Rangitikei District

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Rangitikei District
Rangitikei District Council offices in Marton
Rangitikei District.svg
CountryNew Zealand
DistrictRangitikei District
 • MayorAndy Watson[1]
 • Deputy MayorNigel Belsham
 • Total4,479.42 km2 (1,729.51 sq mi)
 (June 2020)[2]
 • Total15,750
 • Density3.5/km2 (9.1/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
WebsiteRangitikei District

The Rangitikei District is a territorial authority located primarily in the Manawatū-Whanganui region in the North Island of New Zealand, although a small part, the town of Ngamatea (13.63% by land area), lies in the Hawke's Bay Region. It is located in the southwest of the island, and follows the catchment area of the Rangitīkei River.

The Rangitikei District Council is the local government authority for this district. It is composed of a mayor, currently Andy Watson, and 11 councillors, one of whom is the deputy mayor.


The Rangitikei District was established in 1989 as part of the 1989 local government reforms.[3]

Government and politics[edit]

Local government[edit]

The current Mayor of Rangitikei is Andy Watson, elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2016[4] and 2019.[5] Watson was first elected in 2013 by obtaining 1,983 votes (41.5%) of the vote and a majority of 486 (10.2%) beating incumbent mayor Chalky Leary.[6]

Rangitikei District Council is served by eleven councillors elected across five wards. Two councillors are elected from the Bulls ward, one from the Hunterville ward, four from the Marton ward, three from the Taihape ward and one from the Turakina board.[7]

Regional government[edit]

Rangitikei District is one of ten districts located partially or entirely within the Manawatū-Whanganui region. As such it is represented on the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council, known as Horizons Regional Council. Two of the twelve regional councillors are elected by the district in the Manawatu - Rangitikei ward; the two regional councillors elected in the 2016 elections are Bruce Gordon and Gordon McKellar.[8]

National government[edit]

Rangitikei is located in the general electorate of Rangitīkei and in the Māori electorate of Te Tai Hauāuru.[9] Rangitīkei is a safe National Party seat since the 1938 election with the exception of 1978–1984 when it was held by Bruce Beetham of the Social Credit Party. Since 2011 it is held by Ian McKelvie.[10]

Te Tai Hauāuru is a more volatile seat, having been held by three different parties since 1996, i.e. New Zealand First, the Māori Party and the Labour Party.[11] Since 2014 it is held by Adrian Rurawhe of the Labour Party.[12]


Located north of Wellington, the district stretches from the South Taranaki Bight toward the North Island Volcanic Plateau, forming a trapezium-shaped block that includes the towns of Taihape, Bulls, Marton, Hunterville, and Mangaweka. The district has an area of 4,538 km².


Rangitikei's climate is temperate and has few extremes compared to many parts of New Zealand. According to the Köppen climate classification, this climate is classified as oceanic climate (Cfb). Summers are warm with average temperatures in the low 20s. The most settled weather occurs in summer and early autumn. Winters are mild near the coast and on the plains; it is colder inland and in the hill country, but often frosty, clear and calm. Snowfall occasionally settles in areas 400 m above sea level, such as Taihape. Annual rainfall is moderate and annual hours of bright sunshine can average over 2,000.[13]


2018 census[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1986 17,694—    
1991 16,676−1.18%
1996 16,531−0.17%
2001 15,102−1.79%
2006 14,712−0.52%
2013 14,019−0.69%
2018 15,027+1.40%
Source: [17][18][19]

Rangitikei District had a population of 15,027 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 1,008 people (7.2%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 315 people (2.1%) since the 2006 census. There were 5,721 households. There were 7,554 males and 7,473 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.01 males per female. Of the total population, 3,135 people (20.9%) were aged up to 15 years, 2,586 (17.2%) were 15 to 29, 6,492 (43.2%) were 30 to 64, and 2,814 (18.7%) were 65 or older. Figures may not add up to the total due to rounding.

Ethnicities were 79.2% European/Pākehā, 26.2% Māori, 5.6% Pacific peoples, 2.1% Asian, and 1.7% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

The percentage of people born overseas was 12.1, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 46.1% had no religion, 38.5% were Christian, and 6.9% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 1,365 (11.5%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 2,964 (24.9%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $27,200. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 5,742 (48.3%) people were employed full-time, 1,884 (15.8%) were part-time, and 417 (3.5%) were unemployed.[19]

Towns and meshblocks in Rangitikei[17]
or meshblock
2013 Pop. % Total
1 Marton 4,548 32.4%
2 Lake Alice 2,724 19.4%
3 Pohonui-Porewa 2,031 14.5%
4 Bulls 1,515 10.8%
5 Taihape 1,509 10.8%
6 Moawhango 651 4.6%
7 Hunterville 429 3.1%
8 Ratana 327 2.3%
9 Mangaweka 150 1.1%
10 Koitiata 108 0.8%
11 Ngamatea 27 0.2%


The district is further subdivided into seven towns and four meshblocks. The meshblocks encompass the surrounding rural areas that are not towns and as such are larger in geographic size. Rangitikei's towns are: Bulls, Hunterville, Koitiata, Mangaweka, Marton, Rātana Pā and Taihape; and its meshblocks are: Lake Alice, Moawhango, Ngamatea and Pohonui-Porewa.[20]

As meshblocks—despite their larger size—are the smallest administrative units recorded by Statistics New Zealand, there are small townships of which the demographic statistics are not recorded; all of which are in these meshblocks. These include: Crofton, Mangamahu, Mataroa, Ohingaiti, Pukeokahu, Santoft, Turakina, Utiku and Whangaehu.



State Highway 1 State Highway 1 NZ.svg goes through Bulls. The North Island portion of this national state highway, one of only eight in New Zealand, begins at Cape Reinga / Te Rerenga Wairua and ends at Wellington International Airport—passing through Bulls at 925 km.

State Highway 3 State Highway 3 NZ.svg passes through Bulls. This highway connects Woodville (25 km east of Palmerston North) and Hamilton via New Plymouth.

State Highway 54 State Highway 54 NZ.svg connects Palmerston North and SH 1 at Vinegar Hill via Feilding.

Public transport[edit]

InterCity runs five daily and three non-daily bus services in Marton and Bulls. These include WhanganuiWellington, Palmerston North–Auckland, Tauranga–Wellington, Wellington–New Plymouth and Auckland–Palmerston North.[21]

Marton used to be serviced by the North Island Main Trunk (or Overlander), a railway line connecting Auckland and Wellington. However, in 2012 the Overlander was replaced by the Northern Explorer, which has fewer stops and does not stop in Marton.

The nearest airports to the district are Whanganui Airport, located 37 km west (of Marton), and Palmerston North Airport, located 44 km southeast. Both airports are domestic only.


Secondary schools

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zaryd Wilson (2013-10-12). "Former Rangitikei mayor 'riding into sunset'". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  2. ^ "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  3. ^ Derby, Mark (13 July 2012). "Local and regional government - Reforming local government". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  4. ^ Wallis, Anna (14 October 2013). "Watson wins Rangitikei chain". Whanganui Chroniclenzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Mayor Andy Watson elected unopposed for a further term". Rangitīkei District Council. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Rangitikei District Council – 2013 Triennial Elections" (PDF). Electionz.com. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Councillors". Rangitikei District Council. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Council". Horizons Regional Council. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Find my Electorate". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Rangitīkei Electorate Profile". New Zealand Parliament. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Te Tai Hauāuru Electorate Profile". New Zealand Parliament. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Rurawhe, Adrian". New Zealand Parliament. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  13. ^ "Weather & Climate". Rangitikei District Council. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Marton Ross St., New Zealand". Climate-charts.com. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Climate: Marton". Climate-data.org. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Climate: Taihape". Climate-data.org. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  17. ^ a b "2013 Census tables about a place: Rangitikei District". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  18. ^ "1996 Census of Population and Dwellings – Census Night Population". Statistics New Zealand. 28 February 1997. Archived from the original on 13 February 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Rangitikei District (038). 2018 Census place summary: Rangitikei District
  20. ^ "2013 Census map – QuickStats about a place". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  21. ^ "Marton – Bus Timetable". InterCity. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  22. ^ Wilkie, Kelsey (26 November 2015). "Turakina Maori Girls' College closed due to multiple failures, minister says". Stuff. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  23. ^ Wilkie, Kelsey (25 November 2015). "Turakina Maori Girls' College 'devastated' over school closure". Stuff. Retrieved 1 February 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°47′10″S 175°38′13″E / 39.786°S 175.637°E / -39.786; 175.637