Check Out A Few Local Communities

Here are a few highlights of some of New Plymouth’s most enduring and popular areas.

 

the Most Popular Areas

There are many amazing areas to buy sell or rent in Taranaki and we listed some local to New Plymouth area on this page. If you think we have missed an amazing area let us know!

Oakura

Oakura is located in Taranaki Region just outside of New Plymouth

 

Coordinates: 39°7′3″S 173°57′16″E

Country New Zealand

Region Taranaki

District New Plymouth District

Population (2013)

 • Total 1,380

 

Oakura (officially Ōakura) is a small township in New Plymouth District, Taranaki, in the western North Island of New Zealand. 

 

It is located on State Highway 45, 15 kilometres south-west of New Plymouth. Okato is 12 km further south-west. 

 

The Oakura River flows past the town and into the North Taranaki Bight. To the south is the Kaitake Range, part of Egmont National Park.[1][2]

 

The population of Oakura was 1,380 in the 2013 census, an increase of 21 from 2006.[3]

 

 

Oakura is well known for its beach—Oakura Beach. One of only three beaches along the west coast of New Zealand which is north facing, in 2007 it became one of the first Blue Flag accredited beaches in Oceania. 

 

Only two others—Fitzroy and East End beach in nearby New Plymouth—received the same award that year. 

 

As of 2010, Oakura Beach has retained its blue flag status.[6]

 

The Oakura River (and therefore Oakura township itself) was named after the female ancestor Akura-matapū of the Kurahaupō waka. 

 

Oakura-matapu was the original name of the river, and it literally means “Belonging to Akura-matapū”. 

 

Akura was married to Okorotua. Ngāti Tairi hapū hold mana whenua in Oakura. 

 

Ngāti Tairi belongs to the larger descent group of Ngā Mahanga a Tairi. 

Ngāti Tairi and Ngā Māhanga a Tairi are a part of the tribe Taranaki. 

 

Ngāti Tairi retains their take ahi-kā (rights of ownership) through the marae Oakura Pā beside the south side of the Oakura River. People have been living in the area of Oakura for hundreds of years.

 

When war broke out in 1860, Ngāti Tairi as part of Nga Mahanga and Taranaki joined in the offensives against the British. 

 

The nearby Tapuae ridge (north of Oakura) was a continual site of conflict. 

 

On 4 May 1863, a party of about 40 Māori warriors ambushed a small military party on a coastal road west of the town, killing nine of the 10 soldiers. 

 

The revenge attack on the military party, escorting a British defaulter to New Plymouth for trial, reignited hostilities in the Taranaki War.

 

Amenities and Services

South Road (better known as Surf Highway 45) is Oakura’s main street, and most local businesses and services are situated around here.

Aardvark Works Digital Marketing and Online Advertising Agency relocated from the main city to service the province. Specialising in Google maps SEO and digital display advertising or banner ads.

Features and attractions

Apart from its well-known beach, Oakura’s main attraction is Butlers Reef. A bar and music venue that has showcased many renowned New Zealand and international acts.

 

Acts that have played at Butler’s include Dave DobbynTrinity RootsGin WigmoreKatchafireSupergroove and Jimmy Barnes.

 

Other places of interest include the township’s three parks – Matekai, Corbett and the Shearer Reserve. 

 

Five minutes drive south-west is Lucy’s Gully, a famous beauty spot in the Kaitake ranges.

 

Ringcraft Moana is a manufacturing jewellery business with showroom, garden and an extensive pearl collection of abalone pearls.[10] 

 

The Wavehaven, on Surf Highway 45 just south of Oakura, offers accommodation and access to surfing beaches.[11]

 

Once a year Oakura’s artists are opening up their studios to the public in a two-weekend event. The Oakura Arts Trail can be found online [12]

Marae

The local Ōākura or Okorotua marae features the Moana Kaurai meeting house. It is a marae of the Taranaki Māori hapū of Ngāti Tairi.[13][14]

Koru Pā is a historic reserve and  situated 3 km south-east of Oakura township. 

 

Oakura is thought to be one of the first Māori settlements in Taranaki. 

 

Māori tradition recognises it may have been built as early as 1000AD by Nga Mahanga a Tairi, a hapū of the Taranaki iwi.[15]

Education

Oakura School is a coeducational full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 10[16] and a roll of 340 students as of March 2019.[17] The school was founded in 1866.[18]

 

Oakura Playcentre is a registered Early Childhood Facility that caters to children from ages 0 – 6 years. 

 

It is licensed for 3 mornings a week; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Playcentre philosophy is based on child-initiated play and recognises the parents as the first and best educators of their own children. 

 

Playcentre families receive a unique early childhood experience with opportunities for whānau/families to learn together.

Notable residents

  • Ruhira Matekai (also known as Lucy Stevens) was a well-known Māori woman who lived in Oakura in the 19th century. Lucy’s Gully and Matekai Park are named after her.[19]
  • Professional surfer Paige Hareb is from Oakura.[20]

References

Peter Dowling (editor) (2004). Reed New Zealand Atlas. Reed Books. pp. Map 34. ISBN 0-7900-0952-8.

Roger Smith, GeographX (2005). The Geographic Atlas of New Zealand. Robbie Burton. pp. Map 84. ISBN 1-877333-20-4.

2013 Census QuickStats about a place : Oakura

“History”. The Oakura Messenger. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2008.

Dye, Stuart (7 July 2007). “Tornado victim: ‘I thought we were going to die'”The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2011.

“Blue Flag Beaches”. Blue Flag. Retrieved 23 January 2011.

Belich, James (1986). The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict (1st ed.). Auckland: Penguin. p. 119. ISBN 0-14-011162-X.

James Cowan, The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period: Vol I, Chapter 25, 1922

“Police Media Release”. New Zealand Police. Retrieved 31 December 2009.

“New Zealand pearls”. Ringcraft Moana. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.

“About” Thewavehaven.co.nz. Retrieved 4 January 2014.

[1]|title=Oakuraarts.co.nz

“Te Kāhui Māngai directory”tkm.govt.nzTe Puni Kōkiri.

“Māori Maps”maorimaps.com. Te Potiki National Trust.

“Historic Koru Pa”. Department of Conservation. Retrieved 6 January 2010.

Education Counts: Oakura School

“Directory of Schools – as at 3 April 2019”. New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 9 May 2018.

125th jubilee of Oakura School and districts, 1866-1991 : souvenir booklet. 1991.

“Lucy’s Gully”. Retrieved 31 December 2009.

“NZ teen makes surfing history”. Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 4 January 2014.

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