 km (7.5 mi) north of Ōtorohanga on SH31.[33] In 1907 the whole town was flooded.[34] Houses were also flooded in 1893[35] and 1926.[36]

Local governmentEdit

Otorohanga is part of the Ōtorohanga District, which stretches from Kawhia Harbour on the west coast inland to the Pureora Forest Park. The town is the largest in the District and the seat of the District Council.

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
20062,655—    
20132,625−0.16%
20183,027+2.89%
Source: [37]

Otorohanga had a population of 3,027 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 402 people (15.3%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 372 people (14.0%) since the 2006 census. There were 1,101 households. There were 1,464 males and 1,563 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.94 males per female. The median age was 37.6 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 636 people (21.0%) aged under 15 years, 615 (20.3%) aged 15 to 29, 1,185 (39.1%) aged 30 to 64, and 591 (19.5%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 67.6% European/Pākehā, 40.6% Māori, 2.7% Pacific peoples, 5.6% Asian, and 1.4% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 11.3%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 51.6% had no religion, 32.3% were Christian, 1.7% were Hindu, 0.1% were Muslim, 1.1% were Buddhist and 5.5% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 255 (10.7%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 675 (28.2%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $26,700, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 1,137 (47.6%) people were employed full-time, 363 (15.2%) were part-time, and 87 (3.6%) were unemployed.[37]

MaraeEdit

Six marae are located in and around Otorohanga:

AttractionsEdit

Otorohanga is internationally renowned for its Kiwi House,[40] which was the first place in the world where the general public could view kiwi in captivity,[41] and recorded an average of 5,000 visitors per month in 2008.[42] The town has a public library, a swimming complex, a supermarket and a 24-hour McDonald's restaurant.

TransportEdit

Otorohanga is on the North Island Main Trunk railway line. Otorohanga railway station opened in 1887. The Northern Explorer passenger train stopped in Otorohanga until 2021.[43]

EducationEdit

Otorohanga School is a Year 1–8 co-educational state primary school.[44] It is a decile 2 school with a roll of 50 as of March 2022.[45][46]

Otorohanga South School is a Year 1–8 co-educational state primary school.[47] It is a decile 4 school with a roll of 324 as of March 2022.[45][48]

St Mary's Catholic School is a Year 1–8 co-educational state integrated Catholic primary school.[49] It is a decile 5 school with a roll of 33 as of March 2022.[45][50]

Otorohanga College is a Year 9–13 co-educational state secondary school and community education centre.[51][52] It is a decile 4 school with a roll of 279 as of March 2022.[45][53]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Subnational population estimates (RC, SA2), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996-2021 (2021 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2021. (regional councils); "Subnational population estimates (TA, SA2), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996-2021 (2021 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2021. (territorial authorities); "Subnational population estimates (urban rural), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996-2021 (2021 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2021. (urban areas)
  2. ^ "Kiwiana Town – for all things "Kiwiana"". Kiwianatown.co.nz. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Presentation to Mr and Mrs J. T. Hetet". Waikato Times. 14 April 1906. p. 3. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Huiputea Historic Tree". Google Maps. 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Faulknor, Janine (1 March 2015). "Huipūtea, a landmark tree". teara.govt.nz. Retrieved 11 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Sketches in the King Country". The New Zealand Herald. 26 May 1883. p. 1. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Chapter xvi. — Colonel Whitmore". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Hettit's Store Plundered by Te Kooti. [from the Southern Cross, July 22.]". Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle. 28 July 1869. p. 4. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Waikato". Hawke's Bay Herald. 19 November 1869. p. 3. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  10. ^ Cleaver, Philip (February 2011). "Maori and the Forestry, Mining, Fishing, and Tourism Industries of the Rohe Potae Inquiry District 1880-2000" (PDF). Waitangi Tribunal.
  11. ^ "Otorohanga's Past". Auckland Star. 12 March 1926. p. 12. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Presentation to Mr and Mrs J. T. Hetet". Waikato Times. 14 April 1906. p. 3. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  13. ^ James Stuart Mitchell, Paul Husbands (November 2011). "The Native Land Court, land titles and Crown land purchasing in the Rohe Potae district, 1866-1907 A report for the Te Rohe Potae district inquiry (Wai 898)" (PDF). Waitangi Tribunal.
  14. ^ "Page 3 Advertisements Column 5". Auckland Star. 17 September 1886. p. 3. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Another Native Difficulty. Te Wetere Stops the Way. Affairs at Otorohanga". Waikato Times. 29 July 1886. p. 2. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Tee King Country". The New Zealand Herald. 2 August 1886. p. 6. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Waikato Times". 8 March 1887. p. 2. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Waikato District News". The New Zealand Herald. 28 April 1887. p. 6. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Page 3 Advertisements Column 5". Waikato Times. 17 September 1887. p. 3. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Country News". The New Zealand Herald. 3 October 1890. p. 6. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  21. ^ "1953 jubilee year: half a century of progress in the timber industry of New Zealand, 1903-1953. | National Library of New Zealand". natlib.govt.nz. Mccracken, A.E. Retrieved 22 May 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  22. ^ a b Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "2. – King Country places – Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand". teara.govt.nz. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  23. ^ Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "Otorohanga Times, around 1912". teara.govt.nz. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  24. ^ Cleaver, Philip (February 2011). "Maori and the Forestry, Mining, Fishing, and Tourism Industries of the Rohe Potae Inquiry District 1880-2000" (PDF). Waitangi Tribunal.
  25. ^ "Graymont || About Us". www.onlime.co.nz. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  26. ^ "Chatological Humor (Updated 11.16.07)". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  27. ^ "New Zealand: Small Town Shops Face Legal Action from Harrods Lawyers in London". Itnsource.com. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  28. ^ "Otorohanga Floods". www.pressreader.com. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. ^ "Otorohanga Flood Protection Works". www.archway.archives.govt.nz. Retrieved 11 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  30. ^ Marsh, Dawn. "1958 Flood". ketekingcountry.peoplesnetworknz.info. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  31. ^ "Waipā River – Otorohanga Primary School Modelling" (PDF). Environment Waikato. 1 February 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  32. ^ "River delivers a flood reprieve". New Zealand Herald. 2 March 2004. Retrieved 11 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  33. ^ "1:50000 map Sheet: S15 Te Awamutu". www.mapspast.org.nz. 1997. Retrieved 11 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  34. ^ "A WHOLE TOWNSHIP FLOODED. MARLBOROUGH EXPRESS". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 16 January 1907. Retrieved 11 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  35. ^ "HEAVY FLOODS IN THE WAIPA DISTRICT. AUCKLAND STAR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 18 January 1893. Retrieved 11 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  36. ^ "a badly inundated section of Otorohanga township. Auckland Star". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 14 October 1926. Retrieved 11 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  37. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Otorohanga (185500). 2018 Census place summary: Otorohanga
  38. ^ "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". tkm.govt.nz. Te Puni Kōkiri.
  39. ^ "Māori Maps". maorimaps.com. Te Potiki National Trust.
  40. ^ Otorohanga Zoological Society Inc. "Best place to see kiwi - Otorohanga, New Zealand". Kiwihouse.org.nz. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  41. ^ Otorohanga Zoological Society Inc. "First New Zealand Kiwi House Otorohanga NZ". Kiwihouse.org.nz. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  42. ^ "Kiwi House Review : No. 42" (PDF). Kiwihouse.org.nz. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  43. ^ "Urgent calls for long-distance passenger services to stay as KiwiRail cuts operations". Newshub. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  44. ^ "Ministry of Education School Profile". educationcounts.govt.nz. Ministry of Education.
  45. ^ a b c d "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  46. ^ "Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
  47. ^ "Ministry of Education School Profile". educationcounts.govt.nz. Ministry of Education.
  48. ^ "Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
  49. ^ "Ministry of Education School Profile". educationcounts.govt.nz. Ministry of Education.
  50. ^ "Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
  51. ^ "Official School Website". otocoll.school.nz.
  52. ^ "Ministry of Education School Profile". educationcounts.govt.nz. Ministry of Education.
  53. ^ "Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.

External linksEdit