Locality 10 km north of Blenheim on the Tuamarina River, a tributary of the Wairau, where it leaves the hills. In June 1843, 22 Europeans and at least four Māori were killed at Tuamarina in a confrontation over land ownership. The conflict, which came to be known as the Wairau affray, was a shock to European settlers across the country. Memorials at the conflict site and in the cemetery remember the settlers who died. Commercial dairy farming started in the 1890s. In the 20th century there was an award-winning cheese factory, but it closed after a fire in 2004.

Meaning of place name
Properly Tuamarino, tua: beyond; marino: calm. One version is that a party of Rangitane emerged from the swamps and dense bush at Massacre Hill, there they exclaimed 'Tua marino!' - The calm easy going ahead. The name may mean Calm or still water, referring to the Para Swamp that lies beyond it, and may originally have been Waituamarina. Or it may simply mean 'clear' or 'smooth', describing the view of the plain from the hills.