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Reference: MDC 5.1 / HDC 4.1

Record type: Agency

Record: Manawatu County Council

Manawatu County Council

Date Established:1876
Date Disestablished:1988
Agency Code:MDC 5.1 / HDC 4.1
Successor Agencies:Manawatu District Council [I], Oroua County Council, Palmerston North City Council, and Horowhenua County Council
Predecessor Agencies:Wellington Provincial Government


The Manawatu County Council was formed in 1876 as one of 63 covering the whole country following the disbanding of the provincial governments.

As originally constituted the Council ran from Waikanae in the south to Rangiwahia in the north. Like many of the first counties, parts of the Manawatu County gradually broke away and formed their own counties or boroughs.

The Palmerston North Borough Council was formed first in 1877, with Feilding Borough Council next in 1881. The County was then split in half in 1883 when the first Oroua County was formed. This was quickly followed by the Horowhenua County Council, which broke away in 1884. This left the County covering a fraction of its original 1876 area. In 1888 the Foxton Borough Council was formed.

A fire destroyed the Council Offices in Sanson on the 23rd of January 1895. Some records were lost, but numerous key records survived in a fire proof safe.

In 1988 the County amalgamated with neighbouring Kairanga County to form the first Manawatu District Council. In 1989 this amalgamated with several other councils to form a new, much larger, Manawatu District Council.


In 1877 the county was established with seven ridings:

  • Kiwitea
  • Manchester
  • Oroua
  • Taonui
  • Kawakawa
  • Awahou
  • Horowhenua

In 1886, following the break away of the Oroua and Horowhenua Counties, the ridings were re-constituted into:

  • Sandon
  • Mount Stewart
  • Waitohi
  • Campbell
  • Carnarvon
  • Kawakawa
  • Awahou

In 1895 Campbell was renamed Rongotea when the township's name was changed.

In 1956 the Beach Riding was formed from part of the Awahou Riding.

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