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Temuka is located in New Zealand
Temuka and the Opihi River. The photo was taken from an Air New Zealand ATR-72 flight from Christchurch to Invercargill

Temuka is a town on New Zealand's Canterbury Plains, 15 kilometres north of Timaru and 142 km south of Christchurch. It is located at the centre of a rich sheep and dairy farming region, for which it is a service town.


At one time it supported wool scouring plants, it had a flour mill and manufactured electric power transmission insulators. The name Te umu kaha (original spelling) means long-lasting ovens, from the earth ovens that Māori people used to cook the plentifully-growing cabbage trees. Temuka was a stop on the Main South Line until passenger services were discontinued.

Local council[edit]

Temuka previously had its own council system in place, but since then has been under the administration of TDC, Timaru District Council. Recently, the council has been redeveloping Temuka; in the form of cleaning waterways, new walkways, redeveloping of existing walkways, new gardens, domains, new tennis courts, complete skate park and generally modernizing of the large service town.

Population and demographics[edit]

With a population of 4,047 people in 2013,[1] it is the second largest town in South Canterbury. Temuka is home to three schools, two primary schools and one secondary school. Temuka is accessed by New Zealand's State Highway Number 1 and the Main South Line railway allowing for major cargo handling. Temuka is north of the Opihi and Temuka rivers. The local secondary school, Opihi College, takes its name from the Opihi River. Both rivers are popular with locals and tourists. Almost all traffic passing north or south goes through or around Temuka. Temuka has recently had the redevelopment of the local Domain by incorporating a skate park to join the other facilities which include a swimming pool, mini golf, golf, netball, outdoor bowls and tennis. There are also rugby and football fields, a stadium complex and a holiday park.


There are currently three primary and secondary schools in Temuka.

  • Temuka Primary.
  • St. Joseph's Temuka.
  • Opihi College.
  • Opihi College was originally called Temuka High School until 2005 when the name was changed.


Temuka is home to a very large trucking company; Temuka Transport. This company is hired throughout South Canterbury and has about 40 trucks which are used to service the South Canterbury area. Also located in the town is; Temuka Homeware. This company produces ceramic crockery. Currently, the older and traditional items are undergoing an increase of demand from collectors and the accompanying industry. Located in Temuka are many businesses, supermarkets, takeaways, collectors, hardware stores, office supply stores, art galleries, and others. Temuka is home to New Zealand Insulators (NZI), the major supplier of Insulators to New Zealand's power industry. Temuka Houses NZI's corporate Headquarters, South Island warehouse and Temuka factory. Temuka is also home to the only bagpipe bag manufacturing business in New Zealand, Gannaway New Zealand, manufacturing cowhide, goatskin and sheepskin bagpipe bags exported worldwide.[2]

Notable residents[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°14′40″S 171°16′40″E / 44.24444°S 171.27778°E / -44.24444; 171.27778