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Coordinates: 39°56′S 176°35′E / 39.933°S 176.583°E / -39.933; 176.583Coordinates: 39°56′S 176°35′E / 39.933°S 176.583°E / -39.933; 176.583
CountryNew Zealand
RegionHawke's Bay
Territorial authorityCentral Hawke's Bay District
 (June 2020)[1]
 • Total2,250

Waipawa is the second-largest town in Central Hawke's Bay in the east of the North Island of New Zealand. It has a population of 2,250 (June 2020).[1] At the 2013 census, it had a population of 1,965, a change of 2.2 percent from the 2006 census.[2]

The town is located 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) northeast of Waipukurau and 46 km (29 mi) southwest of Hastings, on the northern bank of the Waipawa River, a tributary of the Tukituki River.[3][4] Waipawa was settled in the early 1860s, and the Settler's Museum exhibits many of these historical collections.[5]

It holds the main office of the Central Hawke's Bay District Council, and is New Zealand's oldest inland European settlement.[5]

Waipawa was originally called Abbotsford, and there is still a children's home in Waipawa named Abbotsford. [6]


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

Waipawa had a population of 2,085 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 114 people (5.8%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 159 people (8.3%) since the 2006 census. There were 843 households. There were 990 males and 1,095 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.9 males per female. The median age was 43.3 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 450 people (21.6%) aged under 15 years, 291 (14.0%) aged 15 to 29, 912 (43.7%) aged 30 to 64, and 429 (20.6%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 84.0% European/Pākehā, 25.3% Māori, 3.9% Pacific peoples, 1.7% Asian, and 1.4% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 13.8%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 54.2% had no religion, 32.5% were Christian, 0.1% were Buddhist and 5.0% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 216 (13.2%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 408 (25.0%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $26,400, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 777 (47.5%) people were employed full-time, 261 (16.0%) were part-time, and 45 (2.8%) were unemployed.[7]


Waipawa has two marae affiliated with the iwi of Ngāti Kahungunu. The Mataweka Marae and Nohomaiterangi meeting house are affiliated with the hapū of Ngāi Toroiwaho and Ngāti Whatuiāpiti. The Tapairu Marae and Te Rangitahi or Te Whaea o te Katoa meeting house are affiliated with the hapū of Ngāti Mārau o Kahungunu.[8][9]

In October 2020, the Government committed $887,291 from the Provincial Growth Fund to upgrade the two marae and three others, creating 12 jobs.[10]


Waipawa School is a Year 1-8 co-educational state primary school.[11][12] It is a decile 3 school with a roll of 306 as of November 2020.[13][14]

Waipawa used to have a secondary school, Waipawa District High School. This was merged in 1959 with Waipukurau District High School to make Central Hawke's Bay College based in Waipukurau.[15]

Waipawa has been home to several youth organisations. Namely, the New Zealand Cadet Forces's ATC branch, as well as a Scouts New Zealand branch. However, since 2000, both major youth organisations have gone into recess.


  1. ^ a b "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Statistics New Zealand: 2013 Census About a place: Waipawa".
  3. ^ Peter Dowling (editor) (2004). Reed New Zealand Atlas. Reed Books. map 42. ISBN 0-7900-0952-8.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Roger Smith, GeographX (2005). The Geographic Atlas of New Zealand. Robbie Burton. map 108. ISBN 1-877333-20-4.
  5. ^ a b "Waipawa Travel Guide". Jasons Travel Media.
  6. ^ "Discover Waipawa: Central Hawkes Bay - Unwind Country". Archived from the original on 14 May 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Waipawa (215700). 2018 Census place summary: Waipawa
  8. ^ "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". tkm.govt.nz. Te Puni Kōkiri.
  9. ^ "Māori Maps". maorimaps.com. Te Potiki National Trust.
  10. ^ "Marae Announcements" (Excel). growregions.govt.nz. Provincial Growth Fund. 9 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Official School Website". waipawa.school.nz.
  12. ^ "Ministry of Education School Profile". educationcounts.govt.nz. Ministry of Education.
  13. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
  15. ^ "History". Central Hawke's Bay College. Retrieved 5 June 2019.