Close to Palmerston North, enroute to Rongotea is the junction settlement of Kairanga, which includes a strong community, large country school, community hall and the quaint St Lukes church.
Te Kairanga (meaning the place where muchfood is gathered) was a major Rangitane village situated beside the Manawatu River, on land that now forms part of the Linton Military Camp.
From the early 1870s survey maps showed the “Kairanga District” which included both Te Kairanga and the area of land on the opposite bank of the Manawatu River, where, in 1881, sections were offered for sale in the “Kairanga Block”.
Like much of the land sold at that time, Kairanga buyers were able to make deferred payment, with an initial five percent deposit required and ten years to pay the balance.
Kairanga today is a fertile farming district, but the first European settlers were faced with Kahikatea (white pine) growing abundantly in swampy land that needed extensive drainage.
Manawatu has retained the memory of the first European subdivisions in the designation of many of the roads intersecting its flat plains as “lines”. This term recalls the lines cut by surveyors through the bush, which eventually became road routes. In Kairanga Gillespie’s Line, Rangitikei Line, and Newbury Line are all reminders of the first surveys. Throughout Manawatu there are many more.