Facts and Stats
|Population:||9,880 (Statistics NZ, June 2020)|
|Size:||The district is ranked as the 10th smallest out of 67 in New Zealand.|
91.4% European, 14.2% Maori, 2.5% Asian, 1.4% Pacific peoples, 1.3% other
(Note that this is over 100%, as some people reported more than one ethnic group, and so were counted in more than one group.)
|Age Profile:||High numbers in the 10-19 and 60-74 age brackets|
|Unemployment:||In 2019 the district unemployment rate was 4.4%, compared to the regional unemployment rate of 5.0% and national unemployment rate of 4.3%.|
|Major occupations:||Professionals, Managers, Labourers, Technicians and Trade Workers|
The Stratford District is a beautiful land-locked area situated in the heart of the Taranaki region and encompassing approximately 2,170km2 of land.
To the north, west and south of the district are the New Plymouth and South Taranaki districts in the Taranaki region; to the east, the district is bordered by the Ruapehu and Whanganui districts within the Horizons region.
Within the Stratford District are four distinct geographical areas:
- The alpine and bush environment of Te Papakura o Taranaki;
- The ring plain around Taranaki Mounga;
- The hill country located between the ring plain and the eastern hill country; and
- The eastern hill country to the boundary with Ruapehu District Council.
The district’s population is approximately 9,880 (Statistics NZ, June 2020) ranking the district as the 10th smallest out of 67 in New Zealand.
The rural landscape supports large farming, forestry and Department of Conservation reserves. The Stratford District is a growing tourist destination owing to key attractions such as Te Papakura o Taranaki, the Manganui Ski Field, Forgotten World Highway (SH43), Dawson and Mt Damper Falls.
The Stratford District is home to many settlements, with the four main centres being Stratford, Midhirst, Toko and Whangamomona.
Stratford is the main town in the Stratford District. It is located on the banks of the Patea River roughly 48 km south-east of New Plymouth and 30 km north of Hawera at the junction of State Highways 3 and 43. Stratford is near the geographic centre of the Taranaki region and the largest settlement of the Stratford District. The town is central Taranaki’s main rural servicing centre, and the administrative base of the Stratford District Council and the Taranaki Regional Council.
Midhirst is located approximately 4 km north of Stratford, on State Highway 3. Inglewood is 17 km north of Midhirst and New Plymouth is 35 km to the northwest. An estimated 234 (Statistics NZ 2013) people live in Midhirst.
Toko is located 10 km east of Stratford, at the intersection of East Road (State Highway 43) and Toko Road. The Toko Stream flows through the area to join the Patea River. An estimated 1,188 (Statistics NZ 2013) people live in or around Toko. This includes people living in the settlement and those living in the surrounding rural areas.
Whangamomona is a rural settlement 65 km North East of Stratford on State Highway 43. Once quite a thriving settlement with a hotel, a number of stores and a post office, it suffered decline from the mid 20th Century with only the hotel remaining as a business in town. Today an estimated 150 people live in and around Whangamomona.
The district has on its boundary two National Parks:
- Te Papakura o Taranaki (Egmont National Park) (33,543 ha, established 1900) comprises all the land in a 9-kilometre radius of the volcanic mountain Taranaki's summit and some outlying areas to the north. The symmetrical cone of the dormant volcano is a provincial landmark. It has over 140km of tracks that explore a range of landscapes, including forests, wetlands and sub-alpine shrub lands.
- Whanganui National Park (74,231 ha, established 1986) borders the Whanganui River. It incorporates areas of Crown land, former state forest and a number of former reserves. The river itself is not part of the park.