Te Kopuru

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Te Kopuru
population_total = 456
population_as_of = 2006
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = New Zealand
subdivision_type1= Region
subdivision_name1= Northland Region
subdivision_type2= District
subdivision_name2= Kaipara District

latd = 36
latm = 1
lats = 55
latNS = S
longd = 173
longm = 55
longs = 5
longEW = E

Te Kopuru is the largest community on the Pouto Peninsula in Northland, New Zealand. The Wairoa River separates the peninsula at this point from the main North Auckland Peninsula to the east. Dargaville is convert|14|km|abbr=on to the north. [cite book|title=Reed New Zealand Atlas|year=2004|id=ISBN 0-7900-0952-8|author=Peter Dowling (editor)|publisher=Reed Books|pages=map 7] [cite book|title=The Geographic Atlas of New Zealand|year=2005|id=ISBN 1-877333-20-4|author=Roger Smith, GeographX|publisher=Robbie Burton|pages=map 26]

The population was 456 in the 2006 Census, a decrease of 24 from 2001. [cite web|url=http://www.stats.govt.nz/census/2006-census-data/final-counts/northland-region.htm|title=Final counts – census night and census usually resident populations, and occupied dwellings - Kaipara District|publisher=Statistics New Zealand]


The area was initially occupied by Ngāti Awa, but the Ngāti Whātua displaced them in the late 17th or early 18th century. [cite book|title=The Unknown Kaipara|last=Byrne|first=Brian|isbn=0-473-08831-2|year=2002|pages=p 4-6] During the Musket Wars of the early 19th century, fighting between Ngā Puhi and Ngati Whatua combined with the effects of influenza left the area substantially depopulated. [Byrne, pp 12, 37] In 1841, a skull found on a Pakeha farmer's land infuriated local Māori, who attacked and plundered his farm. A court exonerated the farmer and Māori agreed to sell land at Te Kopuru to the Crown as compensation. [cite book|title=Tall Spars, Steamers & Gum|last=Ryburn|first=Wayne|year=1999|isbn=0-473-06176-7|pages=p 12] [Byrne, pp 453-62] A hui held at Te Kopuru in 1860 to make peace between Ngāti Whātua and Ngā Puhi was attended by about 600 people. [Byrne, p 425]

An attempt to set up a kauri sawmill at Te Kopuru began in 1867, but the machinery was damaged because the ship was leaky, and the owners refused its delivery. [cite book|title=The Great Northern Wairoa|last=Bradley|first=Edgar Kelsby|year=1982|pages=p 48] The mill was completed in 1870, and began operating the following year. The mill was the largest in New Zealand, producing convert|120000|ft of timber per week in 1875. It was destroyed by fire in 1883, but rebuilt, and rebuilt again after another fire in 1906 [Ryburn, p 25, 107-8] The town had a stable population of about 215 by the end of the decade. [Ryburn, p 48] By 1876, the town had stores which "are fitted up in first-rate style, and are well-stocked" and a library, but no hotel. [Byrne, pp 507-8, quoting from an account in the "Southern Cross" of April 1876] . A Post Office opened in 1877. [Bradley, p 50] In 1878, the town was described as like the "port of some thriving inland city". A steamer service provided transport to Dargaville and Helensville twice a week from February 1878, [Ryburn, pp 56-57, 75] and a road to Dargaville opened in 1879. [Bradley, p 54]

The population increased to 440 during the 1890s as the timber industry grew. A road was built south to Tikinui in 1897, and partially metalled the following year. [Ryburn, pp 62, 93] A library was built in 1899. [Bradley, p 51] Gum-diggers were active in the area in the 1890s through at least 1910, [Ryburn, pp 132, 201] and around the turn of the century W Brown and Sons established a boat building yard at Te Kopuru. Dairy herds became established in the early 20th century, [Ryburn, pp 136, 160] In 1903, the Customs Office was moved to Te Kopuru from Pouto. [Ryburn, p 140] A hospital was built to treat the accident victims from Te Kopuru, Aratapu and Tatarariki, with Te Kopuru as the hospital site rather than Dargaville because the mill towns had a larger population.cite web|url=http://www.kauricoast.co.nz/Feature.cfm?WPID=43|title= Te Kopuru the gateway to the Pouto Penninsular|publisher=Kauri Coast Information Centre] [cite book|title=The History of the Te Kopuru Hospital, 1903-1971|last=Pratt|first=Ivy Beatrice|year=1992|pages=p 4]

The first sealed road in the Kaipara District was probably the one from Te Kopuru to Mount Wesley, just south of Dargaville, in about 1918. The mill closed in 1920. Having a hospital sustained the town. The road north degraded to a metalled road by the 1930s. [Ryburn, p 166, 192] In 1956, the general wards of Te Kopuru Hospital moved to the new hospital in Dargaville. Maternity and services for the elderly continued, although the main hospital building burned down in 1959. In 1971, the hospital closed with maternity services moved to the Dargaville Hospital. [Pratt, p 116-7, 118]

Notable people

*Jane Goulding, born in Te Kopuru, was a member of the New Zealand field hockey team at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
*Clem Simich, born in Te Kopuru, Member of Parliament, and Cabinet Minister during the Fourth National Government of New Zealand.
*Lawrence Carthage Weathers, born in Te Kopuru, received the Victoria Cross during the First World War.
*Thomas Clifton Webb, born in Te Kopuru, Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister during the First National Government of New Zealand.


Te Kopuru School is a coeducational full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 2 and a roll of 160. [cite web|url=http://www.tki.org.nz/e/schools/display_school_info.php?school_id=1111|title=Te Kete Ipurangi - Te Kopuru School|publisher=Ministry of Education] The school was founded in 1872. In 1937, the primary schools in Tikinui, Tatarariki and Redhill consolidated into Te Kopuru School. [Ryburn, pp 168, 222]

Aratapu District High School, a little to the north of Te Kopuru, closed in 1965. The nearest secondary school is now in Dargaville. [Bradley, p 44]


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