Te Kauwhata may translate as "the empty storehouse", possibly referring to food storehouses in the original ancient Māori settlement. Te Kauwhata can also translate as "the spiritual medium" or "the frame".
The original name of the research farm and railway station was Wairangi, changed to Waerenga in 1897. Waerenga means a bush clearing for farming. The name Te Kauwhata was used for the settlement from 1910, Te Kauwhata was surveyed for a township in 1912.
Te Kauwhata is the site of a range of farms, including dairy and dry stock, as well as extensive horticulture. Of note is that Te Kauwhata, or "TK" as the locals say, is bordered by the Whangamarino Swamp.
Te Kauwhata had a population of 1,617 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 483 people (42.6%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 711 people (78.5%) since the 2006 census. There were 603 households. There were 780 males and 840 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.93 males per female. The median age was 40.2 years, with 354 people (21.9%) aged under 15 years, 237 (14.7%) aged 15 to 29, 627 (38.8%) aged 30 to 64, and 399 (24.7%) aged 65 or older.
Ethnicities were 77.9% European/Pākehā, 23.0% Māori, 3.3% Pacific peoples, 7.6% Asian, and 1.9% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).
The proportion of people born overseas was 21.0%, compared with 27.1% nationally.
Although some people objected to giving their religion, 52.1% had no religion, 34.0% were Christian, 0.7% were Hindu, 0.6% were Muslim, 0.9% were Buddhist and 4.1% had other religions.
Of those at least 15 years old, 171 (13.5%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 315 (24.9%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $26,800. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 567 (44.9%) people were employed full-time, 144 (11.4%) were part-time, and 33 (2.6%) were unemployed.
Te Kauwhata lies at the centre of one of New Zealand's smaller wine-producing regions, which stretches from Pukekohe, just south of Auckland, across to Thames and Paeroa at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula. The region is particularly notable for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc wines.
A government research station was set up in 1886 to explore different crop options. Romeo Bragato took over the running of this station in 1901, with the first wine produced there in 1903. The research station was in private hands, as part of Rongopai wines, and has been subsequently bought out by Babich Wines, but the original buildings are still in use as a cellar door. In February 2016, Invivo Wines, producer of Graham Norton's Own Sauvignon Blanc, announced it had secure a 10-year lease of this winery.
The town also has three early childhood education centres.
Between 1877 and 1995, the Te Kauwhata railway station was served by trains running on the North Island Main Trunk. A new service branded Te Huia and connecting Auckland and Hamilton will commence in August 2020. At a later stage, it will be considered to reactivate the Te Kauwhata railway station.
- "Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week". nzhistory.govt.nz. Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
- Ngatai, Sonny (9 September 2018). "Aotearoa: Stories behind names". New Zealand Media and Entertainment. New Zealand Herald.
- Moorfield, John. "kauwhata". maoridictionary.co.nz. Te Ipukarea.
- "TABLE TALK. AUCKLAND STAR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 24 May 1897. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- ""WAERENGA." AUCKLAND STAR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 15 January 1910. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "COUNTRY NEWS. Te Kauwhata surveying work NEW ZEALAND HERALD". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 26 December 1912. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
- "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Te Kauwhata (171100). 2018 Census place summary: Te Kauwhata
- "Te Kauwhata Travel Guide". Jasons Travel Media.
- Welcome to Te Kauwhata
- Waikato Bay of Plenty Regional Wine Guide
- Winter, Chloe (2016). Stuff.co.nz. Invivo Wines to make Graham Norton wine at historic 114-year-old winery. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/76559911/invivo-wines-to-make-graham-norton-wine-at-historic-114yearold-winery
- "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". tkm.govt.nz. Te Puni Kōkiri.
- "Māori Maps". maorimaps.com. Te Potiki National Trust.
- "Te Kauwhata Primary School Official School Website". tkp.school.nz.
- Education Counts: Te Kauwhata Primary School
- "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- "Te Kauwhata Primary School Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
- "Te Kauwhata College Official School Website". tkcoll.school.nz.
- Education Counts: Te Kauwhata College
- "Te Kauwhata College Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
- Piddock, Gerald; Wilson, Libby (19 December 2018). "Hamilton-Auckland train trial gets tick from NZ Transport Agency". Stuff. Retrieved 15 March 2020.