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Ruapehu District
Territorial authority of New Zealand
Mount Ruapehu in the Ruapehu District along Ruatiti Road
Mount Ruapehu in the Ruapehu District along Ruatiti Road
Location of the Ruapehu District
Location of the Ruapehu District
Country New Zealand
Island North Island
Region Manawatū-Whanganui
  • Ohura
  • Taumarunui
  • National Park
  • Waimarino-Waiouru
Named for Mount Ruapehu
Seat Taumarunui
 • Land 6,734.41 km2 (2,600.17 sq mi)
Highest elevation
2,797 m (9,177 ft)
 (June 2020)
 • Total 12,800
Time zone UTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (NZDT)
Area code(s) 07 (northern and central)
06 (southern)
Website Ruapehu District Council

Ruapehu District is a territorial authority in the centre of New Zealand's North Island.

It has an area of 6,734 square kilometers and the district's population in June 2020 was 12,800.


The district is landlocked, and contains the western half of the Tongariro National Park, including most of Mount Ruapehu and the western sides Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro, as well as part of the Whanganui National Park. The district is also home to the world famous Raurimu Spiral on the North Island Main Trunk railway line.

The tourist towns of Whakapapa Village, National Park and Ohakune are located near Mount Ruapehu in the south east of the district, and Waiouru, with an elevation of 815 metres, is in the extreme south east of the district and houses the large Waiouru Army Camp. The southern section of the infamous Desert Road section of State Highway 1 runs through the east of the district, from Waiouru to Rangipo.

Cattle in Ruapehu District along Ruatiti Road
Cattle in Ruapehu District along Ruatiti Road


Ruapehu District covers 6,734.41 km2 (2,600.17 sq mi) and had an estimated population of 12,800 as of June 2020, with a population density of 1.9 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 13,572 —    
2013 11,844 −1.93%
2018 12,309 +0.77%

Ruapehu District had a population of 12,309 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 465 people (3.9%) since the 2013 census, and a decrease of 1,263 people (−9.3%) since the 2006 census. There were 4,617 households. There were 6,288 males and 6,021 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.04 males per female. The median age was 39.0 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 2,715 people (22.1%) aged under 15 years, 2,208 (17.9%) aged 15 to 29, 5,454 (44.3%) aged 30 to 64, and 1,932 (15.7%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 68.8% European/Pākehā, 43.4% Māori, 2.8% Pacific peoples, 3.4% Asian, and 1.7% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

The percentage of people born overseas was 10.4, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 51.1% had no religion, 33.0% were Christian, 0.7% were Hindu, 0.1% were Muslim, 0.5% were Buddhist and 6.5% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 1,026 (10.7%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 2,466 (25.7%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $25,300, compared with $31,800 nationally. 948 people (9.9%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 4,719 (49.2%) people were employed full-time, 1,431 (14.9%) were part-time, and 483 (5.0%) were unemployed.

Individual statistical areas
Name Area (km2) Population Density (per km2) Households Median age Median income
Ohura Ward 2,011.70 1,020 0.51 423 43.4 years $27,300
Taumarunui Ward 635.49 5,973 9.40 2,283 42.1 years $22,200
National Park Ward 1,375.29 1,050 0.76 411 41.3 years $30,800
Waimarino-Waiouru Ward 2,711.94 4,260 1.57 1,500 34.5 years $31,500
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800
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