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Township 9 km north-west of Putaruru. Established in 1870 as a military post, Tīrau became a coach stop for travellers. A dairy factory was built in 1938, and a casein factory in 1982.

Meaning of place name
Lit: stick; or as ti rau: ti: cabbage tree; rau: many. First called Oxford to identify it as a sister town to Cambridge, it was later named Tīrau to avoid confusion with Oxford in Canterbury.