Manaia, Taranaki

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Manaia is located in Taranaki Region
Coordinates: 39°33′3″S 174°7′30″E / 39.55083°S 174.12500°E / -39.55083; 174.12500
Country New Zealand
Region Taranaki
District South Taranaki District
Population (2006)
 • Total 927

Manaia is a rural town in South Taranaki District, New Zealand. Opunake is 29 km to the northwest, and Hawera is 13 km to the southeast. Kaponga is 15 km north. State Highway 45 passes through the town.[1][2] Manaia is named after the former Māori chief of the district, Hukunui Manaia.

The population was 927 in the 2006 Census, a decrease of 24 from 2001.[3]


Only a small town, Manaia has its history still visible with the Manaia Redoubt still present.

Built around 1880 on the site of a former pā (Te Takahe) during peacetime, this redoubt and wooden watchtower was created for the passive resistance of the Parihaka chief, Te Whiti o Rongomai, and his followers. The wooden watchtower (35 feet high) was blown down in a storm and replaced in 1912 by a concrete one still standing today amidst the 18-hole golf course surrounded by two original blockhouses. Also, trenches surround the tower and blockhouses. It could house 160 men and all the timber used for the construction was pit sawn locally by the constables.

The golf course is one of the oldest of Taranaki, created around 1905.

Also when driving into Manaia from Hawera the remains of the old flour mill can be seen on the left hand side.

These concrete remains of the mill were built in 1900 to replace the original wooden mill built in 1882 by Mr D. F. McVicar of the Sentry Hill flour mill, New Plymouth.

The local Waiokura River powered the mill by a 15-foot (4.6 m) water wheel which developed 15 horsepower (11 kW). The mill had 4 stories, and a 23-foot (7.0 m) stud. It was 35 feet (11 m) long and 20 feet (6.1 m) wide. About 40,000 feet (12,000 m) of timber was used and the building provided storage for about 15,000 sacks of flour.

Yarrows Family Bakers[4] employs around 250 people, and has been the main business in Manaia since 1923.[5] The company manufactures fresh and frozen breads and bakery products. Its clients include Foodstuffs, Subway, and Pams.[6] The company went into receivership in 2011.[7]

In 2007, a 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier called George died protecting 5 local children from an attack by two pit bull terriers. He was given a posthumous PDSA Gold Medal, the animal equivalent of the George Cross, at a special ceremony in Manaia in February 2009. The town has also erected a statue in his honour.[8]


Manaia School is a coeducational full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 4 and a roll of 160.[9] The school was founded in 1882.[10] In 2005, Tokaora School closed and merged with Manaia School.[11]


  1. ^ Peter Dowling (editor) (2004), Reed New Zealand Atlas, Reed Books, map 34, ISBN 0-7900-0952-8 
  2. ^ Roger Smith, GeographX (2005), The Geographic Atlas of New Zealand, Robbie Burton, map 96, ISBN 1-877333-20-4 
  3. ^ Quickstats about Manaia, Taranaki
  4. ^ "About Yarrows". Yarrows Family Bakers. 2011. 
  5. ^ McCloy, Nicola (2008). Made in New Zealand: Stories of iconic Kiwi brands. Auckland: Random House. pp. 36–37. ISBN 978-1-86979-018-9. 
  6. ^ "Partners & Customers". Yarrows Family Bakers. 2011. 
  7. ^ "Yarrow bakery placed in receivership". The New Zealand Herald. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Another award for heroic Jack Russell". Fairfax New Zealand. 11 February 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Te Kete Ipurangi - Manaia School". Ministry of Education. 
  10. ^ "Manaia School". Hawera & Normanby Star. 26 June 1882. p. 2. 
  11. ^ "Mergers, Closures and New Schools, January 2005 - December 2005" (XLS). Education Counts. 

Coordinates: 39°33′S 174°08′E / 39.550°S 174.133°E / -39.550; 174.133