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Temuka is located in New Zealand
Temuka and the Opihi River. The photo was taken from an Air New Zealand ATR-72 flight from Christchurch to Invercargill

Temuka is a town on New Zealand's Canterbury Plains, 15 kilometres north of Timaru and 142 km south of Christchurch. It is located at the centre of a rich sheep and dairy farming region, for which it is a service town.


At one time it supported wool scouring plants, it had a flour mill and manufactured electric power transmission insulators. The name Te umu kaha (original spelling) means long-lasting ovens, from the earth ovens that Māori people used to cook the plentifully-growing cabbage trees.

Local Council[edit]

Temuka previously had its own council system in place, but since then has been under the administration of TDC, Timaru District Council. Recently, the council has been redeveloping Temuka; in the form of cleaning waterways, new walkways, redeveloping of existing walkways, new gardens, domains, new tennis courts, complete skate park and generally modernizing of the large service town.

Population & Demographics[edit]

With a population of 4,044 people in 2006,[1] it is the second largest town in South Canterbury. Temuka is home to three schools, two primary schools and one secondary school. Temuka is accessed by New Zealand's State Highway Number 1 and the Main South Line railway allowing for major cargo handling. Temuka is north of the Opihi and Temuka rivers. The local secondary school, Opihi College, takes its name from the Opihi River. Both rivers are popular with locals and tourists. Almost all traffic passing north or south goes through or around Temuka. Temuka has recently had the redevelopment of the local Domain by incorporating a skate park to join the other facilities which include a swimming pool, mini golf, golf, netball, outdoor bowls and tennis. Also here are rugby and football fields, a stadium complex and a popular Holiday Park. For the three local schools, Temuka has transportation for the children that attend, that run daily, and also public transportation incl a local Taxi service, Temuka Taxis.


Fonterra is the local milk processing plant, The largest in New Zealand which employs local Temuka people, in the order of hundreds. Fonterra processes the milk product, which is picked up from farms all over the south island, and makes it into dairy products to be sent around the world. The number of Fonterra milk tankers travelling though a local 'one way bridge' prompted the installation of a diverse traffic light system, to help cope with the increased load. Fonterra is owned by the farms that provide milk for it, shareholders.


There are currently three primary and secondary schools in Temuka.

  • Temuka Primary.
  • St. Joseph's Temuka.
  • Opihi College.
  • Opihi College was originally called Temuka High School until 2005 when the name was changed.


Temuka is home to a very large trucking company; Temuka Transport. This company is hired throughout South Canterbury and has about 40 trucks which are used to service the South Canterbury area. Also located in the town is; Temuka Homeware. This company produces ceramic crockery. Currently, the older and traditional items are undergoing an increase of demand from collectors and the accompanying industry. Located in Temuka are many businesses, supermarkets, takeaways, collectors, hardware stores, office supply stores, art galleries, and others. Temuka is home to New Zealand Insulators (NZI), the major supplier of Insulators to New Zealand's power industry. Temuka Houses NZI's cooperate Headquarters, South Island warehouse and Temuka factory. Temuka is also home to the only bagpipe bag manufacturing business in New Zealand, Gannaway New Zealand, manufacturing cowhide, goatskin and sheepskin bagpipe bags exported worldwide.[2]

Notable natives/residents[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°14′35.02″S 171°16′38.12″E / 44.2430611°S 171.2772556°E / -44.2430611; 171.2772556