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Township 2 km inland from Bream Bay, 41 km south of Whāngārei. It was founded in the mid-19th century by Scottish settlers from Nova Scotia, led by the charismatic preacher Norman McLeod. Facing economic hardship in Canada, the group went first to Australia and then to New Zealand. In 1854 they secured land at Waipū, and were joined by more Scots from Nova Scotia and Scotland.

Meaning of place name
Wai: water; pu: reddish or brownish in colour.