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Kāeo (Māori)
Motto: Small town, big spirit
Kaeo is located in Northland Region
Coordinates: 35°6′S 173°47′E / 35.100°S 173.783°E / -35.100; 173.783Coordinates: 35°6′S 173°47′E / 35.100°S 173.783°E / -35.100; 173.783
Country New Zealand
Region Northland Region
District Far North District
Population (2006)
 • Total 495
Postcode 0478

Kaeo is a township in the Far North District of New Zealand, located some 22 km (14 mi) northwest of Kerikeri. The town takes its name from the unique shellfish found in the nearby Whangaroa Harbour.

The 2006 New Zealand census reported a population of 495, an increase of 3 from 2001.[1]

Kaeo has a BP petrol-station, a pharmacy, a Farm and Fuel store, a bookshop, eateries, a hairdresser, a bus company, two mechanics, a tyre-shop, a transport company, a Sanfords Fishery factory (closed down in December 2011),[2] a Four Square shop incorporating a Post Office, a primary school with around 140 students and a college with 121 students(high school).


Kaeo, Pa Site Pohue-nui of the Ngati-Uru tribe. As seen behind an old house from the East, near SH 10, in February 2013.

Kaeo used to be a fortified village of the Ngati-Uru sub-tribe. This tribe arrived in the Whangaroa Harbour as late as 1770- 1775, having been driven out of the Rawhiti area of the Bay of Islands, after killing and eating Captain Marion du Fresne, and his crew.[3]


Built on the flood plain of the Kaeo River, Kaeo has experienced destructive flooding. It came to national attention in 2007 when it took the brunt of three major floods within the space of a few months - in February, March and July. Water flooded homes and shops and destroyed the local Primary School's pool-complex. The local Rugby Clubrooms also suffered, and the club received much support from the whole country as it raised funds to lift the clubrooms off the ground to minimise the risk of damage from further flooding. Landslips, fallen power lines, and road closures resulted from heavy rain in February 2008. The Northland Regional Council scheduled flood-protection work for 2008,[4] but as of 2011 it is still waiting on various consents.[5] Floods occurred as a result of Cyclone Wilma in January 2011, and 70 people had to be evacuated from Kaeo.[6]


Kaeo Primary School, a coeducational contributing primary (years 1-6) school, has a decile rating of 1[7] and a roll of 127 students as of July 2016.[8] The school dates from 1877; it moved to its current site some years later. In 1941 it became Kaeo District High School, taking both primary and secondary students. After the opening of Whangaroa College in 1969, Kaeo School became a primary school.[9]

Whangaroa College, a coeducational secondary (years 7-15) school, has a decile-rating of 2[10] and 129 students as of July 2016.[8]

Notable People[edit]

Famous people from Kaeo include Eric Rush, New Zealand rugby sevens legend, and Heather Mansfield of The Brunettes.

Rahera Windsor (1925 - 2004), British Māori spiritual leader and founding member of Ngāti Rānana, was born in Pupuke near Kaeo.[11]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Quickstats about Kaeo
  2. ^ "66 jobs to go at Kaeo oyster plant". The Northern Advocate. 6 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Peopling of the North". 5. Supplement to the Journal of the Polynesian Society. 1896. 
  4. ^ "Call to stop town flooding a fourth time". The New Zealand Herald. 26 February 2008. 
  5. ^ "Kaeo people frustrated by continual flooding". Radio New Zealand. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  6. ^ "Wilma departs leaving big clean up". The New Zealand Herald. 2011-01-29. 
  7. ^ Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: Kaeo School
  8. ^ a b "Directory of Schools - as at 2 August 2016". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  9. ^ "Our school". Kaeo Primary School. 
  10. ^ Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: Whangaroa College
  11. ^ Wilson, Susan (22 June 2004). "Rahera Windsor, London Māori leader". London: The Independent.