Manaia, Taranaki

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Manaia post office.jpg
Manaia post office, 2010
Manaia, Taranaki
Coordinates: 39°33′3″S174°7′30″E / 39.55083°S 174.12500°E / -39.55083; 174.12500
CountryNew Zealand
Region Taranaki
District South Taranaki District
WardTaranaki Coastal
  Total2.55 km2 (0.98 sq mi)
 (2018) [2]
  Density390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)

Manaia is a rural town in South Taranaki District, New Zealand. Opunake is 29 km to the northwest, and Hāwera is 13 km to the southeast. Kaponga is 15 km north. State Highway 45 passes through the town. [3] [4] Manaia is named after the former Māori chief of the district, Hukunui Manaia.


The population was 960 in the 2013 Census, an increase of 36 from 2006. [5]

History and culture

Māori history

The mouth of the Kapuni River was the site of two settled by Ngāti Ruanui in the 1800s: Orangi-tuapeka Pā on the western banks and Waimate Pā on the east. [6] Orangi-tuapeka Pā was occupied by Wiremu Kīngi Moki Te Matakātea in 1833 and 1834, where he defeated Waikato Tainui forces led by Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, ending Waikato raids into Taranaki. [6] In October 1834, the area was bombarded by British troops aboard the HMS Alligator, in an attempt to rescue Betty Guard, a whaler's wife. [6] After the hostages were released, the British troops attacked and burnt the settlements. [6]

After the ceasefire at the end of the First Taranaki War, a hui of over 1,000 Māori was held on 3 July 1861 at a meeting house called Aotearoa, close to Waimate Pā. There, over a thousand members of Taranaki, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Rauru and Whanganui iwi discussed the war, with most members pledging support for the Kīngitanga Movement. [7]

European settlement

Manaia's history is still visible in the Manaia Redoubt. Built around 1880 on the site of a former pā (Te Takahe) during peacetime, this redoubt and wooden watchtower was created for the passive resistance of the Parihaka chief, Te Whiti o Rongomai, and his followers.

The wooden watchtower (35 feet high) was blown down in a storm and replaced in 1912 by a concrete one still standing today amidst the 18-hole golf course surrounded by two original blockhouses. Trenches surround the tower and blockhouses. The complex could house 160 men and all the timber used for the construction was pit sawn locally by the constables. The golf course is one of the oldest in Taranaki, established around 1905.

When driving into Manaia from Hāwera the remains of the old flour mill can be seen on the left hand side. These concrete remains of the mill were built in 1900 to replace the original wooden mill built in 1882 by Mr D. F. McVicar of the Sentry Hill flour mill, New Plymouth. The local Waiokura River powered the mill by a 15-foot (4.6 m) water wheel which developed 15 horsepower (11 kW). The mill had 4 stories, and a 23-foot (7.0 m) stud. It was 35 feet (11 m) long and 20 feet (6.1 m) wide. About 40,000 feet (12,000 m) of timber was used and the building provided storage for about 15,000 sacks of flour. [8] employs around 250 people, and has been the main business in Manaia since 1923. [9] The company manufactures fresh and frozen breads and bakery products. Its clients include Foodstuffs, Subway, and Pams. [10] The company went into receivership in 2011. [11]

Modern history

The statue of George in Manaia A bronze statue of George.png
The statue of George in Manaia

In 2007, a 9-year-old Jack Russell terrier called George (dog) died protecting 5 local children from an attack by two pit bulls . He was given a posthumous PDSA Gold Medal, the animal equivalent of the George Cross, at a special ceremony in Manaia in February 2009. The town has also erected a statue in his honour. [12]


Manaia has three marae affiliated with the local Ngāruahine hapū of Ngāti Haua: Tawhitinui Marae and Okare Tuatoru meeting house, Waiokura Marae and Paraukau Tukau meeting house, and Okare ki Uta|Okare ki Uta Marae. [13] [14]


Manaia is defined by Statistics New Zealand as a rural settlement and covers 2.55 km2 (0.98 sq mi). It is part of the wider Manaia-Kapuni statistical area, which covers 109.38 km2 (42.23 sq mi). [1]

The population of Manaia was 984 in the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 18 (1.9%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 54 (5.8%) since the 2006 census. There were 507 males and 474 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.07 males per female. Ethnicities were 717 people (72.9%) European/Pākehā, 438 (44.5%) Māori, 24 (2.4%) Pacific peoples, and 12 (1.2%) Asian (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities). Of the total population, 234 people (23.8%) were under 15 years old, 147 (14.9%) were 15–29, 438 (44.5%) were 30–64, and 165 (16.8%) were over 65. [2]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [15]

Manaia-Kapuni had a population of 1,551 at the 2018 New Zealand census, a decrease of 96 people (-5.8%) since the 2013 census, and a decrease of 69 people (-4.3%) since the 2006 census. There were 612 households. There were 792 males and 759 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.04 males per female. The median age was 37.9 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 384 people (24.8%) aged under 15 years, 258 (16.6%) aged 15 to 29, 693 (44.7%) aged 30 to 64, and 216 (13.9%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 79.9% European/Pākehā, 36.2% Māori, 1.9% Pacific peoples, 1.4% Asian, and 1.2% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 6.8%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 58.0% had no religion, 30.9% were Christian, 0.2% were Buddhist and 2.1% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 84 (7.2%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 378 (32.4%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $28,500, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 552 (47.3%) people were employed full-time, 150 (12.9%) were part-time, and 75 (6.4%) were unemployed. [15]


Manaia School is a coeducational full primary (years 1-8) school with a roll of 73 as of November 2020. [16] [17] The school was founded in 1882. [18] In 2005, Tokaora School closed and merged with Manaia School. [19]


  1. 1 2 "ArcGIS Web Application". Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  2. 1 2 "Age and sex by ethnic group (grouped total response), for census usually resident population counts, 2006, 2013, and 2018 Censuses (urban rural areas)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  3. Peter Dowling (editor) (2004), Reed New Zealand Atlas, Reed Books, map 34, ISBN   0-7900-0952-8 CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. Roger Smith, GeographX (2005), The Geographic Atlas of New Zealand, Robbie Burton, map 96, ISBN   1-877333-20-4
  5. 2013 Census QuickStats about a place : Manaia
  6. 1 2 3 4 Buist, A. G. (1962). Excavation of a house-floor at Waimate Pa. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter, 5(3), 184-187.
  7. Prickett, Nigel. J. (2008). "THE MILITARY ENGAGEMENT AT KATIKARA, TARANAKI, 4 JUNE 1863". Records of the Auckland Museum . 45: 5–41. ISSN   1174-9202.
  8. "About Yarrows". Yarrows Family Bakers. 2011.
  9. McCloy, Nicola (2008). Made in New Zealand: Stories of iconic Kiwi brands. Auckland: Random House. pp. 36–37. ISBN   978-1-86979-018-9.
  10. "Partners & Customers". Yarrows Family Bakers. 2011. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  11. "Yarrow bakery placed in receivership". The New Zealand Herald. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  12. "Another award for heroic Jack Russell". Fairfax New Zealand. 11 February 2009. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009.
  13. "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". Te Puni Kōkiri.
  14. "Māori Maps". Te Potiki National Trust.
  15. 1 2 "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Manaia-Kapuni (220900). 2018 Census place summary: Manaia-Kapuni
  16. "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  17. Education Counts: Manaia School
  18. "Manaia School". Hawera & Normanby Star. 26 June 1882. p. 2.
  19. "Mergers, Closures and New Schools, January 2005 - December 2005" (XLS). Education Counts.

Coordinates: 39°33′S174°08′E / 39.550°S 174.133°E / -39.550; 174.133

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