Riverlea, New Zealand

Coordinates: 37°48′16″S 175°19′15″E / 37.804308°S 175.320811°E / -37.804308; 175.320811
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Riverlea, Hamilton
Riverlea, Hamilton
Coordinates: 37°48′16″S 175°19′15″E / 37.804308°S 175.320811°E / -37.804308; 175.320811
CountryNew Zealand
CityHamilton, New Zealand
Local authorityHamilton City Council
Electoral wardEast Ward
 • Land174 ha (430 acres)
 (June 2022)[2]
 • Total2,870
Hillcrest & Silverdale
Peacocke Tamahere

Riverlea is a suburb in south-eastern Hamilton in New Zealand. It is located south of Hillcrest. The suburb is primarily residential, with a small section of light industrial land along Riverlea Road.


It is named after Riverlea House, the homestead on the property of James McPherson which covered most of modern-day Riverlea and Hillcrest.[3] Many of the street names were chosen by landowner Don McKenzie, which he named after aeroplanes he flew in the Second World War (Hudson Street, Lysander Place), his horses (McCracken Avenue, Silva Crescent, Sheriff Place) and his family (Norma Place, Malcolm Street, Louise Place). Johnsview Terrace was named in memory of a boy who drowned in a waterhole which the street overlooked.[4]

Features of Riverlea[edit]

Hammond Park[edit]

Hammond Park is a public park along the riverbank of the Waikato River. A boardwalk connects the different sections of the park. Hammond Bush, part of the Mangaonua Gully, is home to the rare New Zealand long-tailed bat.[5] The beach along the Malcolm Street section of the park is a popular swimming spot during summer.

A local environmental improvement group (Riverlea Environment Society incorporated) has been instrumental in enhancing the Hammond Bush and campaigning against the building of an asphalt plant.

Riverlea Theatre[edit]

The Riverlea Theatre and Arts Centre, established in 1984, is home to Hamilton Musical Theatre and the Hamilton Playbox Repertory Society.[6]


Riverlea covers 1.74 km2 (0.67 sq mi)[1] and had an estimated population of 2,870 as of June 2022,[2] with a population density of 1,649 people per km2.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [7]

Riverlea had a population of 2,775 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 192 people (7.4%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 243 people (9.6%) since the 2006 census. There were 957 households, comprising 1,332 males and 1,443 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.92 males per female. The median age was 38.8 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 558 people (20.1%) aged under 15 years, 558 (20.1%) aged 15 to 29, 1,245 (44.9%) aged 30 to 64, and 417 (15.0%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 73.3% European/Pākehā, 10.5% Māori, 1.8% Pacific peoples, 20.5% Asian, and 3.2% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

The percentage of people born overseas was 29.9, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people chose not to answer the census's question about religious affiliation, 51.1% had no religion, 34.6% were Christian, 1.0% had Māori religious beliefs, 1.9% were Hindu, 2.7% were Muslim, 1.7% were Buddhist and 2.3% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 858 (38.7%) people had a bachelor's or higher degree, and 237 (10.7%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $33,000, compared with $31,800 nationally. 480 people (21.7%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 1,053 (47.5%) people were employed full-time, 342 (15.4%) were part-time, and 114 (5.1%) were unemployed.[7]

The 2013 Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation, ranked 1-10 from lowest to most deprived areas, lists Riverlea at 4/10 (low deprivation).[8]


Berkley Normal Middle School is a state co-educational composite school (years 7–9) with a roll of 778 as of April 2023.[9][10] The school was founded as an intermediate school in 1971 and became a middle school (with the addition of year 9) in 1998.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "ArcGIS Web Application". statsnz.maps.arcgis.com. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  3. ^ "Riverlea House – Hamilton Heritage". Hamilton City Council. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  4. ^ Street Name Index – Hamilton Public Library, Hamilton. Olympia Place named after Don went to the olympic games in Japan.
  5. ^ "Project Echo". Environment Waikato. Archived from the original on 16 December 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  6. ^ Barnett, Alastair (July 2009). "The Move to Riverlea" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 June 2021 – via playbox.org.nz.
  7. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Riverlea (181200). 2018 Census place summary: Riverlea
  8. ^ "Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation for Areas within the Hamilton East Electorate". Parliament New Zealand. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  9. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  10. ^ Education Counts: Berkley Normal Middle School
  11. ^ "About". Berkley Normal Middle School. Retrieved 31 October 2020.