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Events In History

3 November 1886

Built by the privately owned Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company (WMR), the line helped open the Kāpiti Coast, Horowhenua and Manawatū to European settlement.


Regional rugby

The passion and parochialism of provincial rugby helped give the game a special place in New Zealand’s social and sporting history. Read brief histories, highlights and quirky facts about each of New Zealand's 26 regional rugby teams. Read the full article

Page 18 - Horowhenua Kapiti rugby

History and highlights of rugby in the Horowhenua

Large town 50 km south-west of Palmerston North. The Levin district was one of the last in the region to be opened to Pākehā settlement, but by the 1880s the Wellington–Manawatū railway had been built. The Muaūpoko tribe and their leader Keepa Te Rangihiwinui were prepared to sell land for a township, provided every tenth section was granted back to Muaūpoko individuals. A second requirement was a town square and a reserve by Lake Horowhenua, with Keepa as a trustee. But financial pressures on Keepa meant that the Crown was able to drop these conditions. Levin grew slowly in the 1920s and 1930s, but rapidly throughout the 1940s to 1960s. Industry made products as diverse as caravans, clothing and textiles, and wallpaper. Levin was hard hit when tariff protection was lifted for many products from the 1980s.
Meaning of place name
The town, which was to be called Taitoko after Keepa Te Rangihiwinui’s father, was named Levin after a railway company director, W. H. Levin.