Morrinsville

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Morrinsville
Morrinsville is located in New Zealand
Morrinsville
Morrinsville
Coordinates: 37°39′S 175°31′E / 37.650°S 175.517°E / -37.650; 175.517Coordinates: 37°39′S 175°31′E / 37.650°S 175.517°E / -37.650; 175.517
Country  New Zealand
Region Waikato
Territorial authority Matamata-Piako District
Ward Morrinsville
Electorate Waikato
Government
 • MP Lindsay Tisch (National)
 • Mayor Jan Barnes
Population
 • Urban 6,309
Time zone NZST (UTC+12)
 • Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)
Postcode 3300
Area code(s) 07
Main Road into Morrinsville - Mt Te Aroha in the background

Morrinsville is a provincial town in the Waikato region of New Zealand's North Island, with a population of approximately 6,500. The town is located at the northern base of the Pakaroa Range, and on the south-western fringe of the Hauraki Plains. Morrinsville is around 33 kilometres east of Hamilton and 22 kilometres west of Te Aroha. The town is bordered by the Piako River to the east and the Waitakaruru Stream to the south.

The land for the town and surrounding farmland was purchased from the Maori owners on 13th December 1873. The town is named after Thomas Morrin,born in Canada. His father had emigrated from the Scottish town of Lockerbie to Quebec. Thomas purchased land on 31 March 1874 as an estate and built houses for the estate's workers . He hired Irish navvies from the gold fields to dig an extensive network of drains to dry the land, enabling it to be used for intensive agriculture.

Morrinsville is one of three towns, along with Te Aroha and Matamata, that serves one of New Zealand's most prosperous dairy farming areas. The area around Morrinsville is sometimes described as being the most intensively dairy-farmed areas in the world. It is from the dairy industry that the town gets its slogan of 'cream of the country'.

Dairy processing has been a notable industry in Morrinsville, most notably through the Morrinsville Dairy Company since 1922. The dairy company retained the Scottish link through prominently using the name Lockerbie. Today, after a series of mergers, the dairy factory is now operated by the Fonterra Dairy Co-operative. The factory processes 1.2 million litres of milk per day during the peak of the milk production season, producing milk powders, cream, butter and canned butter for tropical countries where refrigeration is not always available. The town also has a fertiliser and hydrogen peroxide plant.

Historically, Morrinsville was the railway junction for the Thames Branch and the East Coast Main Trunk Railway to Tauranga. The Thames line has now been closed, with a short shunt line - the Waitoa Industrial Line - extending to the Waitoa Dairy Factory. While freight trains continue, the last passenger trains to serve the town were the Kaimai Express and the Geyserland Express, both of which were cancelled in October 2001.

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