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Carterton District

About the profile areas

The 2018 population for Carterton District is 9,195, with a population density of 0.08 persons per hectare.


Note: This page displays the area boundaries used for the 2018 Census. In some cases, these are significantly different to the pre-2018 areas. For more on this, see the Census 2018 page.

Location and boundaries

Carterton District is located in the southern part of New Zealand’s North Island, about 80 kilometres north-east of the Wellington CBD. The Carterton District is bounded by the Masterton District in the north and north-east, the Pacific Ocean in the south-east, the South Wairarapa District in the south, and the Kāpiti Coast District in the west.

Name origin

Carterton District is named after Charles Rooking Carter, a Wairarapa Parliamentarian and philanthropist.

Profile areas
Carterton District

Settlement history

European settlement dates from 1857 when the township of Carterton was founded to provide a base for the men working on the road between nearby Greytown and Masterton. Land was used mainly for farming and timber-getting. Growth occurred during the late 1800s and early 1900s, aided by the opening of the railway line in 1880. The most significant development took place from the post-war years into the 1970s. The population of the District increased slightly during the 1980s, rising from about 6,400 in 1981 to 6,800 in 1991. The population was relatively stable till 2001, increased slightly to about 7,100 in 2006, and then continued to increase to about 8,200 in 2013.

Land use

The Carterton District features rural, urban and conservation areas. Rural land is used largely for sheep grazing, lamb production and dairy farming. The Carterton District encompasses a total land area of nearly 1,200 square kilometres.


Carterton District is served by State Highway 2 and the Wairarapa railway line.

Major features

Major features of the District include the Carterton CBD, Tararua Forest Park, Waiohine Gorge, Mount Holdsworth, Stonehenge Aotearoa, Gladstone Vineyard, Carterton Events Centre, Carterton Golf Club, Carterton Railway Museum, Carter Scenic Reserve and Howard Booth Park.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Carterton District were the Māori people.

Included areas

The Carterton District includes the localities of Carterton, Mount Holdsworth, Te Wharau and Waingawa.