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Friendly Feilding

Aucklanders fleeing the city for Feilding

Take a look at the story Seven Sharp did on our fabulous town and the Aucklanders migrating south. Just Click on the link below this photo of Carolyn Robinson and I





About Feilding

Welcome to friendly Feilding, voted NZ's Most Beautiful Town 15 times, where housing is affordable, the lifestyle is relaxed and friendly, no traffic lights, free parking while you shop with all the benefits of the city just 20kms away.


Feilding is well placed geographically, just 2 hours drive from most of the southern half of the North Island including Hawkes Bay, Lake Taupo, Taranaki, Mt Ruapehu and Wellington (NZ's capital) providing a gateway to the South Island. The Manawatu District's location offers easy access to four seaports, seven airports, an airforce base and two large military bases.

The Manawatu District covers an area of 2,780 square kilometres and is bounded by two rivers (the Rangitikei in the north and the Manawatu in the south), the Ruahine Ranges to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west. Our nearest city, Palmerston North (only 19kms from Feilding), has a population of over 75,000 providing extra employment opportunities and easy access to all the city facilities.


Named after Colonel William Feilding, (a Director for the Emigrants and Colonists Aid Corporation Ltd), Feilding as part of the Manchester Block was purchased from the Wellington Provincial Government with the first European immigrants arriving on the 22 January 1874. Free passage was given to 2000 emigrants with guaranteed work for 'able bodied' men within ten miles of the settlement, clearing trees, building the Main Trunk railway line and farming.

Many streets in Feilding and outlying settlements in the Manawatu are named after the Directors of the Corporation. Manchester Street and Square are after the Chairman, the Duke of Manchester, while Kimbolton Road is named after his Estate. The Earl of Denbigh is remembered on another square while Henry Ashhurst gave his name to an outlying township as did Arthur Halcombe.


Feilding and the Manawatu District is ideally located being sheltered from all extremities of weather with moderate seasonal variations.

  • Summer - 16-23 degrees Celsius with 30 degree maximum Average Temperature - low 20's
  • Winter - falls to an average of 12-15 degrees Celsius
  • Rainfall - very even rainfall with an average of 932 mm per annum (65mm in February/March, 86mm in June/July)


The Manawatu District's population is 28,254 (2006) with half of these people living in Feilding (Pop: 13,887 – 2006). Its neighbouring district's, Palmerston North City and the Rangitikei have populations of 75,543 and 14,712 respectively. Nearly two thirds of New Zealand’s population live within 400km of the Manawatu District while 30% are within 250km. Therefore Manawatu offers unparalleled advantages as a distribution base.

  • 12.9% of the district's population are aged 65+ (NZ average 12.3%)
  • 23.1% of the district's population are under 15 years (NZ 21.5%)
  • 77.9% of the District's population is of European ethnic origin (NZ 67.6%).  Maori represent 14% of the district's population (NZ 14.6%)


In the Manawatu District there are 10,419 households in the district

  • 72.8% of all households are one family households (NZ 67.7%)
  • 22.3% of all households are one person households (NZ 22.5%)
  • Couples with children make up 42.8% of all families (NZ 42%)
  • Couples with no children make up 41.4% of all families (NZ 39.9%)
  • 15.9% of families are one parent with child(ren) (NZ 18.1%)


Annual Income & Economy
In the Manawatu District of the people aged 15 years or over:

  • 40% earn $20,000 or less (NZ 38.8%)
  • 14% earn more than $50,000 (NZ 16.2%)
  • The unemployment rate is 3.8% (NZ 7.3%)
  • 73.4% of permanent private dwellings are owned with or without a mortgage by the occupant(s) (NZ 66.9%)


Feilding has always been a relatively prosperous settlement, but its steady growth into a town, rather than into a city, has given it a special heritage in terms of its buildings. In the commercial area, the original wooden structures were soon replaced by substantial brick buildings. A large number of these turn of the century buildings remain. The establishment of a Mainstreet Programme in 1993, (Feilding Promotion) has encouraged property owners to restore and preserve these late Victorian and Edwardian styles. The 1902 Town Clock was restored and placed in a newly built heritage style Tower for the Millennium Celebrations, after being stored away for over 56 years.

A number of older homes remain in the Manawatu District, still being used as originally intended. In many cases, these homes are on the original sections, untouched by subdivision.


The District and surrounding areas are highly fertile and are major contributors to New Zealand's primary sector production. This lends itself to processing industries as well as support services. Diverse industries relating to agriculture have been established in and around Feilding. These include meat and vegetable processing, packaging and exporting, engineering, timber and building supplies, soft furnishings and clothing manufacturing. A stable, reliable workforce allows businesses to remain competitive. Many national trading and farm supply businesses have large branches to service this important centre of the agricultural industry. Several large national firms have manufacturing bases here recognising the advantages of setting up in the Manawatu District.

Horticultural industries such as plant nurseries and rose growing take advantage of favourable soil and climate conditions.

The District's reputation for sheep and cattle stud breeding is respected worldwide and this has helped to ensure the high quality of stock, twice weekly on offer at the Feilding Saleyards.


The main central shopping area in Feilding radiates from Manchester Square. New commercial buildings contrast with our carefully preserved Heritage styles and the broad thoroughfare of Kimbolton Road emphases the overall effect of dignified charm of this rural servicing town. With many owner/operator businesses, our boutique shops offer a uniqueness and variety of choice not seen in the city. The friendly customer service complements the ongoing upgrading of the central streets recognising the rural and heritage history of Feilding. With no traffic lights or parking meters, our shoppers are encouraged to park as long as they wish while enjoying their relaxed shopping experience.

The rural atmosphere is particularly evident, just 100 metres from the shopping centre, when the twice weekly sheep and cattle sales are held in the Saleyards. One of the biggest saleyards in the Southern Hemisphere, it attracts farmers and interested parties from all over New Zealand. Tours of the Saleyards are offered every Friday.


The Manawatu District has a number of historic collections, many privately owned and open to the public. The Coach House Museum, working Steam Rail Museum, Clock Museum, Motorcycle Collection, Traction Society, Working Pioneer Museum, Motorcars and Machinery Museums are but a few to visit. An excellent selection of crafts in natural wools, pottery, ceramics, glass blowing, knitwear and wood along with Antiques, scattered throughout the District are a visitors delight.

Feilding especially is well known for its beautiful, well kept gardens, both private and public giving our town very picturesque surroundings. It is these surroundings that have won Feilding, the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Small Town Award on 14 occasions. The Kimbolton/Apiti area is reknown for its rhododendron gardens attracting thousands of visitors every season. Many heritage homes with beautiful gardens are open to the public to enjoy and garden tours can be organised through the Information Centre Sport, Recreation and Leisure

The Manawatu District has many popular sport and leisure parks of which the largest is Manfeild Park, the home of the internationally recognised Manfeild Autocourse with its 4.5kms race track and indoor Stadium hosting the annual CD Field days, Manawatu Garden Festival & Fireworks Spectacular, the Manawatu and Feilding A&P Shows and many other national and international events focussing on equestrian and agriculture.

Kowhai Park offers flower gardens, walks, aviaries, barbeque and play areas, large native trees and a stream next to its cricket fields. Other parks in communities throughout the Manawatu District cater for all major sports auch as athletics, cycling and pony club activities.

Amenities such as the Makino Aquatic Centre, mini golf, skateboard park, tennis, bowling, and squash clubs and playing fields give ample opportunity for outdoor enjoyment. The Feilding Golf Club maintains a tournament standard course alongside the Oroua River. An international kart racing circuit is located at Longburn.


Picnics / Walks / Trails
For those looking for a taste of rural life, the Manawatu offers an ideal location for day trips to places of specific historical, geographical or cultural interest. The Country Road Touring Routes brochure offers four touring options around the District, starting from Feilding. The district has many fine walks including Mt Lees Reserve, Deerford Track, Porewa Walk, Branch Rd Walk, Heritage Lodge, Kahikatea, Beehive Creek, Sixtus Lodge, Totara Reserve plus an easy 30 minute walk beside the Makino Stream from Kowahi park to Kitchener Kark in Feilding. For the more adventuresome trampers, the nearby Ruahine Ranges offer walks to suit your level of fitness along with fishing, climbing, canoeing, and `adventure' recreational activities.

There are many pleasant river and swimming sites to enjoy a picnic including London's Ford, Almadale, Vinegar Hill, Menzies Ford and the Pohangina Valley.


Family Life
Feilding and the Manawatu District are the ideal place to bring up a family. The quality lifestyle, lower property prices with generally larger sections attract homebuyers. Longterm capital growth compares favourably with our nearby city of Palmerston North.

Manawatu District is well served by a number of educational facilities. Feilding has three kindergartens, four primary schools, one intermediate and two secondary schools. Feilding High School is one of the larger co-educational secondary schools in the central North Island, unique in that it runs its own farm. The closeness of Palmerston North city offers easy access and choice of educational facilities such as Massey University, Manawatu Polytechnic and single sex school education.

We can heartily recommend the quality of life in Feilding and the Manawatu District. The mild climate, attractions, location, affordability and general pace of country life are highly valued.

Feilding Clock Tower


Farmers Market

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Stock Yards

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Targa Balloon

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