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About the profile areas

The 2013 population for Ruamāhanga is 37,320, with a population density of 0.15 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Ruamāhanga is located in the southern part of the North Island, about 70 kilometres north-east of the Wellington CBD. Ruamāhanga is bounded by the locality of Nireaha-Tiraumea in the north, Whangaehu Valley Road, the localities of Whareama and Te Wharau, State Highway 2 and the locality of Tuturumuri in the east, the Pacific Ocean in the south, and the localities of Pencarrow, Mangaroa, Cloustonville and Ōtaki Forks in the west.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from the 1840s, with land used largely for sheep and cattle grazing, farming and timber-getting. The townships of Greytown and Masterton were established in 1854, the townships of Carterton and Featherston in 1857, and the township of Martinborough in 1881. Growth occurred during the late 1800s and early 1900s, aided by the opening of the railway line in 1880. A military camp operated at Featherston during WWI, then becoming a Prisoner of War camp during WWII. From the early 1900s Greytown became a prominent fruit growing area, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s. Martinborough became known for grape growing and wine making from the 1970s. The most significant development took place from the 1950s into the 1970s. The population was relatively stable between 1996 and 2006 at about 35,000 people, and then increased slightly to over 37,000 in 2013.

Land use

Ruamāhanga features rural, urban and conservation areas. Small townships are located at Carterton, Featherston, Greytown, Martinborough and Masterton, and there are numerous small villages. Rural land is used largely for sheep and cattle grazing, with some vineyards, forestry, cropping and horticulture. Ruamāhanga encompasses a total land area of about 2,400 square kilometres.


Ruamāhanga is served by State Highway 2, State Highway 53 and the Wairarapa railway line.

Major features

Major features of the area include the Carterton CBD, the Masterton CBD, Rimutaka Forest Park, Tararua Forest Park, Waiohine Gorge, Mount Holdsworth, Lake Wairarapa, Lake Onoke, Henley Lake, Ocean Beach, Whangaimoana Beach, Wairarapa Hospital, Selina Sutherland Private Hospital, Universal College of Learning (Wairarapa Campus), Carterton Golf Club, Featherston Golf Club, Mahunga Golf Club, Martinborough Golf Club, Masterton Golf Club, Carterton Railway Museum, Cobblestones Museum, Featherston Heritage Museum, Fell Locomotive Museum, Mainly Military Museum, Martinborough Colonial Museum, Wairarapa Museum of Art and History (Aratoi), Paua World, Masterton Miniature Railway, Genesis Energy Recreation Centre, Masterton Motorplex, Carterton Events Centre, Carrington Park, Carterton Showgrounds, Featherston Domain, Howard Booth Park, Kids Own Playground, Lake Domain Reserve, Queen Elizabeth Park, Solway Showgrounds, Tauherenikau Racecourse, Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Park, Hood Aerodrome, numerous wineries and the Waipoua River.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of Ruamāhanga were the Māori people.

Included areas

Ruamāhanga encompasses the localities of Carterton, Featherston, Greytown, Homebush-Te Ore Ore, Inland Water-Lake Wairarapa, Kahutara, Kopuaranga, Lansdowne, Martinborough, Masterton Central, Masterton East, Masterton Railway, Masterton West, Mount Holdsworth, Ngaumutawa, Opaki-Fernridge, Solway North, Solway South and Waingawa.