Township 30 km south-west of Palmerston North. Known as Te Maire, the town planned on the site by the New Zealand Company in the 1840s was never built. The first settlers to Shannon, named after a director of the Wellington and Manawatū Railway company, arrived after land sales in 1887. Flax milling, the development of farmland, and dam building at Mangahao kept the town buoyant until the 1920s. Many Māori casual workers were re-housed in Shannon from rural shacks in the 1950s and 1960s. Manufacturing businesses, set up in the 1960s, were reduced to only one by 1987.

Meaning of place name
Named after a Wellington businessman, George Vance Shannon, who was amongst those responsible for the formation of the Wellington & Manawatu Railway Company in 1881. Shannon was born in Ireland and came to Wellington in 1865.