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Pokeno is located in New Zealand
Coordinates: 37°14′S 175°01′E / 37.233°S 175.017°E / -37.233; 175.017Coordinates: 37°14′S 175°01′E / 37.233°S 175.017°E / -37.233; 175.017
40 m (130 ft)
(June 2018)[1]
 • Territorial2,170
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Area code(s)09
1900-1930 St Mary's Church, Pokeno Valley School and two general views.
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.

Pokeno is a small town (615 households)[2] in the Waikato District of the Waikato Region in New Zealand, 53 km (33 mi) southeast of Auckland, 9 km (5.6 mi) from Tuakau and 5 km (3.1 mi) from Mercer. State Highway 1 originally ran through the town, but the upgrading of the highway in 1992 to expressway standards mean that the town has been bypassed.[3]

Pokeno was an important site during the New Zealand Wars of the 19th century, being the site of the Queen's Redoubt, a major colonial military headquarters. The redoubt was an important southern fortification on the Great South Road, built by Governor George Edward Grey to transport troops for the Invasion of the Waikato.[4]

The Pokeno Railway Station on the Waikato section of the North Island Main Trunk line was opened in 1875, but was closed in 1973 to passengers and in 1980 to goods. Work on the proposed Paeroa–Pokeno Line commenced in 1938 and whilst approximately 13 km of earthworks were completed at each end, the proposal was halted due to World War 2 and was not resumed following the war and was abandoned.

Construction of a large Yashili dairy factory started in 2013,[5] but opening was delayed in 2015.[6]

In popular culture

  • In the New Zealand film Goodbye Pork Pie, the fugitives steal fuel from the Pokeno service station, now operating as a mobile home sales yard.
  • Pokeno is well-known for its two competing ice cream shops, situated on the main road, where pricing and generous scoops have created almost a cult following.[7]
  • The former Thompson Twins member Alannah Currie, who was born in Auckland, now works as an artist under the name Miss Pokeno.[8]


  1. ^ "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2018 (final)". Statistics New Zealand. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  2. ^ 2013 census interactive map - select Area Unit, type Pokeno and click
  3. ^ "Pokeno". Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Pokeno NZ Wars memorial". New Zealand History online. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  5. ^ [23 Sept 2013 Stuff news of start of construction of dairy plant]
  6. ^ 18 August 2015 Stuff news on Yashili dairy plant
  7. ^ Park, Nicky. "Five of the Best: Ice Cream Shops". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  8. ^ http://www.misspokeno.com/about/

External links