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South Waikato District facts for kids

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South Waikato District
Territorial authority
South Waikato Territorial Authority.PNG
Country New Zealand
Region Waikato
Wards Tīrau
Seat Tokoroa
 • Land 1,818.88 km2 (702.27 sq mi)
 (June 2020)
 • Total 25,400
Time zone UTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (NZDT)
Map of postcodes
Website South Waikato District Council

South Waikato District is a local government district in the Waikato Region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located between the cities of Hamilton to the north, Rotorua to the east, Taupō to the south and Ruapehu District to the west.

The seat of the South Waikato District Council is at Tokoroa, the biggest town. The other main towns are Putāruru, Tīrau and Arapuni.


The district's population at the June 2016 was 23,800, of whom 58% lived in Tokoroa. Putaruru's population was 3,777, and Tirau's was 690. The region's population decreased markedly during the 1990s, dropping over 4000 since the 1991 census.

Ngāti Raukawa is the Maori tribe of the area and goes back 20–25 generations. There are 32 marae in the district, Papa te Aroha marae (Catholic Community) Aotearoa marae, Pikitu marae (Nga-Huri), Pōhara marae (Ngati Koroki), Whakaaratamaiti marae (Ngati Mahana), Mangakaretu marae (Ngati Ahuru) Ngatira marae (Ngati Ahuru) and Tarukenga marae (Ngati Te-Ngakau).Mokai marae (Ngati Te Kohera) Ongaroto marae (Ngati Whaita) Paparamu marae (Ngati Te Apunga) Te Ruapeka marae (Ngati Tukorehe) more.....


The district's main industries are forestry and timber production, however land previously in plantation forest is increasingly being converted to dairy production. Several hydroelectric projects are located at the district's western edge.


South Waikato District covers 1,818.88 km2 (702.27 sq mi) and had an estimated population of 25,400 as of June 2020, with a population density of 14.0 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 22,641 —    
2013 22,071 −0.36%
2018 24,042 +1.73%

South Waikato District had a population of 24,042 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 1,971 people (8.9%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 1,401 people (6.2%) since the 2006 census. There were 8,511 households. There were 11,982 males and 12,060 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.99 males per female. The median age was 37.9 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 5,526 people (23.0%) aged under 15 years, 4,479 (18.6%) aged 15 to 29, 10,077 (41.9%) aged 30 to 64, and 3,963 (16.5%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 68.7% European/Pākehā, 35.3% Māori, 12.8% Pacific peoples, 4.2% Asian, and 1.5% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

The percentage of people born overseas was 13.5, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 50.7% had no religion, 35.2% were Christian, 0.6% were Hindu, 0.3% were Muslim, 0.4% were Buddhist and 4.6% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 1,722 (9.3%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 5,100 (27.5%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $24,900, compared with $31,800 nationally. 2,238 people (12.1%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 8,259 (44.6%) people were employed full-time, 2,541 (13.7%) were part-time, and 1,164 (6.3%) were unemployed.

Individual wards
Name Area (km2) Population Density (per km2) Households Median age Median income
Tīrau Ward 293.10 2,334 7.96 870 36.7 years $36,800
Putāruru Ward 562.61 6,687 11.89 2,466 40.8 years $26,700
Tokoroa Ward 963.17 15,021 15.60 5,178 36.7 years $23,300
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800

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