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Lawrence, New Zealand facts for kids

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Looking down a small rise along a straight road, divided by painted lines, passing through a small town. Both sides of the street are lined with shops. A dark car is approaching the camera. A truck towing a tanker is moving away from the camera.
Ross Place (State Highway 8), the main street of Lawrence
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Coordinates: 45°54′S 169°41′E / 45.900°S 169.683°E / -45.900; 169.683Coordinates: 45°54′S 169°41′E / 45.900°S 169.683°E / -45.900; 169.683
Country New Zealand
Region Otago
Territorial authority Clutha District
 • Total 435
Time zone UTC+12 (New Zealand Standard Time)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (New Zealand Daylight Time)
Local iwi Ngāi Tahu

Lawrence is a small town of 474 inhabitants (as per the 2001 New Zealand census) in Otago, in New Zealand's South Island. It is located on State Highway 8, the main route from Dunedin to the inland towns of Queenstown and Alexandra. It lies 35 kilometres to the northwest of Milton, 11 kilometres northwest of Waitahuna, and close to the Tuapeka River, a tributary of the Clutha.


Lawrence Area School is a co-educational state primary school for Year 1 to 8 students, with a roll of 141 as of July 2016.

It was a high school until the 1960s, when it became an area school catering to primary pupils as well. It also provides secondary education for students from Waitahuna School.

There were other primary schools previously in Lawrence. Blue Spur School closed some time in the 1930s or 40s; Forsythe School closed in the 1960s; and St Patrick's School closed at the end of 1980, leaving Lawrence Area School as the sole remaining school in Lawrence.

Notable residents

  • Archibald Durward FRSE (1902–1964) spent his youth here. He was the son of the local minister Rev Peter C. Durward.
  • Frank Mitchinson (1884–1978) rugby union player.
  • Ella Spicer (1876–1958), painter.
  • Jack Williams (1918-1975), Member of Parliament.
  • David Wilson, the 14th Clerk of the New Zealand House of Representatives (2015 - current), spent his childhood in Lawrence.

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