About The District

​​Ruapehu is one of New Zealand’s largest districts by land area but with one of the smallest permanent population counts made up of many small, diverse and geographically spread out rural communities.
It has an area of 6,730 square kilometers and had a population of 11,844 at the 2013 census, down 12.7% from the 2006 census.

The district is landlocked, and contains the western half of the Tongariro National Park, a duel world heritage location, including most of Mount Ruapehu and the western sides of Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro, as well as part of the Whanganui National Park. The district is also home to the world famous Raurimu Spiral on the North Island Main Trunk railway line.

The Ruapehu District offers unlimited opportunities as a region in which to live, work or visit.
Blessed with spectacular scenery, the Ruapehu District has a magnificent range of attractions and things to do and, as such, offers an unparallelled lifestyle.

The tourist towns of Whakapapa Village, National Park and Ohakune are located near Mount Ruapehu in the south east of the district, and Waiouru, with an elevation of 815 metres, is in the extreme south east of the district and houses the large Waiouru Army Camp. The southern section of the infamous Desert Road section of State Highway 1 runs through the east of the district, from Waiouru to Rangipo.

Ruapehu has well developed farming, forestry, manufacturing and visitor industries, offering many employment and investment opportunities. The local communities are extremely entrepreneurial and, along with Council, are focused on achieving and maintaining sustainable development within the District.

Local governance

Ruapehu District Council (RDC) has its head office in Taumarunui with a second office in Ohakune and a small service centre in Raetihi. Ruapehu District Council was established in 1989, replacing the former Taumarunui Borough Council, Taumarunui County Council and part of the Rangitikei County Council.

The council is made up of 12 elected councillors including a mayor and deputy mayor. The district is also served by two Community Boards (Waimarino-Waiouru and National Park) and a Ward Committee (Taumarunui-Ohura) with the same functions and powers as the Community Boards.

Local iwi and hapu have further input into local governance through the Ruapehu Maori Council which acts as an advisor to Council and has some delegated authority.

Future vision

Our vision for Ruapehu aims to drive District growth through initiatives that improve the economic, environmental, social and cultural wellbeing of our local communities while protecting our environment. For anyone considering living or investing in Ruapehu the district offers an enviable lifestyle, easily accessible from major cities and airports, with affordable real estate and good schools.

Whether you are looking for a rewarding career opportunity, a holiday with a difference, a change from big city pressures or a great place to raise a family - we encourage you to take time with family and friends to experience what the Ruapehu District has to offer.

Growth opportunities

In July 2015 Council along with regional iwi, industry, local and central government welcomed the release of the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Growth Study.

The Study identified key growth opportunities for the region and the strategic areas that will require leadership and reform to enable these opportunities.

Three of the opportunities specifically referenced Ruapehu being; tourism and visitor services, Manuka honey and fresh vegetable production.

The strategic reform areas are; transport and distribution, productivity of Maori land, and growing business by building capacity, scale and innovation.

Council is committed to being an active part of the regional leadership that will be required to successfully enact the Study recommendations.  If you would like more detail on Council's economic development stratgey and how we can assist anyone looking at investment opportunities in the district please email or contact Council.


Page reviewed: 29 Mar 2019 11:13am