Township 47 km north-west of Whanganui. It was established as the military settlement of Wairoa in 1866. Between 1893 and 1925 the Department of Agriculture ran an early experimental farm at nearby Moumāhaki. From 1971 to 1988 coastal ironsands from nearby Waipipi were shipped to Japan.

Meaning of place name
Wairoa’s name was changed to Waverley in 1876 to avoid confusion with other towns called Wairoa. Many of the area’s early settlers came from Scotland – they chose the new name in memory of Sir Walter Scott, whose books had become known as the Waverley novels.

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