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Pleasant Point, New Zealand facts for kids

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Pleasant Point
"The name says it all"
Country New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Territorial authority Timaru District
Ward Pleasant Point-Temuka
Settled 1864
 • Total 5.21 km2 (2.01 sq mi)
65 m (213 ft)
 (June 2023)
 • Total 1,510
 • Density 289.8/km2 (751/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (NZDT)
Area code(s) 03
Local iwi Ngāi Tahu

Pleasant Point is a small country town in southern Canterbury, New Zealand, some 19 km inland from Timaru, on State Highway 8. It is a service town for the surrounding farming district. One of its main attractions is the heritage railway, the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway, which operates steam locomotives and one of only two Model T Ford railcar replicas in the world. It attracts about 10,000 people a year. For almost one hundred years, the Fairlie branch line railway passed through the town. It closed on 2 March 1968, and the heritage line utilises 2.5 km of track along the branch's old route.

Pleasant Point is also known for glassblowing, taxidermy, blacksmithing and custard squares, and Māori rock art can be viewed nearby. Vineyards have also been established in the area. It also has two primary schools, a preschool and a play centre. Pleasant Point High School was closed by the Labour government in 2004. It has two rivers nearby, the Opihi and the TeNgawai; the two rivers meet just to the north of the town.

A 1901 census placed the town's population at 749.


Pleasant Point is described by Statistics New Zealand as a small urban area. It covers 5.21 km2 (2.01 sq mi) and had an estimated population of 1,490 as of June 2022, with a population density of 286 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 1,194 —    
2013 1,302 +1.24%
2018 1,371 +1.04%

Pleasant Point had a population of 1,371 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 69 people (5.3%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 177 people (14.8%) since the 2006 census. There were 558 households. There were 696 males and 675 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.03 males per female. The median age was 44.5 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 270 people (19.7%) aged under 15 years, 198 (14.4%) aged 15 to 29, 630 (46.0%) aged 30 to 64, and 273 (19.9%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 93.2% European/Pākehā, 10.7% Māori, 0.7% Pacific peoples, 1.3% Asian, and 2.4% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 9.6%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 50.5% had no religion, 37.9% were Christian and 1.5% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 138 (12.5%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 282 (25.6%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $31,300, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 528 (48.0%) people were employed full-time, 195 (17.7%) were part-time, and 33 (3.0%) were unemployed.


Pleasant Point currently has 2 primary schools and a preschool.

Pleasant Point Primary School is a full primary for years 1 to 8 with a roll of 270 students as of April 2023.

St Joseph's School is a Catholic state-integrated primary for years 1 to 8 with a roll of 52 students as of April 2023.

Pleasant Point High also existed until 2004, when it was closed by the government. This closure meant high school students had to go to other schools, primarily in Timaru. A school in Pleasant Point was first suggested and opened in 1868. It was located on Tengawai Road. By 1871 the school had been moved to a new location on Harris Street, although the school soon exceeded the available facilities and an extra room was added, by which time the school had a capacity for 200 students. In 1907 a new school was built on seven acres, at its current location on Halstead Road.

In 1911, 200 trees were planted alongside the playground as a memorial to the coronation of King George V.

In 1927, St Josephs opened.

In 2004 the government closed the high school, which resulted in much of the school resources being given to the adjacent primary school and the remainder being sold off. The primary school under went massive changes, with the school expanded to years 0-8 to include the intermediate students who would have attended the high school. A number of builds were also used to expand the school, whilst the gym and neighbouring courts became public for the community. The remaining buildings were sold off and eventually formed the new pre-school.

In 2018 the old concrete tennis and basketball courts outside the gymnasium were renovated to include a new artificial turf which could accommodate many different sports, including hockey, netball, and tennis.

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