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Winton, New Zealand facts for kids

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Minor urban area
The Heart of Southland
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Coordinates: 46°08′35″S 168°19′25″E / 46.14306°S 168.32361°E / -46.14306; 168.32361Coordinates: 46°08′35″S 168°19′25″E / 46.14306°S 168.32361°E / -46.14306; 168.32361
Country New Zealand
Island South Island
Region Southland
Territorial authority Southland District
Settled c. 1861 by Thomas Winton
 • Urban
61 km2 (24 sq mi)
51 m (167 ft)
 (New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings 2013)
 • Urban
 • Urban density 43.3/km2 (112/sq mi)
 • Demonym
Time zone UTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (NZDT)
Area code(s) 03
Local iwi Ngāi Tahu

Winton is a rural town in Southland, New Zealand. It is located close to the east bank of the Oreti River, 30 kilometres north of Invercargill and 50 kilometres south of Lumsden. The town is named after Thomas Winton, a local stockman who lived and farmed in the area in the 1850s. Winton has a population of 2,211 as of the 2013 Census. The district thrived with the development of sheep and fat-lamb farms in the early 1900s. Later, dairy farming became the staple economy, although the town has also seen sawmills, and flax and linen-flax industries.

Today, Winton thrives as an agricultural service town for local farmers and traders and as a stop-off for travellers on the InvercargillQueenstown highway. Its population is not declining, partly because farmers retire there, attracted by a climate that is warmer, drier and calmer than Invercargill or Southland’s coastal districts. Population increases have also been driven by an influx of dairy workers who have migrated with their families from countries such as the Philippines and the Netherlands. Local businesses, worship centres and schools have welcomed the new community members.

Minnie Dean, the only woman ever hanged in New Zealand, is buried in Winton cemetery.

David Hall, the popular Southland Rugby Union player was born in Winton.

Jack Kincaid (All Black Legend) (Winton Icon)

State Highway 6 passes through the town between Queenstown and Invercargill. State Highway 96, a regional highway, connects east to the town of Mataura and west to Ohai.


The climate in Winton is temperate. It is generally warmer, drier and calmer than Invercargill or Southland’s coastal districts. There is a great deal of rainfall in Winton, even in the driest month. According to Köppen and Geiger, this climate is classified as 'oceanic'. The average annual temperature in Winton is 9.9 °C and in a year, the average rainfall is 912 mm. The driest month is August, with 55 mm of rain. The greatest amount of precipitation occurs in January, with an average of 96 mm. January is the warmest month of the year with the temperature in averaging 14.5 °C. The lowest average temperatures in the year occur in July, when it is around 4.8 °C. There is a difference of 41 mm of precipitation between the driest and wettest months. The variation in temperatures throughout the year is 9.7 °C.

Education in Winton

Winton provides the town and surrounding areas with pre-school, primary and high schools. There is no tertiary education provider in Winton. Tertiary students have the choice of many different providers throughout New Zealand. The Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) is located in Invercargill, and the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic are located 200 km away in Dunedin. These three are the most common options for students.


Central Southland College is the only secondary school in Winton. It educates students from a wide area of Central Southland, including the small towns and districts of Winton, Otautau, Nightcaps, Ohai, Dipton, and Hedgehope, together with a large area of farmland. Most of the students travel to school by free school bus. The school community consists of approximately 12% Maori.

After hours, the school is used by various community groups such as basketball leagues, the swimming club and sewing classes.


Winton Primary and St Thomas Aquinas are the two primary schools in the town.

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