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Solway, New Zealand facts for kids

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Donald's homestead at Manaia in front of a corner of Kuripuni Bush, February 1849 William Mein Smith
Donald's homestead at Manaia in front of a corner of Kuripuni Bush, February 1849
William Mein Smith
Solway is located in New Zealand
Location in New Zealand
Country New Zealand
Local authority Masterton
 • Land 847 ha (2,093 acre)
 (June 2022)
 • Total 6,920
Railway station(s) Solway railway station
Airport(s) Hood Aerodrome
Upper Plain Ngaumutawa Kuripuni
Masterton East

Solway is an old-established residential suburb near the Waingawa River in the south-western part of Masterton, the principal town in the Wairarapa Valley of New Zealand's North Island. It was a small part of Manaia run on which Masterton is built. It takes its present name from Solway House built in 1877 for W. H. Donald.

Solway College, a Presbyterian girls' boarding school, was established in Solway House in 1916 but Solway's central feature remains the near-moribund Masterton Agricultural & Pastoral Association's Solway Showgrounds opened in 1911. A Wairarapa Farmers Market for artisan produce is held under the grandstand each Saturday morning.

Solway also has several parks and reserves, including the Masterton Trust Lands Trust's Millennium Reserve built over the Acclimatisation Society's trout hatcheries and South Park, a softball field and dog-walking area.


Solway is a community with beautiful green area's, Millennium Park Reserve, which is man made, but is full of wildlife. South Park where teams play softball, people walk their dogs and children & families play. This Community as a whole is thriving with two small shopping centers that are streaming with life..this is Solway Community!!...come and enjoy.

Solway is home to some of the newest and most modern homes in the Wairarapa. The recent building of Solway Park has attracted more residents to the suburb, with a huge lifestyle block full of up to date homes. Solway park is also home to the most expensive restaurant and hotel in Masterton, The Copthorne.

Housing demand in the area continues to grow with consent for an 80-lot subdivision granted in September, 2013.


Excursion, a steam locomotive crosses the Waingawa River in 2017
Crossing the Waingawa from Solway to Taratahi

Roads and bus services

Solway is served by many forms of public transport. State Highway 2 (or High Street), runs straight through the middle of Solway.

There are two bus services serving Solway:

  • 200 – To/from central Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, Featherston & Martinborough. Runs all week.
  • 202 – Travelling from Central Masterton through Solway and Kuripuni and back again. Runs 4 times daily on weekdays.

Rail services

Solway connects residents to the cities of Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt and Wellington. Its close proximity to Solway College makes it popular with its students, which board in Masterton and live in Wellington.

Hood Aerodrome

P51 Mustang Wairarapa
The Wings over Wairarapa Air Show is at Hood Aerodrome

Hood Aerodrome is in Solway though as of 2015, there are no commercial flights from it. From early 2009 until late 2013 Air New Zealand provided flights to Auckland, operated by subsidiary Eagle Airways six days a week, mainly to serve business customers in the Wairarapa. There have been a few other unsuccessful attempts at commercial air travel in Masterton, mostly failing due to its proximity to major airports in Wellington and Palmerston North. The most significant was by South Pacific Airlines of New Zealand (SPANZ), which operated daily flights using DC3s during the sixties to destinations nationwide until the airline's closure in 1966.

Peter Jackson is an avid aviation enthusiast and owns a collection of over 40 flyable World War I-era warbirds housed at Solway's Hood Aerodrome.


Solway, comprising the statistical areas of Solway North and Solway South, covers 8.47 km2 (3.27 sq mi). It had an estimated population of 6920 as of June 2022, with a population density of 817 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 4,923 —    
2013 5,154 +0.66%
2018 5,805 +2.41%

Solway had a population of 5,805 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 651 people (12.6%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 882 people (17.9%) since the 2006 census. There were 2,241 households. There were 2,841 males and 2,967 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.96 males per female, with 1,182 people (20.4%) aged under 15 years, 1,143 (19.7%) aged 15 to 29, 2,403 (41.4%) aged 30 to 64, and 1,077 (18.6%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 83.7% European/Pākehā, 22.3% Māori, 4.3% Pacific peoples, 5.4% Asian, and 1.2% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 12.2%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 49.3% had no religion, 38.2% were Christian, 1.3% were Hindu, 0.6% were Buddhist and 2.5% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 519 (11.2%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 1,194 (25.8%) people had no formal qualifications. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 2,199 (47.6%) people were employed full-time, 723 (15.6%) were part-time, and 135 (2.9%) were unemployed.

Individual statistical areas
Name Population Households Median age Median income
Solway North 2,346 924 40 years $26,700
Solway South 3,459 1,317 37.9 years $27,600
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800


Solway School is a co-educational state primary school for Year 1 to 6 students, with a roll of 225 as of April 2023.

Hadlow Preparatory School is a co-educational Anglican state-integrated primary school for Year 1 to 8 students, with a roll of 185.

Solway College is a state-integrated Presbyterian girls' intermediate and secondary school for Year 7 to 13 students, with a roll of 191. It is a boarding school founded in 1916.

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