Eketahuna (Māori: Eketāhuna) is a small rural service town, the most southerly in the Tararua District in the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand, but is considered to be in northern Wairarapa. It was called Mellemskov, but was renamed soon after its founding,[2] and was colloquially known as Jackeytown.[3] The 2013 census recorded Eketahuna's population at 441; down from 456 in 2006.

Eketahuna Kiwi.jpg
Eketahuna is located in New Zealand
Coordinates: 40°39′S 175°42′E / 40.650°S 175.700°E / -40.650; 175.700Coordinates: 40°39′S 175°42′E / 40.650°S 175.700°E / -40.650; 175.700
Country New Zealand
Territorial authorityTararua District
WardSouth Tararua
 • MPJohn Hayes (National)
 • MayorRoly Ellis[1]
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Area code(s)06

The town is located at the foot of the Tararua Ranges which lie to the west. It is 35 kilometres north of Masterton and a similar distance south of Palmerston North. It is situated on State Highway 2 and the eastern bank of the Makakahi River.[4]

Eketahuna is considered by some to be the stereotypical rural New Zealand town, and is occasionally used in conversation to represent "the real New Zealand". New Zealanders colloquially refer to the town of Eketahuna the way other English speakers refer to Timbuktu, i.e., the middle of nowhere, "the sticks", the end of the world. Likewise, Eketahuna is a booming metropolis compared to the mythical town of Waikikamukau (pronounced "Why-kick-a-moo-cow").

The Mount Bruce bird sanctuary is located to the south of the town.

The New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage gives a translation of "land on the sandbank" for Eketāhuna.[5] The name of the town, when spoken, sounds like a sentence in Afrikaans which translates to "I have a chicken". This is a source of amusement to immigrant Afrikaans-speaking South Africans in New Zealand.

On 20 January 2014, the town was the epicenter of the 2014 Eketahuna earthquake. Measuring 6.2 on the Richter magnitude scale, the quake caused moderate damage all over the southern North Island.

Notable peopleEdit

  • Tania Lineham, born 1966 in Eketahuna. Royal Society of New Zealand, Science and Technology Teacher Fellowship in 1999 and the Prime Minister's Science Teacher Prize in 2015.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ KATTERNS, TANYA (9 October 2010). "Retired farmer wins in Tararua". Dominion Post. Wellington: Fairfax NZ News. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  2. ^ Horizons Regional Council - Regional Policy Statement
  3. ^ "Maori Place Names". New Zealand Herald. 19 February 1921. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Eketahuna Travel Guide". Jasons Travel Media.
  5. ^ "1000 Māori place names". New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 6 August 2019.

External linksEdit