Toko is a small rural settlement 10 kilometres east of Stratford, New Zealand, at the intersection of East Road (State Highway 43) and Toko Road. It is located on a railway, the Stratford–Okahukura Line, the western portion of which was operated as a branch line known as the Toko Branch prior to the line's completion. The Toko Stream flows through the area to join the Pātea River.
Toko is surrounded by extremely fertile land, being located on the periphery of the Taranaki ringplain and adjacent to the Pātea River. The area is drained by the Toko Stream, and its tributaries the Manawaiwiri and Waiwiri Streams. Once covered in wetlands, since settlement the area has been drained to take advantage of the fertile soils. Dairy farming predominates the surrounding land use, with some sheep and beef farming in the steeper hill country.
Toko was established in the 1890s, and served as an important centre for the developing hinterland. The settlement took on the nature of a village, containing a railway station, a dairy factory, a church, a hall, a hotel, a sawmill, a trucking depot, a playcentre, a sports facility, and a number of other businesses and numerous dwellings. Toko School was established in 1893, and located on a site approximately 2 km east of Toko at the intersection of East Road and Wawiri Road.
Like other rural centres, Toko went into decline in the latter part of the 20th century. The railway station, dairy factory and sawmill all closed. However the factory buildings are now used for an engineering business, and the church, hall, domain, hotel, trucking depot, and an automotive workshop are still being used for business and social activities.
The Toko statistical area, which covers 228.45 km2 (88.21 sq mi), had a population of 1,350 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 78 people (6.1%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 87 people (6.9%) since the 2006 census. There were 510 households. There were 702 males and 648 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.08 males per female. The median age was 38.1 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 303 people (22.4%) aged under 15 years, 234 (17.3%) aged 15 to 29, 669 (49.6%) aged 30 to 64, and 144 (10.7%) aged 65 or older.
Ethnicities were 95.3% European/Pākehā, 7.3% Māori, 1.1% Pacific peoples, 1.3% Asian, and 2.0% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).
The proportion of people born overseas was 8.4%, compared with 27.1% nationally.
Although some people objected to giving their religion, 49.3% had no religion, 38.7% were Christian, 0.4% were Hindu and 1.3% had other religions.
Of those at least 15 years old, 108 (10.3%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 288 (27.5%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $38,200, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 636 (60.7%) people were employed full-time, 174 (16.6%) were part-time, and 21 (2.0%) were unemployed.
Toko School is a coeducational full primary (years 1–8) school with a roll of 140 students as of November 2021. The school was founded in 1893.
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, 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.
Inglewood is a town in the Taranaki Region of New Zealand's North Island. It is 16 kilometres (10 mi) southeast of New Plymouth on State Highway 3, close to Mount Taranaki, and sits 200 metres (660 ft) above sea level. The town services a mainly dairy farming region.
Patea 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.
Eltham is a small inland town in South Taranaki, New Zealand, located 50 kilometres (31 mi) south of the city of New Plymouth and southeast of the volcanic cone of Mount Taranaki/Egmont. Stratford is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) north, Kaponga 13 km west, and Hāwera is 19 km (12 mi) south. State Highway 3 runs through the town.
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.
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.
Whangamōmona is a small township in the Stratford District and Manawatū-Whanganui Region in New Zealand. It lies on State Highway 43, the "Forgotten World Highway", 65 kilometres (40 mi) north-east of Stratford and 55 kilometres (34 mi) south-west of Ohura. By rail it is 61 kilometres (38 mi) from Stratford on the Stratford-Okahukura railway line.
Ōkato is a small town in rural Taranaki, New Zealand. It is situated about 25 minutes drive around the coast from New Plymouth on State Highway 45. Oakura is 12 km to the north-east, and Warea is 9 km to the south-west. The place offers popular rocky surfing spots around coastal beaches. The town was established as a military settlement in the 1860s.
Kaponga is a small town in the southern part of the Taranaki region of New Zealand. It is known as "The Gateway to Dawson's Falls" on Mount Taranaki. Kaponga is located inland from Manaia and Eltham, and is on the main road connecting Eltham to Ōpunake. Ōpunake is 26 kilometres (16 mi) to the west and Eltham is 13 km to the east. Auroa lies to the south-east. Manaia is 15 kilometres (9 mi) south of Kaponga.
Douglas is a lowly populated locality and a rural centre in east Taranaki, surrounded by dairy, sheep and beef pastoral farming. It is situated 18 km east of Stratford at the intersection of East Road, Ohura Road, Douglas Road South and Bredow Road. East Road and Ohura Road meet to form State Highway 43, linking Stratford to the King Country town of Taumarunui. The Stratford–Okahukura Line, a secondary railway line, runs through Douglas where it veers north-east and away from the state highway for approximately 20 km.
Lepperton is a small village in North Taranaki, New Zealand. It is approximately 6 km (3.7 mi) inland from Waitara township, 5 km (3.1 mi) west of the Waitara River, and 1 km (0.62 mi) east of State Highway 3A, which connects Inglewood to Waitara.
Tututawa is a locality and rural centre in east Taranaki, New Zealand, 26 kilometres (16 mi) east of Stratford, with a population of approximately 40. The settlement is centred 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Ohura Road, at the intersection of Mangaotuku Road and Tututawa Road. Positioned approximately 150 metres (490 ft) above sea level, Tututawa is nestled in a valley amongst high sandstone and greywacke ridgelines. Within the area are the historic localities of Tewheniwheni, Mangaehu and Tawhiwhi.
Midhirst is a small village in Taranaki, New Zealand, approximately 4 km north of Stratford, on State Highway 3. Inglewood is 17 km (11 mi) north of Midhirst, and New Plymouth is 35 km (22 mi) to the northwest.
Alton is a small rural community in south Taranaki, in the western North Island of New Zealand. It is located between the towns of Hāwera and Patea.
Cardiff is a settlement in inland Taranaki, in the western North Island of New Zealand. It is located five kilometres southwest of Stratford close to Egmont National Park.
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.
Auroa is a locality in southern Taranaki, New Zealand. Ōpunake is to the west, Kaponga to the northeast, and Manaia to the southeast. Mount Taranaki is directly north of Auroa.
Egmont Village is a settlement in Taranaki, New Zealand. State Highway 3 runs through it. New Plymouth is 12 km to the north-west, and Inglewood is 6 km to the south-east. Waiwhakaiho River and Mangaoraka Stream flow past to the west and east, respectively.
Uruti is a locality in northern Taranaki, in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located on State Highway 3, north-east of Mimi and south-west of Ahititi. The Uruti Stream meets the Mimi River at this point. The river flows past the settlement into the North Taranaki Bight.
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.