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Weston, New Zealand facts for kids

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Country New Zealand
Region Otago
Territorial authority Waitaki District
Ward Oamaru Ward
 • Total 3.31 km2 (1.28 sq mi)
 (June 2021)
 • Total 1,210
 • Density 365.6/km2 (947/sq mi)
Local iwi Ngāi Tahu

Weston is a town situated 5 km (3.1 mi) inland from Oamaru, South Island, New Zealand. It is regarded as one of the more affluent towns of the Waitaki District and had a population of 1,050 in the 2018 census.

The town is serviced by a local fire station staffed by volunteers, Four Square chain supermarket, Weston Community Church and the local Weston co-educational primary school.

As with the surrounding areas in North Otago, agriculture is an important economic activity.

Limestone and cement

Weston is home to the largest Oamaru stone quarry in New Zealand, supplying New Zealand and exporting much overseas. The quarry lies a further mile inland from Weston, so its daily operation is not noticed by Weston residents.

International cement manufacturer Holcim has gained consent to open a cement plant near Weston, involving further limestone quarrying. The application prompted the founding of the Waiareka Preservation Society, which opposes the planned plant. Society members are worried how potential extra traffic through the township would impact on roading infrastructure. However, Holcim has stated a preference for rail transport between the cement works and harbour and would seek to reopen the line to Weston.

The Weston operations were formerly operated by Taylor's Limeworks, a subsidiary of Holcim. Taylor's Limeworks consolidated their operations at Makareao (Dunback) in 1990 with the opening of a new plant there. The limeworks at Weston were then sold to Parkside Quarries Ltd, who continue to mine lime and Oamaru stone at two sites. If the Weston Cement Works development goes ahead, new lime/tuff quarries will be established at the western edge of Parkside's operations. The cement works will be on land immediately west of the old Taylor's works at Cormacks.

Ngapara Branch

Weston was the first stop on the defunct Ngapara Branch railway. After closure of the branch in 1959, the first five km remained as Taylor's Siding, serving Taylor's Limeworks, the line closing in 1997 and rails uplifted. In August 2006, a proposal was made to re-open the first 4.5 km of the branch through Weston. If the proposed cement works eventuates, either the harbour at Timaru or Port Chalmers would be used for shipping purposes. The rail corridor is still owned by ONTRACK and the proposal would involve the operation of at least two trains each way daily.


Weston covers 3.31 km2 (1.28 sq mi) and had an estimated population of 1,210 as of June 2021, with a population density of 366 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 897 —    
2013 984 +1.33%
2018 1,050 +1.31%

Weston had a population of 1,050 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 66 people (6.7%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 153 people (17.1%) since the 2006 census. There were 411 households. There were 534 males and 516 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.03 males per female. The median age was 46.0 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 210 people (20.0%) aged under 15 years, 144 (13.7%) aged 15 to 29, 474 (45.1%) aged 30 to 64, and 225 (21.4%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 95.4% European/Pākehā, 6.9% Māori, 0.6% Pacific peoples, 2.3% Asian, and 1.4% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 8.0%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 52.0% had no religion, 37.1% were Christian, 0.3% were Buddhist and 2.0% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 93 (11.1%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 201 (23.9%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $34,900, compared with $31,800 nationally. 123 people (14.6%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 423 (50.4%) people were employed full-time, 147 (17.5%) were part-time, and 15 (1.8%) were unemployed.


Weston School is a full primary catering for years 1 to 8 with a roll of 222 as of July 2016. The school opened in 1869.


Weston is connected to State Highway 1 south via Whiterocks Road and to State Highway 83 via Airedale and Horse Gully Road.

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