Living here

Community is something you find in people’s hearts, not on a map.

Living hereBecome a “local” here.

We will make you welcome

  • not just for the first day or two, but for as long as you chose to stay.
  • not just you, but your partner and family too.
  • not just you as a health professional, but you as a person.

It’s a friendly, relaxed place to live and work, and it doesn’t take 20 years before you are regarded as a “local”.

This is a great place, with a warm welcome.

Getting the balance right

Hilary KaraitianaLiving and working in the North King Country allows you to manage the juggling act between paid work and other important activities such as spending time with family, taking part in sport and recreation, volunteering or undertaking further study.

You can choose to enjoy the laid-back, relaxed rural surroundings, get involved in many of the local clubs and organisations, and still be close to educational institutions offering advanced studies for yourself and your family.

Are you or your family new to country living? There’s new things to try – hiking, horse riding, growing your own vegetables, joining a local repertory theatre or a singing group. Why not be adventurous?

Cost of living

Dale WilliamsYou get great value for money when buying or renting property. Right now, you can buy a nice, sunny 3-bedroom house in the area for about $120,000 – $220,000.

Transport and travel costs can be a bit dearer, but only because you tend to travel longer distances in the country.

On the other hand, it’s quicker and easier travelling from home to work. You are never sitting in a traffic jam!

The prices for goods and services are standard for New Zealand. Local businesses often offer excellent deals for local customers.

Shopping and services

The North King Country area is based on rural industry – sheep, cattle and dairy farming, and forestry.
Its towns are service centres with modern light industry and retail sectors with everything you need from a garden centre, veterinary practice and hardware stores, to cafes, burger bars and DVD outlets.

It’s easy to take a shopping and entertainment trip to a centre like Hamilton if you want a wider choice or a specialty item – only 30 to 60 minutes away by car on an excellent state highway.


There are many primary schools and four secondary schools in our area, plus a wide range of pre-school and child care options.

See the Community Services section of our Orientation Package for a full list.

Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) offers courses at Otorohanga and has a campus at Te Kuiti. Its training courses include certificates in agriculture, business administration and computing, adult education, first aid and food safety.

Just 30 to 60 minutes up the road you can access a wide range of educational opportunities at Wintec’s Hamilton campus, and at the University of Waikato, plus clinical training and professional development offered by Waikato District Health Board.

Local government and Maori iwi

The North King Country is comprised of two local authorities, the Otorohanga District Council and the Waitomo District Council.

The Maori tribe (iwi) that is the tangata whenua (original/indigenous people) of this area is Ngati Maniopoto. The Maniopoto Maori Trust Board plays an important role in the commercial, social and cultural life of the North King Country.

Geography, population and climate

North King Country is an attractive area of rolling hill country, forest and bush, beautiful rivers and coastal estuaries and beaches, and fascinating limestone caves.

The population of the North King Country is about 18,500 people. Its two biggest towns are Otorohanga (about 3500 people) and Te Kuiti (about 5500 people), but there are many smaller rural and coastal communities of significance.

The climate is pleasant and mild. Summer average temperature is 18.5ºC and winter average temperature is 9.5ºC.

The median age of the population is 35, which is about the national average. Of the total area population, 25% are under 15 years of age, 40% are 15 to 44, 24% are 45 to 64, and 11% are over 65 years old.

A high percentage of the North King Country population identifies themselves as Mãori. Of the Waitomo District population, 40.5% are Mãori, compared with 27.0% of the Otorohanga population and 14.5% nationally.

The percentage of Pacific People and Asian is very low in the area, and ranges around 2% compared to 7% and 9% respectively nationally.

Much more information about North King Country can be found in our Orientation Package and on the websites that showcase the communities and attractions in our region (check them out in the Exploring the North King Country page in the left hand menu.