Last updated

Patea, Taranaki, New Zealand, 12 April 2008.jpg
Aerial photo of Patea
Coordinates: 39°45′26″S174°28′36″E / 39.75722°S 174.47667°E / -39.75722; 174.47667 Coordinates: 39°45′26″S174°28′36″E / 39.75722°S 174.47667°E / -39.75722; 174.47667
Country New Zealand
Region Taranaki
District South Taranaki District
  Total6.15 km2 (2.37 sq mi)
 (June 2021) [2]
  Density210/km2 (530/sq mi)
The Aotea canoe remembrance arch in Patea Remembrance arch, Patea.jpg
The Aotea canoe remembrance arch in Patea

Patea ( /pɑːˈtɛər/ pah-TAIR) is the third-largest town in South Taranaki District, New Zealand. It is on the western bank of the Pātea River, 61 kilometres north-west of Whanganui on State Highway 3. Hāwera is 27 km to the north-west, and Waverley 17 km to the east. The Pātea River flows through the town from the north-east and into the South Taranaki Bight. [3] [4]


History and culture

Pre-European history

Patea is the traditional final place where some Māori led by Turi aboard the Aotea waka settled, after it was beached at the Aotea Harbour. [5]

European settlement

Patea, called Carlyle or Carlyle Beach for a time by European settlers, was originally nearer the Pātea River mouth than the present town. During the New Zealand Wars Patea was an important military settlement. General Cameron's force arrived at the river mouth on 15 January 1865 and constructed redoubts on both sides of the river. [6]

Patea became a market town when hostilities ended. The first of the sections on the present town site were sold in 1870. A local shipping company was established in 1872, and harbour improvements began. The Marton-New Plymouth railway line via Patea was completed in March 1885. The Carlyle Town Board, created about 1877 to administer town affairs, was succeeded by a borough council constituted on 13 October 1881 under the name Patea. [7]

In the 1920s Patea was the largest cheese exporting port in the world. The Grader Cool Store received cheese for grading from all over South Taranaki and as far south as Oroua Downs near Himatangi. After grading it was loaded into coastal ships at the grader wharf for transport to Wellington where it was transhipped into overseas ships for export. The port closed in July 1959.[ citation needed ]

Patea Freezing Works

In the early 1880s the predecessor to the Patea Freezing Works was established on the eastern bank of the Pātea River. Cool stores for handling dairy produce followed in 1901 with later additions evolving into what became known as the Patea Freezing Co-Op, South Taranaki's primary employer. Strategic reforms, inefficiencies and nationwide over-processing resulted in closure in September 1982. In February 2008 the derelict buildings suffered severe fires. The damage was extensive and with the health hazard presented by asbestos insulation throughout the freezer walls, the town sought demolition.[ citation needed ]

Patea Māori Club

Patea became known in 1984 as the home of singer Dalvanius Prime and the Pātea Māori Club. Their single, "Poi E", indicated renewed impetus in contemporary Māori popular music. [8]

Recent history

Patea Post Office Patea Post Office, Taranaki, New Zealand, 7 March 2010 (4419404738).jpg
Patea Post Office

Patea has retained a strong community focus and enjoys many services including a well-resourced medical centre, public swimming pool and trust-owned rest home. The town is also the location of Aotea Utanganui - Museum of South Taranaki.

The breakwaters at Patea were started in 1878 and are being refurbished by the South Taranaki District Council.

Patea and surrounding community has a South Taranaki District Council LibraryPlus, which provides a full library service and Council-related services, including dog registration, payment of rates, and building permit enquiries. Other services include a Tot Time for the under 5s, a regular crossword morning and a book club for intermediate and high school children. The LibraryPlus has six APN computers, offering free internet and Skype.

Several kilometres east of Patea is the small community of Whenuakura, where New Zealand golfer Michael Campbell lived as a child. He learned to play golf at the Patea Golf Club, on the cliffs overlooking the Tasman Sea. He crowned his professional career by winning the U.S. Open in June 2005, and three months later the HSBC World Match Play Championship.


The local Wai o Turi marae and Rangiharuru meeting house are affiliated with the Ngā Rauru hapū of Rangitāwhi. [9] [10]

In October 2020, the Government committed $298,680 from the Provincial Growth Fund to reconstruct the accessway to the marae and expand the carpark, creating 8 jobs. [11]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [12]

Pātea, which covers 6.15 km2 (2.37 sq mi), [1] had a population of 1,191 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 93 people (8.5%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 48 people (4.2%) since the 2006 census. There were 525 households. There were 609 males and 582 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.05 males per female. The median age was 46.7 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 219 people (18.4%) aged under 15 years, 180 (15.1%) aged 15 to 29, 522 (43.8%) aged 30 to 64, and 270 (22.7%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 60.5% European/Pākehā, 49.1% Māori, 5.3% Pacific peoples, 2.5% Asian, and 0.5% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 7.8%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 46.3% had no religion, 34.5% were Christian, 0.8% were Hindu, 0.8% were Buddhist and 6.8% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 69 (7.1%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 345 (35.5%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $19,500, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 306 (31.5%) people were employed full-time, 129 (13.3%) were part-time, and 69 (7.1%) were unemployed. [12]


Pātea Area School is a composite (years 1-13) school with a roll of 186. [13] Until 2005 the school was Patea High School. It became an area school when Patea Primary School closed. [14] The primary school was founded in 1875. [15]

St Joseph's School is a state integrated Catholic contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a roll of 20. [16] The school was established in January 1904. [17]

Both schools are coeducational. Rolls are as of November 2021. [18]

Notable people

Related Research Articles

Taranaki Region of New Zealand

Taranaki is a region in the west of New Zealand's North Island. It is named after its main geographical feature, the stratovolcano of Mount Taranaki, also known as Mount Egmont.

Stratford, New Zealand Minor urban area in Taranaki, New Zealand

Stratford is the only town in Stratford District, and the seat of the Taranaki region, in New Zealand's North Island. It lies beneath the eastern slopes of Mount Taranaki/Egmont, approximately halfway between New Plymouth and Hāwera, near the geographic centre of the Taranaki Region. The town has a population of 6,120, making it the 62nd largest urban area in New Zealand, and the fourth largest in Taranaki.

Dannevirke Town in Manawatū-Whanganui, New Zealand

Dannevirke, is a rural service town in the Manawatū-Whanganui region of the North Island, New Zealand. It is the major town of the administrative of the Tararua District, the easternmost of the districts of which the Horizons Regional Council has responsibilities.

Levin, New Zealand Town in Manawatū-Whanganui, New Zealand

Levin is the largest town and seat of the Horowhenua District, in the Manawatū-Whanganui region of New Zealand's North Island. It is located east of Lake Horowhenua, around 95 km north of Wellington and 50 km southwest of Palmerston North.

Taumarunui Town in Manawatū-Whanganui, New Zealand

Taumarunui is a small town in the King Country of the central North Island of New Zealand. It is on an alluvial plain set within rugged terrain on the upper reaches of the Whanganui River, 65 km south of Te Kuiti and 55 km west of Turangi. It is under the jurisdiction of Ruapehu District and Manawatū-Whanganui region.

Ohakune Minor urban area in Manawatū-Whanganui, New Zealand

Ohakune is a small town at the southern end of Tongariro National Park, close to the southwestern slopes of the active volcano Mount Ruapehu, in the North Island of New Zealand. It is 25 kilometres west of Waiouru, 70 kilometres northeast of Whanganui, 215 kilometres north of Wellington and 292 kilometres south of Auckland. It is part of Ruapehu District and the Manawatū-Whanganui region.

Waitara, New Zealand Place in Taranaki, New Zealand

Waitara is a town in the northern part of the Taranaki region of the North Island of New Zealand. Waitara is located just off State Highway 3, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) northeast of New Plymouth.

Maui Dalvanius Prime was a New Zealand entertainer and songwriter. His career spanned 30 years. He mentored many of New Zealand's Māori performers, and was a vocal and forthright supporter of Māori culture.

Waverley, Taranaki Place in Taranaki, New Zealand

Waverley is a town located in the South Taranaki District in New Zealand. It is 44 km northwest of Whanganui. Patea is 17 km to the west, and Waitōtara is 10 km to the southeast. State Highway 3 and the Marton - New Plymouth Line railway run through the town.

Hāwera Place in Taranaki, New Zealand

Hāwera is the second-largest centre in the Taranaki region of New Zealand's North Island, with a population of 10,150. It is near the coast of the South Taranaki Bight. The origins of the town lie in a government military base that was established in 1866, and the town of Hāwera grew up around a blockhouse in the early 1870s.

In Māori tradition, Aotea is one of the canoes in which Māori migrated to New Zealand; it is particularly associated with the tribes of Taranaki and Whanganui, including Ngāti Ruanui and other tribal groups.

Rongorongo is an ancestress from Ra'iātea Island (Hawaiki) in Māori tradition, particularly of the Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Ruanui, Taranaki, and Whanganui iwi. She was the wife of Turi, the chief of the Aotea canoe which was given to Rongorongo as a present by her father Toto. After Rongorongo overheard Uenuku chanting incantations of Turi's murder, Turi and his people fled to New Zealand in the Aotea and arrived at the mouth of the Patea River.

Whenuakura Place in Taranaki, New Zealand

Whenuakura is a farming community on State Highway 3 east of Patea, at the southern end of Taranaki on the North Island of New Zealand. The boundary between the Taranaki and Wellington provinces runs through Whenuakura. There is the Whenuakura Primary School and Whenuakura Hall. Whenuakura is also bounded by the Patea and Whenuakura rivers.

Ngāti Ruanui Māori iwi (tribe) in Aotearoa New Zealand

Ngāti Ruanui is a Māori iwi traditionally based in the Taranaki region of New Zealand. In the 2006 census, 7,035 people claimed affiliation to the iwi. However, most members now live outside the traditional areas of the iwi.

Turi, according to Māori tradition, was the captain of the Aotea canoe and an important ancestor for many Māori iwi, particularly in the Taranaki region.

Urenui is a settlement in northern Taranaki, in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located on State Highway 3 close to the shore of the North Taranaki Bight, 13 kilometres east of Waitara and 6 km south-west of Mimi. The Urenui River flows past the settlement into the North Taranaki Bight.

The Aotea Utanganui – Museum of South Taranaki, formerly known as the South Taranaki District Museum, is located Patea, South Taranaki, New Zealand. The museum is a noteworthy archive of district information, articles and items, offering a rich and varied history of the area. The museum is located on State Highway 3 through Patea. The central section of the museum is the oldest colonial building in South Taranaki. The museum underwent renovations from 2008–2011.

Waitōtara is a town in South Taranaki, New Zealand. Waverley is 10 km to the north-west, and Whanganui is 34 km to the south-east. State Highway 3 passes through it. The Waitōtara River flows past the east side of the town.

Stratford District, New Zealand Territorial authority in Taranaki, New Zealand

Stratford District is a territorial authority district in the North Island of New Zealand. The Stratford District Council is headquartered in the only town, Stratford. The district is divided between the Manawatū-Whanganui region and the Taranaki region.

Pātea Māori Club is a New Zealand cultural group and performance act formed in the South Taranaki town of Pātea in 1967 as the Pātea Methodist Māori Club. In 1983, the group began to release Māori-language pop and hip hop music, produced by Dalvanius Prime with lyrics by Ngoi Pēwhairangi. Their first single, "Poi E", reached number one on the New Zealand top 50 singles chart in 1984.


  1. 1 2 "ArcGIS Web Application". Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  2. "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand . Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  3. Peter Dowling, ed. (2004), Reed New Zealand Atlas, Reed Books, map 44, ISBN   0-7900-0952-8
  4. Roger Smith, GeographX (2005), The Geographic Atlas of New Zealand, Robbie Burton, map 97, ISBN   1-877333-20-4
  5. Fox, Aileen; Cassels, Richard (1983). "EXCAVATIONS AT AOTEA, WAIKATO, 1972-75". Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum . 20: 65–106. ISSN   0067-0464.
  6. South Taranaki District Council Heritage files (Local Government Historical Body)
  7. Historical Settlements: From Whanganui to New Plymouth—N.J Taniwha—Wanganui—summary 2001 1st year 1997 subm. Political Essay—Infrastructure—Patea Freezing Works Government deregulation and asset assumption—A political agenda. National Congress Lib. Washington USA
  8. "Interview with Syd and Hui Kahu from Patea Maori Club".
  9. "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". Te Puni Kōkiri.
  10. "Māori Maps". Te Potiki National Trust.
  11. "Marae Announcements" (Excel). Provincial Growth Fund. 9 October 2020.
  12. 1 2 "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Pātea (222200). 2018 Census place summary: Pātea
  13. Education Counts: Patea Area School
  14. "Education Review Report: Patea Area School". June 2006.[ permanent dead link ]
  15. Baker, Ngaere (1975), Patea Primary School centennial, 1875-1975
  16. Education Counts: St Joseph's School
  17. "School History". St Joseph's School. Archived from the original on 23 July 2007.
  18. "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 December 2021.