Queen Street

Levin (Māori: Taitoko) is the largest town and seat of the Horowhenua District, in the Manawatū-Whanganui region of New Zealand's North Island. It is located east of Lake Horowhenua, around 95 km north of Wellington and 50 km southwest of Palmerston North.

The town has a population of 18,800 (June 2021),[2] making it the 30th largest urban area in New Zealand, and third largest in Manawatū-Whanganui behind Palmerston North and Whanganui.

Levin is a service centre for the surrounding rural area, and a centre for light manufacturing.

To the west of the main town lies Lake Horowhenua, which covers some 3.9 sq/km. It is currently undergoing regeneration.

History and culture

19th century

The area now occupied by Levin was connected to both Wellington and Palmerston North by railway in 1886. The area was surveyed in 1888, and European settlement of began following the sale of suburban and rural sections, which commenced on 19 March 1889.

The town was named after William Hort Levin, a director of the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company.[3]

The name is a variation of the Jewish clan name Levi. Unlike the usual pronunciation of the surname, stress is placed on the second syllable of the word. However Levin's great-grandson, Peter Levin, claims his forebear would have pronounced his surname as Levene, and that this pronunciation was in common use for many years and is always used by the family.[4]

20th century

Levin was made a borough in 1906.

21st century

The town celebrated its centenary in 2006 and the bowls club celebrated its in 2007.


Kawiu Marae and Te Huia o Raukura meeting house, located just north of the town, are a meeting place for Muaūpoko.[5][6]

In October 2020, the Government committed $945,445 from the Provincial Growth Fund to upgrade Kawiu Marae and nearby Kohuturoa Marae, creating 50 jobs.[7]


Levin is defined by Statistics New Zealand as a medium urban area and covers 22.43 km2 (8.66 sq mi).[1] It had an estimated population of 18,800 as of June 2021, with a population density of 838.16 people per km².

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [8]

Levin had a population of 17,679 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 1,422 people (8.7%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 1,707 people (10.7%) since the 2006 census. There were 7,062 households. There were 8,346 males and 9,324 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.9 males per female, with 3,336 people (18.9%) aged under 15 years, 2,988 (16.9%) aged 15 to 29, 6,651 (37.6%) aged 30 to 64, and 4,698 (26.6%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 77.0% European/Pākehā, 25.4% Māori, 8.4% Pacific peoples, 5.2% Asian, and 1.8% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 16.3%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 47.6% had no religion, 39.4% were Christian, 0.6% were Hindu, 0.2% were Muslim, 0.3% were Buddhist and 2.8% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 1,293 (9.0%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 4,332 (30.2%) people had no formal qualifications. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 5,277 (36.8%) people were employed full-time, 1,719 (12.0%) were part-time, and 768 (5.4%) were unemployed.[8]

Individual statistical areas
Name Population Households Median age Median income
Donnelly Park 1,191 453 47.5 years $22,300[9]
Kawiu South 2,409 960 44.5 years $24,700[10]
Makomako 1,413 567 42.7 years $20,600[11]
Kawiu North 1,770 681 47.5 years $27,900[12]
Levin Central 1,047 537 53.5 years $21,500[13]
Tararua 1,152 447 47.3 years $24,200[14]
Queenwood (Horowhenua District) 2,076 921 47.9 years $21,300[15]
Playford Park 1,815 762 44.8 years $21,800[16]
Fairfield (Horowhenua District) 1,473 561 50.3 years $23,800[17]
Taitoko 1,911 651 35.3 years $20,500[18]
Waiopehu 1,422 522 41.5 years $22,700[19]
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800



Levin Mall

Levin Mall is a mall covering 791 m², with 14 retailers including a Farmers department store.[20]


Levin lies on State Highway 1, which forms the town's main street, Oxford Street. State Highway 57 forms the eastern boundary of the town, and meets State Highway 1 between Levin and the Ohau River, Wellington.

Levin is on the North Island Main Trunk with a station used by the Capital Connection long distance commuter train between Wellington and Palmerston North.[21] It is also served by 8 InterCity buses a day each way.[22]

Buses run for shoppers to Waikanae on Tuesdays and Thursdays[23] and on Fridays to Shannon, Foxton Beach, Foxton and Waitarere Beach.[24] A commuter bus runs via Foxton to Palmerston North.[23]


There are nine schools in the Levin urban area:[25]

  • Fairfield School is a state full primary (Year 1–8) school with a roll of approximately 451.
  • Horowhenua College is a state secondary (Year 9–13) school. It opened in 1940 and has a roll of approximately 675.
  • 'Levin East School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school with a roll of approximately 346.
  • Levin Intermediate is a state intermediate (Year 7–8) school with a roll of approximately 260.
  • Levin North School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school with a roll of approximately 233.
  • Levin School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school with a roll of approximately 159.
  • St Joseph's School is a state-integrated Catholic full primary (Year 1–8) school with a roll of approximately 141.
  • Taitoko School is a state full primary (Year 1–8) school with a roll of approximately 192.
  • Waiopehu College is a state secondary (Year 9–13) school. It opened in 1973 and has a roll of approximately 685.

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "ArcGIS Web Application". statsnz.maps.arcgis.com. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  3. ^ Levin in the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
  4. ^ Tuckey, Karoline. "Councillor wants to change the name of Levin, the NZ town that no-one pronounces correctly". stuff.co.nz.
  5. ^ "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". tkm.govt.nz. Te Puni Kōkiri.
  6. ^ "Māori Maps". maorimaps.com. Te Potiki National Trust.
  7. ^ "Marae Announcements" (Excel). growregions.govt.nz. Provincial Growth Fund. 9 October 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Donnelly Park (234700), Kawiu South (234900), Makomako (235000), Kawiu North (235100), Levin Central (235200), Tararua (235300), Queenwood (Horowhenua District) (235500), Playford Park (235600), Fairfield (Horowhenua District) (235700), Taitoko (235800) and Waiopehu (235900).
  9. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Donnelly Park
  10. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Kawiu South
  11. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Makomako
  12. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Kawiu North
  13. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Levin Central
  14. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Tararua
  15. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Queenwood (Horowhenua District)
  16. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Playford Park
  17. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Fairfield (Horowhenua District)
  18. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Taitoko
  19. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Waiopehu
  20. ^ "Levin Mall (191-197 Oxford Street)". thompsonpropertygroup.co.nz. Thompson Property Group.
  21. ^ "Capital Connection". Great Journeys of New Zealand. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  22. ^ "Search Results". www.intercity.co.nz. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  23. ^ a b "Did you know Horizons Regional Council provides three public bus services in the Horowhenua District?" (PDF). 15 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Day Out in Town Bus timetable change". Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  25. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 27 April 2021.