Naseby, New Zealand

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Rural settlement
The historic precinct of Naseby, New Zealand
The historic precinct of Naseby, New Zealand
Coordinates: 45°1′S 170°8′E / 45.017°S 170.133°E / -45.017; 170.133Coordinates: 45°1′S 170°8′E / 45.017°S 170.133°E / -45.017; 170.133
CountryNew Zealand
Territorial authorityCentral Otago District
WardManiototo Ward
 • Local authorityCentral Otago District Council
 • Regional councilOtago Regional Council
 • Urban area0.86 km2 (0.33 sq mi)
 (2018 census)[2]
 • Urban area123
 • Density140/km2 (370/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Naseby Athenǽum

Naseby is a small town, formerly a borough, in the Maniototo area of Central Otago, New Zealand. It is named after a village in Northamptonshire, England. Previous names of the township were Parker's, Hogburn and Mt Ida.[3] The town catch phrase is "2000 feet above worry level" indicating its altitude.[4] Naseby is 395 km (5 hours drive) from Christchurch and 143 km (1 hour 45 minutes drive) from Dunedin.

An important township during the gold rush of the 1860s, Gold was discovered in the Hogburn in 1863.[5] Much of the town has been preserved from this time and has something of the air of a working museum. At its peak, the population of the town was around 4,000 miners. Eighteen stores, 14 hotels, two butchers and a hospital had also been built to service the miners.[5] In 1898, a railway line was constructed 12 km away in Ranfurly and as a result services gradually moved away from Naseby to Ranfurly. By the time administrative boundaries were changed in the 1980s, it had become New Zealand's smallest borough, with a population of only around 100. The Population swells to around 3000 during the summer holiday season.[4]

Winters in Naseby are very harsh for New Zealand with a mean average high temperature of 6 degrees Celsius and a mean average low temperature of 0 degrees Celsius in July.[6]

Naseby is one of New Zealand's principal curling venues. The town also has an ice rink and New Zealand's only ice luge track (360m long).[7]

Since 1900 Douglas fir, Larch, and Corsican pine have been planted on the former gold fields and these mature trees form the Naseby forest. Mountain biking is very popular in the forest with 52 km of tracks present. A swimming dam just above the township is a popular spot in summer and often freezes over in winter.[8] Walking is also popular in the Naseby forest

The Mount Ida Water Race was built beginning in 1873. The water originates from the Manuherikia River. It winds its way along the Hawkdun Range, and collects water running off the streams as it flows towards Naseby. It was originally designed to feed the gold sluices. It now provides much needed irrigation to farmers in the upper Maniototo area. A track follows the course of the race through the forest and provides pleasant mountain biking and walking opportunities.[9]


Ranfurly is described by Statistics New Zealand as a rural settlement. It covers 0.86 km2 (0.33 sq mi).[1] It is part of the much larger Maniototo statistical area.[10]

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [2]

Naseby had a population of 123 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 3 people (2.5%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 9 people (7.9%) since the 2006 census. There were 63 households. There were 69 males and 54 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.28 males per female. The median age was 55.6 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 12 people (9.8%) aged under 15 years, 9 (7.3%) aged 15 to 29, 60 (48.8%) aged 30 to 64, and 42 (34.1%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 95.1% European/Pākehā, 7.3% Māori, and 4.9% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 56.1% had no religion, 24.4% were Christian and 4.9% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 12 (10.8%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 21 (18.9%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $24,800, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 45 (40.5%) people were employed full-time, and 24 (21.6%) were part-time.[2]


Naseby Public School opened in 1865 and closed in 1994. In the early 20th century it included a district high school.[11] The nearest schools are now at Ranfurly.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

The cast and crew of the Jane Campion film The Power of the Dog stayed in Naseby while filming in Ida Valley in the Maniototo. Naseby was used for scenes in Goodbye Pork Pie and a Japanese film called The Promise.[13]


  1. ^ a b "ArcGIS Web Application". Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. 7027819.
  3. ^ "Untitled". University of Otago. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Naseby: Why this tiny Central Otago town is one of NZ's best holiday spots for kids". Stuff. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Naseby history". Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Climate Naseby". meteoblue. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  7. ^ NZOLA..........Naseby Ice Luge
  8. ^ "Naseby Forest Mountain Bike Trails". Central Otago. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Naseby Forest Walks". Central Otago. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  10. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Maniototo
  11. ^ "The Naseby Public School". Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Vol. Otago & Southland Provincial Districts. 1905.
  12. ^ "Naseby's History". Naseby Vision. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  13. ^ "When the movie stars came to town: a Central Otago family's farm was transformed for Jane Campion's The Power of the Dog". Stuff. 6 November 2021. Retrieved 13 November 2021.