People living in Aokautere enjoy a scenic little valley and a strong community spirit. Located on the other side of the Manawatu River from Palmerston North, Aokautere offers country living and a close proximity to the hustle and bustle of the largest city in Manawatu. It is a complete community with its own school, church and community hall.


Te Aokautere was the great Rangitane chief of the pa of Te Motu-a-Poutoa and Te Kuripaka during the last years of the 18th century. The high bluff beside the Manawatu River that made Te Motu-a-Poutoa such a fine strategic fighting pa, today runs along the edge of Palmerston North’s Anzac Park. Te Kuripaka was downstream, at the mouth of the Turitea Stream.

In the late 19th century the name of Te Aokautere was adopted for the rural area extending along eastern bank of the Manawatu River beside the Tararua Range, from Palmerston North to the Manawatu Gorge.

In the early days of European settlement, from 1877, the district was known as Fitzherbert, named for Sir William Fitzherbert. During the 1860s Fitzherbert was Colonial Treasurer and Superintendent of the Wellington Province ‒ of which Manawatu was part ‒ from 1871. He was active in promoting closer settlement in Manawatu during this time.


The old Fitzherbert East Dairy Factory building (pictured right) still stands at the intersection of the Pahiatua Track ‒ a reminder that dairy farming was once the mainstay of this district.

Governing Body

Palmerston North City Council. Ph 06 356 8199