|Nickname(s): 'Friendly' Feilding|
|Territorial authority||Manawatu District|
|Named for||Colonel William Henry Adelbert Feilding|
|• MP||Ian McKelvie (New Zealand National Party)|
|• Mayor||Margaret Kouvelis|
|Elevation||70 m (230 ft)|
|• Estimate (June 2009)||14,450|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
The town is a service town for the surrounding farming district. The Feilding Saleyards have been a vital part of the wider Manawatu community for over 125 years. As transport systems improved and farming practices changed, the need for small, local saleyards all but disappeared, leaving few major selling complexes in New Zealand. Manawatu is a diverse and fertile farming area with high production, high stock-carrying capacity and a stable climate. These factors make Feilding Saleyards a popular medium for many farmers. A unique aspect of Feilding Saleyards is their location in the centre of town.
The Manawatu Plains, on which the town is sited, are very fertile land, and as such it is a prosperous agricultural area. Being located on the floodplain of a major river has its problems, however, and in February 2004 the town suffered extensive flooding. In 2009 the Horizons Regional Council commissioned a new flood protection scheme to prevent extensive flooding in the future.
Feilding has won the annual New Zealand's Most Beautiful Town award 14 times, and the town is the seat of the Manawatu District Council.
The town is currently extending its CBD beautification featuring paving and planter boxes on the footpaths on the main streets in the CBD, including the realignment and beautification of Fergusson Street to the South Street entrance of Manfeild Park. The attractive CBD has contributed to the thriving retail scene, which includes boutique stores (Poppies, CAST..) and national/international chains (Paperplus, Ballentynes, Postie Plus).
The town was named after Colonel William Henry Adelbert Feilding, a director of the Emigrants and Colonists Aid Corporation Ltd. who negotiated the purchase of a 100,000 acre (400 km²) block of land from the Wellington provincial government in 1871. The first settlers arrived from Great Britain on 22 January 1874.
The Feilding Edwardian Project Inc. was established in September 1993 by local businesses with the aim of revitalising the central business area of Feilding. Many of the commercial buildings were built in the 1900s (Edwardian era) and have been restored and preserved over time. A brochure featuring the Central Feilding Historic walk can be picked up from Feilding & Districts Information Centre or downloaded as a trail on the Palmerston North City and Manawatu app from iTunes.
Feilding is home to a number of historic collections, buildings, monuments and museums, including:
- The Coach House Museum
- St Johns Church
- The Feilding Club
- Feilding Hotel
Feilding is also home to historic steam rail collections and the Feilding & Districts Steam Rail Society. They run regular chartered trips using their fully restored engines and heritage carriages, including short runs on the steam train and jigger in exchange for a 'gold coin' donation during special events in the town.
- One of New Zealand's main motor racing circuits, Manfeild, is located at the southern edge of the town
- There is an active light aircraft airfield at the eastern edge of the town
- The depot of the Feilding and District Steam Rail Society is located in the town and it runs railway excursions from this base.
- Feilding has the largest stock saleyards in the southern hemisphere right in the central business area. Visitors can go on guided tours of the saleyards during the Friday auctions. The tour must be booked in advance through Feilding & Districts Information Centre. It commences at 11am.
- There are no traffic lights and no parking meters.
Education in Feilding
Primary and intermediate schools
- Feilding Intermediate School is a state, coeducational intermediate (years 7-8) school with a decile rating of 5 and a roll of 312. It was established in 1964.
- Lytton Street School is a state, coeducational contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a decile rating of 3 and a roll of 441.
- Manchester Street School is a state, coeducational contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a decile rating of 6 and a roll of 288.
- North Street School is a state, coeducational full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 4 and a roll of 481.
- St Joseph's School is an integrated coeducational full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 6 and a roll of 124.
Famous people from Feilding include:
- Murray Ball (the kiwiana cartoonist who drew Footrot Flats)
- Tom Scott; also a New Zealand cartoonist; was born here.
- Evermore popular musical group.
- W. H. Oliver was born in Feilding.
- Glen Jackson (rugby player); was born here.
- Glenn Standring (the film director); was born here.
- Eddie Durie was born here.
- Mason Durie was born here.
- Keith Elliott VC, recipient of the Victoria Cross medal, attended high school in Feilding.
- Jesse Sergent (cyclist)
- Aaron Smith All Black
- George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock and Luke Whitelock All Blacks, born nearby, attended FAHS
- Jed Brophy actor, Dwarf Nori in the The Hobbit film series trilogy
- New Zealand Topo50 map BM34: [www.linz.govt.nz]
- New Zealand Government population statistics
- "Feilding Saleyards 125 Years of Success 1880-2005" (June 2005) Adapted by Foreward authored by Ian McKelvie.
- "Flood protection scheme opens". infonews.co.nz (New Zealand). 25 March 2000.
- Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: Feilding Intermediate
- Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: Lytton Street school
- Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: Manchester Street school
- Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: North Street school
- Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: St Josephs (Feilding)
- Feilding promotional website
- Colonel Henry Feilding on 1981 20c stamp
- The Country Road touring routes website
- The Feilding CBD Heritage Trail on the Palmerston North City & Manawatu iPhone app