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View over Hikurangi, 1911
View over Hikurangi, 1911
Hikurangi is located in Northland Region
Coordinates: 35°35′54″S 174°17′12″E / 35.59833°S 174.28667°E / -35.59833; 174.28667Coordinates: 35°35′54″S 174°17′12″E / 35.59833°S 174.28667°E / -35.59833; 174.28667
CountryNew Zealand
RegionNorthland Region
DistrictWhangarei District
 • Total1,413

Hikurangi is a settlement in Northland, New Zealand. The city of Whangarei is 17 km (11 miles) to the south, and Kawakawa is 39 km (24 miles) northwest. The Glenbervie Forest is southeast of the settlement. State Highway 1 once passed through the town, but now bypasses it to the west.[1][2] Mount Hikurangi is a volcanic dome rising 365 metres (1,198 ft) to the west of the town. It is 1.2 million years old, and part of the Harbour Fault which also includes Parakiore, near Kamo, and Parihaka in Whangarei.[3]

The population was 1,413 in the 2013 Census, a decrease of 9 from 2001.[4] Hikurangi is a service town for the local dairy industry.[5]


An area of 12,000 acres (48.6 km2) of land at Hikurangi was purchased from local Maori by the District Commissioner of Lands in 1862. The land was considered desirable because it contained mature timber and high quality flax, and transport routes were established.[6] The area became a timber milling centre with the establishment of a road to Whangarei in 1875, and the first of several sawmills soon after.[7] Kauri gum-diggers were also active in the area.[8]

The town grew around local coal mines, which opened in 1890. The North Auckland railway line from Whangarei reached Hikurangi in 1894.[5] 4.2 million tons of coal were extracted. Flooding was a problem for the mines. During a nationwide coal-miners' strike in 1931, the Wilson Colliery Company closed their mine and deliberately flooded it. The miners formed a company and bought the mine, but it closed two years later because there were few orders for coal during the Great Depression. Three brothers were killed by black damp at one mine in 1933. The last mine closed in 1971.[9][10][11]

The Hikurangi Co-operative Dairy Company was formed in 1904. It established a dairy factory and operated a fleet of trucks to collect cream but also to deliver fertiliser and general goods to farmers. The factory was replaced by a new building in the 1950s. The company amalgamated with the Northland Co-operative Dairy Company in 1985, and the factory closed.[12]

Six teenagers were killed in 1930 when a train hit a bus.[13]

Hikurangi was administered by the Hikurangi District Roads Board until the formation of the Hikurangi Town Board in 1908. The Board became the Hikurangi Town Council in 1955. In 1989, they amalgamated with the Whangarei City Council and Whangarei County Council to form the Whangarei District Council.[14]

Limestone has been quarried at Hikurangi since the early 20th century.[15] The quarry still supplies limestone to the cement works at Portland.


Hikurangi School is a coeducational full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 1 and a roll of 198.[16] The first public school in Hikurangi opened in 1883 at View Road till the school was demolished in 1922. The school was built on the current site at Valley Road in 1922-1923 and has been enlarged numerous times over the years.[17] The site of the former school on View Road was sold to Mr and Mrs Robert Cherry. They got their house built on it in 1923 and has been designated a Group II historic place. The builder was Mr Watts from Whangarei.


  1. ^ Peter Dowling (editor) (2004). Reed New Zealand Atlas. Reed Books. map 5. ISBN 0-7900-0952-8.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Roger Smith, GeographX (2005). The Geographic Atlas of New Zealand. Robbie Burton. map 24. ISBN 1-877333-20-4.
  3. ^ Bruce Hayward; Mike Isaac; Keith Miller; Bernhard Spörli (2002). "Introduction to Whangarei geology" (PDF). Geological Society of New Zealand. p. 27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-04.
  4. ^ Quickstats about Hikurangi
  5. ^ a b "Whāngārei City and environs". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  6. ^ Malcolm, Madge (1997). Hikurangi: The Story of a Coalmining Town. p. 1. ISBN 0-473-05007-2.
  7. ^ Malcolm, pp. 4-5.
  8. ^ Malcolm, pp. 15-16.
  9. ^ Hayward et al., p. 28.
  10. ^ Parkes, W. F. (1992). Guide to Whangarei City and District. p. 11. ISBN 0-473-01639-7.
  11. ^ Malcolm, pp. 6-15.
  12. ^ Malcolm, pp. 152-7.
  13. ^ Malcolm, p. 22-23.
  14. ^ Malcolm, p. 47.
  15. ^ Malcolm, p. 20-21.
  16. ^ "Te Kete Ipurangi - Hikurangi School". Ministry of Education.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Malcolm, pp. 4, 18-19.