Story: Taranaki places

Page 2. Inglewood

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Inglewood

Town and rural service centre 18 km south-east of New Plymouth, with a 2013 population of 3,243.

History

Inglewood was founded in 1875, in a clearing in dense forest. Settlers under Julius Vogel’s assisted immigration schemes came from England, East Prussia (now Poland), Denmark and Switzerland. In 1876 the railway from New Plymouth reached Inglewood. In the 2000s the town’s railway station was New Zealand’s oldest station in its original location.

Inglewood’s Moa Co-operative Dairy Company, with its distinctive ‘Sunflower’ brand butter, became the Moa-nui Co-operative after northern Taranaki’s other factories amalgamated in 1980. Moa-nui eventually merged with South Taranaki’s Kiwi Dairies in 1992.

The town’s war memorial – of ‘the sorrowing soldier’ – was dedicated in 1924. Behind it stands what is claimed to be the biggest rhododendron in the southern hemisphere, planted in 1924.

For many years Inglewood was the home of a factory making the near-indestructible Fun Ho! sand-cast metal toys. The Fun Ho! Museum and Information Centre is at the town’s central intersection.

From 1952 to 1972 Inglewood held an annual ‘greatest show on earth’ – a gala day featuring parades, races, circus acts, wood chopping and more, which in its heyday drew up to 35,000 people.

The Windsor and Ngātoro oil and gas fields are in pastureland south and west of the town.

Lepperton

Township 13 km north of Inglewood. Lepperton was established as a military settlement in the 1860s. The township was named after Lieutenant Colonel Maxwell Lepper of the 14th Regiment, one of the nine regiments to serve in the Taranaki wars. After he retired from the regiment, Lepper became the commander of the Taranaki military settlers and was allocated a block of land in the settlement. Later members of the family developed a well-known pedigree Jersey livestock stud.

Egmont Village

Township 12 km south-east of New Plymouth, with a 2013 population of 594. Egmont Village is the access point for Egmont National Park and the North Egmont Visitor Centre. Five km south-west is the isolated, rounded German Hill – named after the Polish farmers (then known as Germans) who settled around it.

Kaimiro

Settlement 9 km south-west of Inglewood. Kaimiro is on the road to the North Egmont Visitor Centre in Egmont National Park. Its most notable resident was the German immigrant Harry Peters, a mountain guide and local politician who popularised this access route to Egmont National Park. The Kaimiro oil and gas field is north of Kaimiro.

Kaimata

Settlement 8 km east of Inglewood on the eastern edge of the Taranaki ring plain, established about 1890. The rough-cast concrete St John’s Peace Memorial Church was designed by well-known Taranaki architect Frank Messenger. District pioneer Albert Burwell paid for the construction in memory of his wife.

Tarata

Settlement 18 km east of Inglewood. Tarata is important to the Ngāti Maru iwi. In a loop of the Waitara River opposite the domain is the large , Kerikeringa. In the summer of 1819/20 it was attacked and taken by a musket-armed war party of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Toa. A few kilometres upriver is the site of Kawau kāinga (village), where Wiremu Kīngi Te Rangitāke and Tītokowaru took refuge after the Taranaki wars. Ngāti Maru’s Tarata marae, Te Ūpoko-o-te-whenua, is near the Waitara River bridge.

The district was opened to Pākehā settlement in the mid-1880s and the township was established in 1889. In the 2000s only the community hall (1905) and nearby church (1901) survived. The school closed in 2002.

Pūrangi

Settlement 37 km south-east of Inglewood. The Ngāti Maru village of Pūrangi was the most distant major Māori settlement up the Waitara River. The first Pākehā settlers took up land in 1891. St Peter’s Anglican Church (1906) was the only remnant of the village in the 2010s.

Lake Rātāpiko

Storage lake for TrustPower’s Motukawa power station, which was commissioned in 1927. Water is conveyed 5 km to the lake by water race from a dam on the Manganui River. It is then drawn off through a tunnel to the power station at Tarata, and discharged into the nearby Waitara River.

Tariki

Township 10 km south-east of Inglewood on State Highway 3. The area around Tariki was surveyed in the 1880s by Edwin Brookes. He recorded the small Māori kāinga (village) of Tariki – one of the few known kāinga in the forested area east of the mountain.

How to cite this page:

Ron Lambert, 'Taranaki places - Inglewood', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/taranaki-places/page-2 (accessed 19 July 2019)

Story by Ron Lambert, published 11 Dec 2009, updated 7 Sep 2016