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Temuka is located in New Zealand
Temuka and the Opihi River. The photo was taken from an Air New Zealand ATR-72 flight from Christchurch to Invercargill

Temuka is a town on New Zealand's Canterbury Plains, 15 kilometres north of Timaru and 142 km south of Christchurch. It is located at the centre of a rich sheep and dairy farming region, for which it is a service town.

At one time it supported wool scouring plants, it had a flour mill and manufactured electric power transmission insulators. The name Te umu kaha (original spelling) means long-lasting ovens, from the earth ovens that Māori people used to cook the plentifully-growing cabbage trees. Temuka was a stop on the Main South Line until passenger services were discontinued.


Local councilEdit

Temuka previously had its own council system in place, but since then has been under the administration of TDC, Timaru District Council. Recently, the council has been redeveloping Temuka in the form of cleaning waterways, new walkways, redeveloping of existing walkways, new gardens, domains, new tennis courts, complete skate park and general modernisation of the large service town.


With a population of 4,047 people in 2013,[1] it is the second largest town in South Canterbury. Temuka is home to three schools, two primary schools and one secondary school. Temuka is accessed by New Zealand's State Highway Number 1 and the Main South Line railway allowing for major cargo handling. Temuka is north of the Opihi and Temuka rivers. The local secondary school, Opihi College, takes its name from the Opihi River. Both rivers are popular with locals and tourists. Almost all traffic passing north or south goes through or around Temuka. Temuka has recently had the redevelopment of the local Domain by incorporating a skate park to join the other facilities which include a swimming pool, mini golf, golf, netball, outdoor bowls and tennis. There are also rugby and football fields, a stadium complex and a holiday park.


This 1900 red brick courthouse with Baroque elements was designed by John Campbell of the Public Works Department, and functioned until 1979. It is now the town museum.

Arowhenua marae, a marae (tribal meeting ground) of Ngāi Tahu and its Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua branch, is located in Temuka.[2] It includes Te Hapa o Niu Tireni wharenui (meeting house).[3]


There are currently three primary and secondary schools in Temuka:

  • Temuka Primary
  • St. Joseph's Temuka
  • Opihi College – originally called Temuka High School until 2005 when the name was changed


Temuka is home to a large trucking company, Temuka Transport. This company has about 40 trucks which are used to service the South Canterbury area. Also located in the town is Temuka Homeware. This company produces ceramic crockery. Currently, the older and traditional items are seeing an increase of demand from collectors and the accompanying industry. Located in Temuka are various businesses including supermarkets, takeaways, collectors, hardware stores, office supply stores, and art galleries.

Temuka is home to New Zealand Insulators (NZI), the major supplier of insulators to New Zealand's power industry. Temuka houses NZI's corporate headquarters, South Island warehouse, and local factory. Temuka is also home to the only bagpipe bag manufacturing business in New Zealand, Gannaway New Zealand, manufacturing cowhide, goatskin, and sheepskin bagpipe bags exported worldwide.[4]

Notable residentsEdit


  1. ^ 2013 Census QuickStats about a place:Temuka
  2. ^ "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". Te Puni Kōkiri.
  3. ^ "Māori Maps". Te Potiki National Trust.
  4. ^ "Welcome to Gannaway New Zealand – The Bagpipe Centre". Retrieved 17 February 2016.

External linksEdit