Te Kuiti

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Te Kuiti
Te Kuiti is located in North Island
Te Kuiti
Te Kuiti
Te Kuiti's location within the North Island
Coordinates: 38°20′S 175°10′E / 38.333°S 175.167°E / -38.333; 175.167Coordinates: 38°20′S 175°10′E / 38.333°S 175.167°E / -38.333; 175.167
CountryNew Zealand
Territorial authorityWaitomo District
 (June 2018)[1]
 • Total4,640

Te Kuiti is a small town in the north of the King Country region of the North Island of New Zealand. It lies at the junction of State Highways 3 and 30 and on the North Island Main Trunk railway, 80 kilometres (50 mi) south of Hamilton. At the 2001 census it had a resident population of 4,374, a decrease of 5.1% since 1991. The town promotes itself as the sheep shearing capital of the world and is host to the annual New Zealand National Shearing Championships.

Te Kuiti is approximately 80 km south of Hamilton and 19 km south-east of Waitomo. The area around Te Kuiti, commonly known as the King Country, gives its name to the Heartland Championship rugby team based in Te Kuiti.

History and culture[edit]

Te Kuiti is the Maori name given to the area. In its original form of "Te Kuititanga", it literally means "the valley", "the squeezing in" or "the narrowing".[2]

Several marae are located in and around Te Kuiti, associated with Maniapoto hapū:[3][4]

  • Te Kumi Marae and Te Korapatu meeting house are affiliated with Peehi and Rōrā
  • Mōtītī Marae and Ko te Hungaiti or Hapainga meeting house are affiliated with Kinohaku, Putaitemuri and Tauhunu
  • Te Piruru Papakainga Marae and Te Pukenui o Taonui meeting house are affiliated with Rōrā
  • Tāne Hopuwai Marae and Tāne Hopuwai meeting house are affiliated with Apakura
  • Te Tokanganui a Noho Marae and meeting house are affiliated with Rōrā
  • Tomotuki Marae and Parekatini meeting house are affiliated with Apakura, Parekaitini and Rōrā
  • Te Waipatoto Marae, and Waipatoto and Waipatoto Tuarua meeting houses, are affiliated with Kinohaku


Te Kuiti Rail Station
During Rugby World Cup 2011, Te Kuiti capitalised on its famous resident, All Black legend Sir Colin Meads, and briefly renamed itself Meadsville.

The "Shearing Capital of the World" contains the world's largest shearer, seven metres high. On 1 April 2006 the largest sheep show in the world took place here, with more than 2000 sheep.[5]

Statue celebrating the shearing industry in Te Kuiti
Te Kuiti viewed from the south-west as SH3 climbs out of the town.

The carved Te Tokanganui-A-Noho Meeting House was gifted to the local Maori people (Ngāti Maniapoto) by Te Kooti, the most famous Maori Rebel leader of the 19th century. He was given sanctuary by the Chiefs of Maniapoto against the white colonial Government of New Zealand and under Maniapoto's protection carved one of the most famous and important late 19th century spiritual house in the north island.(as mentioned above). This House is central to Te Kuiti's historical foundation, also referred to as the epicenter of the Rohe Pōtae.. "King Country"...In 1881 the last frontier was open to colonial settlers.

The Tatsuno Japanese Garden is at the southern end of the main street.[6]

The Mangokewa reserve located 5 km south of Te Kuiti is a popular attraction for rock climbers, hikers, picnic goers, swimmers and trout fisherman in the region.[7]

A 'Revitalisation Project' for the NZHPT Category II listed[8] Te Kuiti railway station was started in 2014[9] to provide for arts and crafts groups, an education centre, youth projects, historical displays and a meeting room.[10] The Rail Heritage Trust describes the station as, "the finest remaining example of a standard class B station".[11]


Limestone deposits and water have created the Waitomo Caves, northwest of the town, one of New Zealand's most-visited tourist locations. The town itself is located in a valley with many rich limestone deposits.[12] The Manga-o-Kewa Stream runs through the valley and is a tributary of the Waipa River.[13] Te Kuiti's hinterland consist mainly of farmland and limestone quarries. The land surrounding Te Kuiti has steep hilly relief which reflects the nature of the North King Country region. The climate of Te Kuiti is wet during the winter and dry during the late summer with an average of 1,450mm of rainfall each year.[14]


Te Kuiti Albion FC play in the Deacon Shield tournament. They play their home games at Centennial Park where there is a small clubroom. The club colours are yellow and black striped shirts and black shorts.

Te Kuiti is the home of the Waitete Rugby Football Club.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2018 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018. For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006-18 (2017 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  2. ^ Te Kuiti in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand (1966)
  3. ^ "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". tkm.govt.nz. Te Puni Kōkiri.
  4. ^ "Māori Maps". maorimaps.com. Te Potiki National Trust.
  5. ^ Television NZ News. 1 April 2006
  6. ^ "Things to see and do in Te Kuiti, New Zealand". www.newzealand.com.
  7. ^ "Waitomo - parks". Archived from the original on 2 June 2010.
  8. ^ "Search the List - Te Kuiti Railway Station - Heritage New Zealand". www.heritage.org.nz.
  9. ^ "Railway Station Buildings Revitalisation Project - Waitomo District Council". www.waitomo.govt.nz.
  10. ^ "Waitomo News 23 August 2012" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Rail Heritage Trust of New Zealand - Te Kuiti Station". www.railheritage.org.nz.
  12. ^ Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "4. – Rock, limestone and clay – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand". www.teara.govt.nz.
  13. ^ "Mangaokewa Stream fishing-Mangaokewa Stream trout fishing-nzfishingv". www.nzfishing.com.
  14. ^ Environment Waikato Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Bassett, Michael. "Profile". Archived from the original on 22 April 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  16. ^ kevin Boroevich at AllBlacks.com
  17. ^ Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. p. 301. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.
  18. ^ Noted. "New Zealand Listener - Noted". Noted.
  19. ^ "Copping a Bad Egg - theage.com.au". www.theage.com.au.
  20. ^ "Meads farm makes $1.4m at auction retrieved January 2008".
  21. ^ Hamilton, Tom (19 June 2017). "'Welcome to Meadsville' - New Zealand honours Sir Colin Meads". ESPN (UK). Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  22. ^ "All Blacks legend Colin Meads dies". ESPN (UK). AAP. 19 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Hawke's Bay Today". NZ Herald.

External links[edit]