About the Manawatu
The Manawatu Region is bordered by the Tararua and Ruahine mountain ranges, spectacularly divided by the Manawatu Gorge. North of Palmerston North City is an ever changing world of dramatic, steep hill country bounded by rivers, sea and ranges with big skies that constantly change. The diverse landscape and our strong pastoral farming heritage have naturally led the City, and its university, Massey, to develop an equally respected science and research base in agri-foods and food innovation.
The name ‘Manawatu’ is derived from two words, Manawa and tu. Manawa refers to the heart – tu describes something that has come to a halt. The ancestor Hau uttered the words “ka tu taku manawa” meaning ‘my heart stands still’ at the sight of the awesome Manawatu River.
With over 100,000 people in the region there is a huge amount of diversity and industry leading to a consistent economy attracting people from all round New Zealand who when they get a taste of the famous lifestyle tend to stay. Palmerston North is the largest city in the area followed by Feilding. Over half the population in the Manawatu live outside over a major urban centre creating a lifestyle of leisure tempered with access to a bustling urban centre.
One of the most accessible areas in New Zealand there are many lifestyle options within commuting distance to Wellington and close to The Bay, Taranaki, Lake Taupo and the mountain. Many rivers including the mighty Manawatu River and Rangitikei River flow through the region and the beaches of Foxton, Himitangi and Tangimoana beaches are within easy reach. Palmerston North is the central hub of industry but is surrounded boutique villages in every direction. These towns such as Ashhurst, Shannon, Woodville and Sanson contribute an energetic feel to the area.