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Rangitikei District
Territorial authority
Rangitikei District Council offices in Marton
Rangitikei District Council offices in Marton
Rangitikei District.svg
Country New Zealand
Region Manawatu-Whanganui
District Rangitikei District
Wards Bulls, Hunterville, Marton, Taihape, Turakina
Formed 1989
Seat Marton
 • Total 4,479.42 km2 (1,729.51 sq mi)
 (June 2016)
 • Total 14,800
 • Density 3.304/km2 (8.557/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (NZDT)
Website Rangitikei District
Rangitikei River near Bulls

The Rangitikei District is a territorial authority located primarily in the Manawatu-Whanganui Region in the North Island of New Zealand, although a small part, the town of Ngamatea (13.63% by land area), lies in the Hawke's Bay region. It is located in the southwest of the island, and follows the catchment area of the Rangitikei River.

The Rangitikei District Council is the local government authority for this district. It is composed of a mayor, currently Andy Watson, and 11 councillors, one of whom is the deputy mayor.


The Rangitikei District was established in 1989 as part of the 1989 local government reforms.


Located north of Wellington, the district stretches from the South Taranaki Bight toward the North Island Volcanic Plateau, forming a trapezium-shaped block that includes the towns of Taihape, Bulls, Marton, Hunterville, and Mangaweka. The district has an area of 4,538 km².


Rangitikei's climate is temperate and has few extremes compared to many parts of New Zealand. According to the Köppen climate classification, this climate is classified as oceanic climate (Cfb). Summers are warm with average temperatures in the low 20s. The most settled weather occurs in summer and early autumn. Winters are mild near the coast and on the plains; it is colder inland and in the hill country, but often frosty, clear and calm. Snowfall occasionally settles in areas 400 m above sea level, such as Taihape. Annual rainfall is moderate and annual hours of bright sunshine can average over 2,000.


2013 census

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1986 17,694 —    
1991 16,676 −1.18%
1996 16,531 −0.17%
2001 15,102 −1.79%
2006 14,712 −0.52%
2013 14,019 −0.69%
Towns and meshblocks in Rangitikei
or meshblock
Pop. % Total
1 Marton 4,548 32.4%
2 Lake Alice 2,724 19.4%
3 Pohonui-Porewa 2,031 14.5%
4 Bulls 1,515 10.8%
5 Taihape 1,509 10.8%
6 Moawhango 651 4.6%
7 Hunterville 429 3.1%
8 Ratana 327 2.3%
9 Mangaweka 150 1.1%
10 Koitiata 108 0.8%
11 Ngamatea 27 0.2%

Rangitikei District had a population of 14,019 according to the 2013 census. This is a decrease of 693, or 4.7 percent, since the 2006 census. There were 5,733 occupied dwellings, 912 unoccupied dwellings, and 18 dwellings under construction. The district's population at the June 2016 census was 14,800.

Of the residential population, 6,951 (49.6%) were male compared to 48.7% nationally, and 7,068 (50.4%) were female, compared to 51.3% nationally. The district had a median age of 41.8 years, 3.8 years above the national median age of 38.0 years. People aged 65 and over made up 17.6% of the population, compared to 14.3% nationally, and people under 15 years made up 21.1%, compared to 20.4% nationally.

Rangitikei's ethnicity is made up of (national figures in brackets): 80.6% European (74.0%), 24.3% Māori (14.9%), 1.6% Asian (11.8%), 3.9% Pacific Islanders (7.4%), 0.1% Middle Eastern, Latin American or African (1.2%), and 2.4% Other (1.7%).

The district had an unemployment rate of 6.1% of people 15 years and over, compared to 7.4% nationally. The median annual income of all people 15 years and over was $25,700, compared to $28,500 nationally. Of those, 39.9% earned under $20,000, compared to 38.2% nationally, while 19.7% earned over $50,000, compared to 26.7% nationally.


The district is further subdivided into seven towns and four meshblocks. The meshblocks encompass the surrounding rural areas that are not towns and as such are larger in geographic size. Rangitikei's towns are: Bulls, Hunterville, Koitiata, Mangaweka, Marton, Ratana Community and Taihape; and its meshblocks are: Lake Alice, Moawhango, Ngamatea and Pohonui-Porewa.

As meshblocks—despite their larger size—are the smallest administrative units recorded by Statistics New Zealand, there are small townships of which the demographic statistics are not recorded; all of which are in these meshblocks. These include: Crofton, Mangamahu, Mataroa, Ohingaiti, Pukeokahu, Santoft, Turakina, Utiku and Whangaehu.



State Highway 1 State Highway 1 NZ.svg goes through Bulls. The North Island portion of this national state highway, one of only eight in New Zealand, begins at Cape Reinga and ends at Wellington International Airport—passing through Bulls at 925 km.

State Highway 3 State Highway 3 NZ.svg passes through Bulls. This highway connects Woodville (25 km east of Palmerston North) and Hamilton via New Plymouth.

State Highway 54 State Highway 54 NZ.svg connects Palmerston North and SH 1 at Vinegar Hill via Feilding.

Public transport

InterCity runs five daily and three non-daily bus services in Marton and Bulls. These include WanganuiWellington, Palmerston North–Auckland, Tauranga–Wellington, Wellington–New Plymouth and Auckland–Palmerston North.

Marton used to be serviced by the North Island Main Trunk (or Overlander), a railway line connecting Auckland and Wellington. However, in 2012 the Overlander was replaced by the Northern Explorer, which has fewer stops and does not stop in Marton.

The nearest airports to the district are Whanganui Airport, located 37 km west (of Marton), and Palmerston North Airport, located 44 km southeast. Both airports are domestic only.

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