Masterton: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Location of Masterton District in Wellington Region
Country  New Zealand
Region Wellington
Territorial authority Masterton District
Town founded 1854
Electorate Wairarapa
 - MP John Hayes (National)
 - Mayor Garry Daniell
 - Territorial 2,299 km2 (887.6 sq mi)
Elevation 111 m (364 ft)
Population (June 2009 estimate)[1]
 - Territorial 23,300
 Density 10.1/km2 (26.2/sq mi)
 Urban 20,000
Time zone NZST (UTC+12)
 - Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)
Postcode 5810
Area code(s) 06

Masterton is a large town and local government district in the Wellington Region of New Zealand. It is the largest town in the Wairarapa, a region separated from Wellington by the Rimutaka ranges. It is 100 kilometres north-east of Wellington, 28 kilometres south of Eketahuna, on the Ruamahanga River.

Masterton is a thriving community with an urban population of 20,000 , and district population of 23,300 (June 2009 estimates).[1]

The Wairarapa Line railway allows many residents easy access to work in the cities of Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt.

Local industries involve service industries for the surrounding farming community. The town is the headquarters of the annual Golden Shears sheep-shearing competition.



Despite the fact that Masterton is a town, not a city, it is still home to many suburbs. These include:

In the northern part of town: Opaki, Lansdowne Park, Lansdowne & Te Ore Ore.

In the eastern part of town: Eastside, The Block, & Homebush.

In the western part of town: Upper Plain & Akura.

In the southern part if town: Kuripuni, Solway, Solway Park & Waingawa.


Named after pioneer Joseph Masters, Masterton was first settled by Europeans on 21 May 1854. It gained borough status in 1877. It did not quite qualify to be a city by 1989 when the minimum population requirement for that status was lifted from 20,000 to 50,000.

The Wairarapa Line railway opened to Masterton on 1 November 1880.

In 1992, Raymond Ratima bludgeoned to death seven family members in a house in Masterton. He was later found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.[2]


At the 2006 census, Masterton District had a population of 22,623, an increase of 6 people, <0.1 percent, since the 2001 census. There were 9030 occupied dwellings, 1248 unoccupied dwellings, and 123 dwellings under construction.[3]

Of the population, 10,869 (48.0%) were male, and 11,754 (52.0%) female.[3] The district had a median age of 40.4 years, 4.5 years above the national median age of 35.9 years. People aged 65 years and over made up 16.8% of the population, compared to 12.3% nationally, and people under 15 years made up 21.3%, compared to 21.5% nationally.[3]

Masterton's ethnicity was made up of (national figure in brackets): 77.9% European (67.6%), 16.9% Maori (14.7%), 1.7% Asian (9.2%), 2.7% Pacific Islanders (6.9%), 0.26% Middle Eastern/Latin American/African (0.9%), 12.1% 'New Zealanders' (11.1%), and 0.05% Other (0.04%).[3]

Masterton had an unemployment rate of 4.8% of people 15 years and over, compared to 5.1% nationally.[3] The median annual income of all people 15 years and over was $21,700, compared to $24,400 nationally. Of those, 46.7% earned under $20,000, compared to 43.2% nationally, while 12.3% earned over $50,000, compared to 18.0% nationally.[3]


Masterton enjoys a mild temperate climate grading towards a Mediterranean climate. Due to the geography of the Wairarapa valley and the Tararua Range directly to the west, the town's temperature fluctuates more than nearby inland city of Palmerston North. Masterton experiences warmer, dry summers with highs above 30°C possible and colder winters with frequent frost and lows below 0°C.

Climate data for Masterton
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 23.9
Average low °C (°F) 11.7
Precipitation mm (inches) 55
Source: NIWA Climate Data[4] 1971 – 2000
Golden Shears sign.


Following the reform of schools in 2004, the Masterton district has 12 primary schools (Douglas Park, Fernridge, Hadlow, Lakeview, Mauriceville, Masterton Primary, Opaki, Solway, St Patricks, Tinui, Wainuiouru, Whareama), an intermediate school (Masterton Intermediate), and 6 secondary schools (Chanel College, Makoura College, Rathkeale College, Solway College, St Matthew's Collegiate, Wairarapa College). There is also a Māori immersion school, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Wairarapa.

Masterton has its own polytechnic, run by UCOL.




The Masterton telephone exchange opened in 1897 with 53 subscribers. On 31 May 1919, Masterton became the first town in New Zealand to have a completely automatic (Rotary) telephone exchange.

Masterton and nearby Carterton were the first towns in New Zealand to introduce the emergency number 111, in September 1958.[5]

Before the 1991 to 1993 changes, the area code for Masterton was 059. Today the area code is 06, and numbers begin with 370, 372, 377, 378, 379, and 946. 946 numbers are companies only.

Radio Stations

Masterton is serviced by two local radio stations. MORE FM broadcasts locally from 6am to 2pm daily on 89.3FM, from studios in Kuripuni. More FM enjoys a significant market share. The station was founded by TVNZ's Paul Henry as TODAY FM 89.3 in Carterton in 1991. Classic Hits 90.1 broadcasts a local breakfast show Mon to Fri, previously this was relayed into Masterton from Gisborne. However recently, due to poor ratings, a local breakfast show has been introduced.


In 2007 there were two wireless internet service providers based in Masterton, providing high speed broadband access to the towns and rural areas of the Wairarapa. WISE Net (purchased by Orcon Internet Limited in 2006, and in January 2007 Canning & Associates purchased Orcon WiseNet Wireless Network) and WIZwireless LTD formerly Canning & Associates. ADSL access is widely available.


Masterton is serviced by all the major national television channels.

The main television transmitter for the town, and most of the southern half of the district, is the Otahoua transmitter atop Bennett's Hill, north-west of the town. TV3 transmits from the Popoiti transmitter east of Greytown. In the northern half of the district, Palmerston North's Mount Wharite transmitter provides the television service. Freeview is also available.


Masterton is very well served by public transport with rail, bus and air links. Despite Masterton and the Wairarapa valley being reasonably close to Wellington, they are separated by the Rimutaka Ranges with State Highway 2 cutting a winding hill road through the range, and the Rimutaka railway tunnel. Unlike other parts of the country, the Wairarapa has seen passenger rail services remain, largely due to its proximity to Wellington and the Rimutaka Tunnel's advantage over the Rimutaka Hill road. There has been talk of constructing a road tunnel through the ranges for decades, but this has been ruled out due to the extremely high cost.[6] According to the latest transportation plan from the Greater Wellington Regional Council,[7] the only work planned is for upgrades to the Rimutaka Hill road and the addition of passing lanes between Featherston and Masterton.


Masterton is linked to Wellington and the Hutt Valley by the Wairarapa Connection, a Tranz Metro passenger service run for Greater Wellington Region's Metlink, primarily operating at peak times serving commuters from Masterton and the Wairarapa with five return services on Monday to Thursday, six on Friday and two at weekends and public holidays. Unusually for a small town there are three railway stations, Masterton, Renall Street and Solway.


There is a local Metlink bus service in Masterton operated by Tranzit. The buses operate on five routes: three suburban and two regional [1] including:

Metlink Bus Services Termini
Route 200
Wairarapa Hospital
Featherston Station
Route 201
Masterton West
Masterton – Church Street
Worksop Road (Woolworths)
Route 202
Masterton South & East
Masterton – Church Street
Masterton – Church Street
Route 203
Masterton – Lansdowne Circuit
Masterton – Church Street
Worksop Road (Woolworths)
Route 205
Featherston Station

There is also the MPN: Masterton to Palmerston North (via Woodville) service, not operated under the Metlink brand.


Hood Aerodrome is south of Masterton. From early 2009 Air New Zealand provides flights to Auckland, operated by subsidiary Eagle Air six days a week, mainly to serve business customers in the Wairarapa.[8]. There have been a few unsuccessful attempts at commercial air travel in Masterton, mostly 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.

Sister cities

Masterton has Sister City relationships with:

See also


  1. ^ a b "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2009". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-23. 
  2. ^ "Raymond Wahia Ratima". Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Quickstats about Masterton District
  4. ^ "Climate Data". NIWA. Retrieved November 2, 2007. 
  5. ^ Beehive (8 May 2008). "Fiftieth anniversary of 111 emergency service". Press release. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Farmer, Don (2008-05-23). "Rimutaka road tunnels back on the agenda". Wairarapa Times-Age (Masterton: APN News & Media). Retrieved 2008-11-12. "In their report to Transit the consultants contend tunnels would be an excellent service linking Featherston with Upper Hutt but costs would rule them out as a viable, economic option." 
  7. ^ "Greater Wellington Regional Council Wairarapa Corridor Plan, December 2003" (PDF). Retrieved September 5 2005. 
  8. ^ "Air NZ announces Masterton-Auckland route". Fairfax New Zealand. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 

External links

Coordinates: 40°58′S 175°39′E / 40.967°S 175.65°E / -40.967; 175.65

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Masterton is the main rural service town for the Wairarapa region of the North Island of New Zealand.

Get in

By car

State Highway 2 goes right through town. Though there is a bypass road for those who are just passing through and want to avoid the traffic.

By train

There is a regular morning and afternoon train service to and from Wellington known as the Wairarapa Connection. Primarily for commuters to Wellington from the Wairarapa, it runs seven days a week with at least one service each way morning and afternoon. Purchase tickets at the Wellington or Masterton station ticket office (if it is open) or on the train. There are no reserved seats but there is a luggage compartment and bicycles can be carried. In Masterton, the train also stops at Renall Street and Solway stations. Fare $15 one way. (Discounts available for same day return fares and group travel if purchased together.)

  • Acorn Estate Motel, Cnr High & Manchester Streets, +64 6 377 0155 (Reservations NZ only toll free 0800 222 191, , fax: +64 6 377 0154), [1]. 11 Smoke free self contained suites with full cooking facilities & Sky TV. Access units available. Guest laundry, BBQ, swimming pool, private spa, playground, trampoline, wireless internet. Continental & cooked breakfasts available. A member of the Host Accommodation group. Qualmark 3 star plus self contained and serviced. $99 - $145 (1-2 persons).  edit
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