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Township 4 km south-east of Te Awamutu. Before the Waikato war, Kihikihi was a Ngāti Maniapoto settlement. Kīngitanga leaders conferred at the meeting house Hui-te-rangiora. In 1894, a memorial was erected in the main street to Ngāti Maniapoto chief Rewi Maniapoto, and he was buried there after his death that year. In 1864 Kihikihi was garrisoned by the 65th regiment and the 1st Waikato militia. It remained strategically important because of its proximity to the King Country border. During the 1880s it was a construction camp for the main trunk railway. Once the last refreshment stop before the (officially) alcohol-free King Country, Kihikihi has two historic hotels: the Alpha Hotel (1868) and the Star Hotel (1882).

Meaning of place name
Lit: cicada or tree locust, a name that imitates its strident song.