Otaki, New Zealand

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For the electorate, see Ōtaki (New Zealand electorate).
Otaki is located in New Zealand

Otaki is a town in the Kapiti Coast District of the North Island of New Zealand, situated half way between the capital city Wellington, 70 kilometres to the southwest, and Palmerston North, 70 kilometres to the northeast. It is located on State Highway 1 and the North Island Main Trunk railway between Te Horo and Levin and marks the northernmost point of the Wellington Region. In the 2006 census the town's population was 5466, a slight drop since the 2001 census.[1]

The town is sited close to the banks of the Otaki River, 4 kilometres from its outflow into the Tasman Sea. North of the mouth of the river is Otaki Beach, a mainly residential area considered to be part of the town though separated by more than a kilometre of farmland. The surrounding district is largely agricultural, with market gardens, and the economy of the town is largely based around service industries for the farming community.

Otaki Beach

In the early 19th century, the area was inhabited by Māori of the Ngati Raukawa iwi who had migrated from the Kāwhia area from about 1819, under the leadership of Te Rauparaha. They had supplanted the Rangitāne and Muaupoko people. In December missionaries Henry Williams and Octavius Hadfield, at the request of Te Rauparaha, visited the area and Hadfield opened the first mission in the Wellington region at Otaki.[2] At the nearby Raukawa marae is the Rangiātea Church, the original of which was completed in 1851. Burnt down in 1995 it was completely rebuilt by 2003.[3]

Inland from the township is the Otaki Racecourse, home of the Otaki Maori Racing Club since 1886.[4]

Notable people[edit]


Coordinates: 40°45′S 175°09′E / 40.750°S 175.150°E / -40.750; 175.150