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Kihikihi is located in New Zealand

Kihikihi, a small town located in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand, serves as a satellite community of Te Awamutu, five kilometres to the north, and lies 35 kilometres south of Hamilton. The 2006 census recorded a population of 1,959 people, an increase of 18 since 2001,[1] and 2013 1,974.[2]

Kihikihi Town Hall (c.1904)
Kihikihi Star Hotel (c.1883)

The town's outer rim has merged with the expanding rim of Te Awamutu, rendering the boundary between the two towns difficult to perceive.

Kihikihi means "cicada" in the Māori language: the name imitates the sound made by the insect.[3] A large statue of a cicada stands at the northern entrance to the town.

The Kihikihi cicada statue

Kihikihi's multi-purpose sports domain hosts national and international equestrian events such as the FEI Eventing World Cup.

The town is also home to the historic Kihikihi Polo Club, founded in 1892 by the Kay family.[4]


John Rochford (1832–1893)[5] died in the Star Hotel and is buried in the Kihikihi Cemetery near the Kihikihi Primary school. He was one of the first to survey the routes of today's railways in both the North and South Islands. A reserve in Kihikhi commemorates the name of John Rochford.

Rewi Maniapoto (1807–1894) lived in Kihikihi, on the site of the Rewi Maniapoto Reserve and the memorial. Kihikihi stood at the core of the productive farm-lands that Maori developed in the 1850s with the help of CMS missionaries. The district supplied food to new settlers in Auckland for a brief period. The area became the heartland of anti-government Maori in 1863, during the New Zealand Wars.

Archaeological sites[edit]

20 archaeological sites have been identified in the town,[6] 9 of which are listed by Heritage New Zealand -

  • c1868 Alpha Hotel[7]
  • 1879 Major Jackson's House[8]
  • 1881 Christ Church (Anglican)[9]
  • 1883 Star Hotel[10]
  • 1894 Rewi Maniapoto Memorial and Reserve[11]
  • 1904 Town Hall[12]
  • 1907 Constable's House and Police Station[13]
  • 1920 World War One Memorial[14]
  • 94 Lyon St[15]

Under the Reserves Act 1977, a management plan for some of the historic area was drawn up for Waipa District Council.[16]


Kihikihi is on SH3. An infrequent bus service operated by GoBus links it to Te Awamutu and Hamilton.[17] The Kihikihi Trail cycleway to Te Awamutu[18] opened in 2017.[19]


  1. ^ Quickstats about Kihikihi
  2. ^ "2013 Census map – QuickStats about a place". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  3. ^ Reed, A. W. (1975). The Reed Dictionary of New Zealand Place Names. Max Cryer. Auckland: Reed (published 2002). p. 250. ISBN 0790007614. Lit. cicada or tree-locust (Amphipsalta cingulata), a name that imitates its strident song.
  4. ^ Kihikihi Polo Club: About us
  5. ^ Exploring New Zealand's interior
  6. ^ "NZAA Site Viewer". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  7. ^ "Alpha Hotel". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  8. ^ "Major Jackson's House". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  9. ^ "Christ Church (Anglican)". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  10. ^ "Star Hotel". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  11. ^ "Rewi Maniapoto Memorial and Reserve". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  12. ^ "Town Hall". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  13. ^ "Constable's House and Police Station". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  14. ^ "World War One Memorial". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  15. ^ "House". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  16. ^ "Rata-tu Management Plan (Kihikihi Heritage Precinct)" (PDF). Waipa District Council. December 2013.
  17. ^ "Te Awamutu 24 | Busit". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  18. ^ "New trail route confirmed - Waipa District Council". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  19. ^ "Kihikihi trail - Waipa District Council". Retrieved 2017-11-16.

Coordinates: 38°02′S 175°21′E / 38.033°S 175.350°E / -38.033; 175.350