Ōtorohanga District

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Ōtorohanga District
View of Otorohanga
View of Otorohanga
Otorohanga District.svg
CountryNew Zealand
 • MayorMax Baxter
 • Deputy MayorRoy Johnson
 • Total1,976 km2 (763 sq mi)
 (June 2020)[1]
 • Total10,700
 • Density5.4/km2 (14/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
WebsiteOtorohanga District

Ōtorohanga District is a territorial municipality in the King Country area and Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is a mostly rural area, with Otorohanga town being by far the biggest urban area, with a population nearing 3,000. The District was called Otorohanga County from 1971 to 1979.

Geography and population[edit]

Ōtorohanga District is located south of Hamilton, west of Rotorua, and northwest of Taupo. It stretches from Kawhia Harbour on the west coast inland to the Pureora Forest Park. Adjacent local government districts are (clockwise from the north) Waikato, Waipa, South Waikato, Taupo, and Waitomo. The district has a land area of 1,976 square kilometres (763 sq mi).[2] It is a mostly rural area, with significant areas of native forest.

The district's population at June 2020 was 10,700.[1] The town of Otorohanga, located at about the centre of the district, is the largest town, with a population of 3,240. Other communities include Hauturu, Honikiwi, Kawhia, Maihiihi, Oparau, Otewa, Owhiro, Puketotara, Te Kawa and Wharepuhunga.


After the land wars, the wider area of the King Country was a refuge for Tāwhiao, the second Māori King, and his followers. From 1864 to 1883, pākehā (white settlers) were not allowed into the area unless they had express permission. The district was used for farming from the late 19th century onwards.

The first municipal government, Otorohanga County, was formed in 1922. In 1956, the northern part of Kawhia County and Otorohanga County were amalgamated. On 1 November 1971, Otorohanga Borough was subsumed into Otorohanga County. The Otorohanga District was declared in 1979 by renaming Otorohanga County.[2] It was reconstituted as part of the 1989 local government reforms, with a nearly identical area.[3]


The seat of Ōtorohanga District Council is in the town of Otorohanga. The council is headed by a mayor, and complemented by seven councillors from five wards. The council wards are Kawhia/Tihiroa (two councillors), Waipa, Wharepuhunga, Kiokio/ Korakonui, and Otorohanga (two councillors).[4] Max Baxter has been the mayor since the 2013 local elections.[5]

The District is entirely within the wider Waikato Regional Council area.[3]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [6]

Ōtorohanga District had a population of 10,104 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 963 people (10.5%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 1,029 people (11.3%) since the 2006 census. There were 3,498 households. There were 5,292 males and 4,812 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.1 males per female. Of the total population, 2,283 people (22.6%) were aged up to 15 years, 1,926 (19.1%) were 15 to 29, 4,416 (43.7%) were 30 to 64, and 1,479 (14.6%) were 65 or older. Figures may not add up to the total due to rounding.

Ethnicities were 77.5% European/Pākehā, 30.0% Māori, 2.2% Pacific peoples, 4.0% Asian, and 1.5% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

The percentage of people born overseas was 11.2, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 55.5% had no religion, 30.7% were Christian, and 5.8% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 918 (11.7%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 1,896 (24.2%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $30,200. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 3,984 (50.9%) people were employed full-time, 1,266 (16.2%) were part-time, and 279 (3.6%) were unemployed.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b "About us". Otorohanga District Council. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Proposal for Ōtorohanga District". New Zealand Geographic Board. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Otorohanga District Council Elected Members". Otorohanga District Council. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  5. ^ Leaman, Aaron (14 October 2013). "Business as usual as Baxter takes charge". Waikato Times. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Otorohanga District (018). 2018 Census place summary: Ōtorohanga District

External links[edit]