Topic: Waipawa

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Waipawa Township is the home of the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council and, like other towns in the district, is an important service centre for surrounding farms.


Waipawa is the oldest inland town in Hawke's Bay.

Waipawa was founded on the banks of the Waipawa River by runholder Frederick Abbott in 1860. The town, originally named Abbottsford, was located next to a ford in the river. Settlers preferred its Māori name, Waipawa. Te Tapairu pā was established near the town in 1872. For more background information check out the Te Ara website.


In 2010 Waipawa will celebrate 150 years as a township. As Hawke's Bay's oldest inland town, this is quite an achievement.

Turning 150 is a time which will only happen once in our history and is an important milestone. It is a time to remember our past and look to the future.

On the 7 November 2007 a public meeting was held to get feedback from the community on whether they would like to see Waipawa's Sesquicentennial celebrated in 2010. Those that attended the meeting were keen for this milestone to be celebrated.

A second public meeting was held on 21 November 2007 and a steering committee was established with six sub committees. The steering committee chairman is Bruce Stephenson and the Secretary is Donna Moorcock.

The sub committees are:

  • Sport and Recreation
  • Historical and Cultural
  • Beautification
  • Special EventsGifts to the Future
  • Rural

    Waipawa from Abbotsford Hill

2010 will be here before we know it. In the meantime if you would like to be kept informed of progress or would like to submit ideas please do not hesitate to email

Here are some ideas from the steering committee's meetings held so far.

Sport and Recreation

Several sporting events are being organised to occur throughout 2010.

Historical and Cultural

Working with the Settlers Museum to organise exhibitions throughout 2010.


  • Ongoing planting of plants within the Waipawa township area.
  • Tidying of the entrances to the town.

Special Events

On the 13th February, 2010 we are holding a street parade and family gala day. It is envisaged that the parade will tell the story of Waipawa, culminating in a fun day to be held at Coronation Park. It would be great it this event could involve as many people, young and old from the community.

We are also organsing a Ball to be held at the Waipawa Town Hall on the 9th October, 2010.

Gifts to the Future

Our 150th Gift to the Future

Our idea for our 150th Gift is to upgrade Nellie Jull Park, by building a Community Stage / Band rotunda, redeveloping the Children's Playground, putting in new picnic tables, seating, drinking fountains etc... to make the park a more vibrant and alive place!
The Band Rotunda / Community Stage

Remember when we used to have Picnic in the Park... and we used a truck apple trailer as our stage...?

Imagine having a purpose built stage where we can have concerts and run other outdoor events any time we wanted?

Wouldn't it be great to bring back part of our town's past and make it a part of our living future? (Waipawa use to have a band rotunda which was used for weekly concerts when the town's park was the Domain - now called Don Allen reserve)

The Band Rotunda will provide a stage for such things as...

  • Picnic in the Park
  • Dance recitals
  • Open-air drama performance
  • Mini weekend concerts
  • School choir, band performances
  • Kapa haka
  • Story-tellers stage
  • Classical music
  • Country music
  • Rock, Pop or Hip-hop
  • Carols by Candle-light
  • And much more...!

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination

Our vision is that a community stage - which is built in the style of an old fashioned Band Rotunda is built where the rose garden is now.
This Rotunda can act as a venue for all sorts of activities in the park.  With a purpose built stage we will have power on tap and no need to move staging on and off a sometimes very boggy park.

Upgrade of Children's Playground

Some of the playground equipment in our park is over 100 years old!  It was shifted from the old Domain to Nellie Jull Park when it became the main park in Waipawa.

Recently the current playground equipment has been assessed and much of it can be retained and maintained to carry on bringing joy to our children. But a couple of pieces of it has past its use-by date and has got to a stage where it is considered dangerous and is broken beyond repair.


We are looking to add to our playground by integrating some new equipment in with the old. These pieces of equipment provide a greater range of activities for different ages of children.

Waipawa Town Hall & Theatre

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