Kaponga School


Kaponga is a small town in southern Taranaki. It is known as "The Gateway to Dawson's Falls" on Mount Egmont. Kaponga is located inland from Manaia and Eltham, and is on the main road connecting Eltham to Opunake. Opunaki is 26 km to the west and Eltham is 13 km to the east. Auroa lies to the south-east. Manaia is 15 km south of Kaponga.

The population was 372 in the 2006 Census, an increase of 21 from 2001.

The small town of Kaponga was settled in 1882, and has strong Swiss connections. Some of the first settlers in the area were Swiss, and in 1952, the Taranaki Swiss Club was formed

The town was once a much larger town than it is today: with many stores. There are only a few shops now, including the Kaponga Dairy, the 4 Square (supermarket), Taranaki Farmers (a rural supply business), a bed-and-breakfast (Constable Cottage), veterinary services (Coastal Veterinary Services Ltd), RD 1 (another rural supply business) and the local pub (bar). It is also home to a garden of national significance, Hollard Gardens .

There are many other businesses working in and around the village, mainly relying on the booming dairy industry. The Kaponga and surrounding community enjoys a full library service, and a South Taranaki District Council office.


Kaponga School is a school with a decile rating of 4 and a roll of 135. The school was founded in 1891. In 2005, Kapuni and Mahoe schools closed and merged into Kaponga School.

St Patrick's School is a state integrated Catholic school with a decile rating of 5 and a roll of 41. St Patrick's started in 1921 with lessons held in the local church. It moved into its own building in February 1922.

Both are coeducational full primary schools covering years 1-8.


External links

Further reading

General historical works

* Available online at http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/name-005082.html

Business history

Some of Kaponga's banking history is publicly accessible, but none of it is held in Taranaki.

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