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Tirau (Māori : Tīrau) is a small town in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand, 50 kilometres southeast of Hamilton. The town has a population of 690 (2013 census). In the Māori language, "Tīrau" means "place of many cabbage trees."
Māori, also known as te reo, is an Eastern Polynesian language spoken by the Māori people, the indigenous population of New Zealand. Closely related to Cook Islands Māori, Tuamotuan, and Tahitian, it gained recognition as one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987. The number of speakers of the language has declined sharply since 1945, but a Māori language revitalisation effort slowed the decline, and the language has experienced a revival, particularly since about 2015.
Waikato is a local government region of the upper North Island of New Zealand. It covers the Waikato District, Hauraki, Coromandel Peninsula, the northern King Country, much of the Taupo District, and parts of Rotorua District. It is governed by the Waikato Regional Council.
The North Island, also officially named Te Ika-a-Māui, is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the larger but much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island's area is 113,729 square kilometres (43,911 sq mi), making it the world's 14th-largest island. It has a population of 3,749,200.
Tirau is a major junction in the New Zealand state-highway network. Just south of the township is the intersection of State Highway 1 and State Highway 5, where traffic from Auckland and Hamilton on State Highway 1 split to go either to Rotorua on SH 5, or continue along SH 1 to Taupo and beyond to Napier, Palmerston North and Wellington. State Highway 27 splits off State Highway 1 in the north of the town, providing a route north to the Coromandel Peninsula and an alternative route to Auckland, bypassing Hamilton.
State Highway 1 is the longest and most significant road in the New Zealand road network, running the length of both main islands. It appears on road maps as SH 1 and on road signs as a white number 1 on a red shield, but it has the official designations SH 1N in the North Island, SH 1S in the South Island.
State Highway 5 is the second shortest of New Zealand's eight national highways. It extends from SH 1 at Tirau, on the plains of the Waikato River, to SH 2, close to the Hawke Bay coast at Bay View, 10 km north of Napier. Distances are measured from north to south.
Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. The most populous urban area in the country, Auckland has an urban population of around 1,628,900. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. Auckland is a diverse, multicultural and cosmopolitan city, home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. A Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki Makaurau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.
Tirau is primarily a farming town but in recent years has begun to exploit the income that comes from being at a major road junction.
The small community of Okoroire (with hot springs) is located just north of Tirau.
Okoroire railway station was over 4 km (2.5 mi) to the west of the hot springs, on the Kinleith Branch, opened on 8 March 1886 and closed to passengers on 31 July 1962 and to goods on 18 August 1968. The railway line remains open for freight.
The Kinleith Branch railway line is located in the Waikato region of New Zealand. The line was constructed by the Thames Valley and Rotorua Railway Company, Taupo Totara Timber Company and rebuilt by the Public Works Department primarily to serve the Kinleith Mill in 1952. It is 65 kilometres (40 mi) in length.
In the 19th century, Tirau, then Oxford, was originally planned as a large-scale city for the Waikato, [ citation needed ]however plans were changed after the entrepreneurial Rose family bought up large areas of land in the region, with the intention of making large returns when it came of high demand. Oxford later became a rural service town, and changed its name to Tirau in 1896.
Oxford railway station opened on 8 March 1886, 133 mi 60 ch (215.2 km) from Auckland and 30 mi 60 ch (49.5 km) from Morrinsville, where the Kinleith Branch is crossed by Okoroire Rd The line was extended 6 mi 77 ch (11.2 km) south to Putaruru and Lichfield on 21 June 1886. 563 passengers bought tickets in 1894, 330 in 1895 and 308 in 1896, when the main import was coal and the main exports timber and sheep. It was renamed Tirau on 8 March 1886 and closed to passengers on 12 November 1968 and to goods on 29 March 1981. The station had a small platform building, a goods shed and a water tower.
In 1991, local business man Henry Clothier took advantage of the town's relatively cheap real estate and high traffic volume by opening an Antique shop in the former Rose Bros. grocery store building. Many other businesses followed suit off the back of his success throughout the 1990s until today. Tirau has built a reputation as a shopping destination for antiques, collectibles and other niche items.
In 2005/06 the South Waikato District Council is working, on behalf of the Tirau Ward, in conjunction with the community, to develop a concept plan for Tirau's future.This project is taking the success of Tirau's transformation over the past decade and linking it with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 new emphasis on the four well-beings, social, economic, environmental and cultural.
The local Paparāmu Marae and Te Apunga meeting house are affiliated with the Ngāti Raukawa hapū of Ngāti Mōtai and Ngāti Te Apunga.
The town is now a well known tourist stop-off, and is characterised by many art works created out of corrugated iron. The church and many of the shops feature corrugated iron sculptures by local artist Steven Clothier and two large buildings are completely made from this material; the information centre which is shaped like a giant dog,and the neighbouring sheep and ram building - earning Tirau the title of "Corrugated Capital of the World".
The Castle, a large toy museum on the town's southern limits which opened in 2000, can clearly be seen when heading towards the township from Rotorua or Taupo. The Tirau dairy factory is New Zealand's only producer of lactalbumin, a key ingredient in the production of sports supplements.
Tirau is governed locally by the South Waikato District Council. Nationally, Tirau is part of the Taupō general electorate and the Te Tai Hauāuru Māori electorate.
Tirau Primary School is the sole school in Tirau. It is a contributing primary school (Years 1–6) and has 102 students as of March 2019.
The nearest secondary school is Putaruru College, 8 kilometres (5 mi) south of Tirau, in Putaruru.
Matamata is a town in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. It is located near the base of the Kaimai Ranges, and is a thriving farming area known for Thoroughbred horse breeding and training pursuits. It is part of the Matamata-Piako District, which takes in the surrounding rural areas as well as Morrinsville and Te Aroha. State Highway 27 and the Kinleith Branch railway run through the town. The town has a population of 7,920 as of June 2018.
Ngaruawahia is a town in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located 20 kilometres (12 mi) north-west of Hamilton at the confluence of the Waikato and Waipa Rivers, adjacent to the Hakarimata Range. Ngaruawahia lies within the Hamilton Urban Area, the fourth largest urban area in New Zealand. The location was once considered as a potential capital of New Zealand.
South Waikato District is a local government district in the Waikato Region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located between the cities of Hamilton to the north, Rotorua to the east, Taupo to the south and Ruapehu District to the west.
Putaruru is a small town in the South Waikato District of Waikato region of New Zealand's North Island. It lies on the western side of the Mamaku Ranges, on the upper basin of the Waihou River. It is on the Oraka Stream 65 kilometres south-east of Hamilton. Both New Zealand State Highway 1 and the Kinleith Branch railway run through the town. The actual Māori-language origin of the town's name is thought to be the word Putaaruru – "To come forth like a ruru (morepork)"; sometimes translated as 'Home of the Owl'.
Waharoa is a rural community in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. It is located 7 km north of Matamata, and is part of the Matamata-Piako District. It is located at the railway junction of the Kinleith Branch railway with the East Coast Main Trunk Railway. State Highway 27 runs through the town, serviced by several shops, cafes and a petrol station.
Nukuhau is a suburb of Taupo in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island.
Hinuera is a settlement in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. It is located along State Highway 29, approximately halfway between the cities of Hamilton and Tauranga. It also contains the Hinuera cliffs along State Highway 29.
Whatawhata, previously also spelt Whata Whata, is a small town in the Waikato Region on the east bank of the Waipa River, at the junction of State Highways 23 and 39, 12 km (7.5 mi) from Hamilton. Te Araroa Trail passes through Whatawhata.
Mokai or Mōkai is a rural community in the Taupo District and Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island.
Lake Opuatia is a small lake in the much larger Opuatia wetland, which drains from the west into the Waikato River. It lies near the foot of a long valley drained by the Opuatia Stream.
Whitikahu is a settlement scattered along Whitikahu Rd in the Waikato District and Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. It is within a census area of the same name, which reaches to the Waikato River, forms the north, east and south boundaries of Huntly East and its eastern boundary is Matamata-Piako District. Most of the area is in the Hukanui Waerenga Ward of Waikato District Council.
Wharepapa South is a rural community in the Waipa District and Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. It is located west of Putaruru and east of Te Awamutu.
Waitahanui is a village on the eastern shore of Lake Taupo, in the Taupo District and Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island.
Oruanui or Ōruanui is a rural community in the Taupo District and Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island, located northwest of Wairakei on State Highway 1.
Waipahihi or Waipahīhī is a suburb in Taupo, based on the eastern shores of Lake Taupo on New Zealand's North Island.
Tauranga Taupo is a semi-rural area located at the mouth of Tauranga Taupo River, on the southern shores of Lake Taupo on New Zealand's North Island.
Otukou or Otūkou is a rural community in the Taupo District and Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island.
Waotu or Te Waotu is a rural community in the South Waikato District and Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island.
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