Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Rangiwahia New Zealand

« Back to Projects Dashboard

Project Tags

view all


Rangiwahia - Cemetery, Schools and district

The Rangiwahia Cemetery is in Wairaki Street, Rangiwahia 4774.

Rangiwahia - meaning "cloud piercer", or "piercing the sky" - is the northern most township of the Manawatu. It is situated 6km south of Karewarewa and 53km north east of Feilding.

It was first surveyed in 1885, the surveyors setting up camp at a site known as "Peep-O-Day" with spectacular views of Mount Ruapehu (an active volcano).

In 1892 it took coaches three hours to drive from Kimbolton to Rangiwahia (a distance of 26km).Historic Pemberton Corner is the location of the original settlement of the Rangiwahia district.

'Put the small man on the land' was the political slogan of the 1880s. From it came the 1885 Land Act that created the Special Settlement Scheme to develop 'Waste Lands' in New Zealand.

In May 1885, the Pemberton Small Farms Association took up the Pemberton Block of 10,000 acres (4,047 ha) in this valley. Charles L Pemberton had played a leading role in its formation and in selecting the block. In September 1886, six Pemberton brothers were in the first party of settlers who set up camp here. They faced isolation and a primeval forest of giant matai, maire, rimu, totara and kahikatea trees. Their first task was to clear the bush.

In addition to developing this 100 acre (40ha) farm, Charles also established the first accommodation house and later he was the first Postmaster in Pemberton. He left the area in 1903 and died in 1919.

By December 1888, there were 21 whare, four sawn-timber houses and an accommodation house. In 1889, the first Post Office opened and did not close until 1924. In 1891, the first school opened but closed in 1896 when the new Rangiwahia School opened. In 1892, the first General Store in the district opened, near the butcher and the blacksmith and a cricket club was formed. In 1893, the hotel opened.

In seven years Pemberton grew from a campsite to be the first district centre.

However, by 1895, the temporary village had served its purpose. Later settlers had developed the nearby surveyed town of Rangiwahia and it was now the centre of the community. Like so many other transitory settlements that flourished in those early days of New Zealand's development, Pemberton village eventually became yet another 'ghost town'.

Information sourced from the interpretation board located at Pemberton Corner.

Plot information and photos on Manawatu District Council Website


Find A Grave

Wood, Arthur : Find A Grave Memorial# 88233158

Wood, Lily (nee Beilski) : Find A Grave Memorial# 88232889

Wood, Thomas Dawson : Find A Grave Memorial# 88235344

Wood, Margaret Malcolm : Find A Grave Memorial# 88234690

McKean, Jane (nee Gardner, Formerly Leonard) : Find A Grave Memorial# 88231801