Wellsford

Wellsford is a town on the Northland Peninsula in the northern North Island of New Zealand. It is the northernmost major settlement in the Auckland Region, and is 77 kilometres northwest of the Auckland CBD.

Wellsford
Wellsford
Coordinates: 36°17′45″S 174°31′24″E
Country New Zealand
RegionAuckland
Territorial authorityAuckland Council
WardRodney
Population
 (June 2018)[1]
  Total2,100
Postcode(s)
0900, 0977, 0975, 0972, 0974, 0973,

Wellsford is close to a narrowing of the Northland Peninsula caused by an arm of the Kaipara Harbour on the west coast extending inland for 20 kilometres from the body of the harbour, stretching to within 15 kilometres of the east (Pacific Ocean) coast. Wellsford is the rural service town for the local areas of Tauhoa, Tapora, Wharahine, Port Albert, Te Hana, Tomarata, Te Arai, Whangaripo and Pakiri, providing schools, shopping & farm supplies, Stockyards, Doctors etc.

As of the 2013 census, the town had a population of 1,698, an increase of 27 from 2006.[2] It is a major regional centre, being located at the junction of State Highways 1 and 16, almost halfway between Auckland and the Northland city of Whangarei.

History and culture

Pre-European history

According to local tradition, the name Wellsford is an acronym based on the surnames of the first families who settled in the region. The names were Watson, Edger, Lester, Levet, Simpson, Foster, Oldfield, Ramsbottom and Dibble.[3]

European settlement

In the early 1860s English settlers arrived, establishing themselves at Port Albert, on the Kaipara Coast about 10 kilometres west of Wellsford. These settlers called themselves the Albertlanders, after Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort. They were a "breakaway group from the Anglican Church looking for a new world"[4] However, not many of the settlers arrived at Port Albert and the ones who did found it difficult to make a living. The majority of the Albertlanders moved inland, to more fertile areas in the region. As a result, Wellsford was founded.[3]

Wellsford was part of the Rodney District during its existence from 1989 to 2010.

Marae

The local Ōruawharo Marae is a traditional meeting ground for Te Uri o Hau and the Ngāti Whātua hapū of Ngāti Mauku and Ngāti Tahuhu.[5]

It includes the Rangimārie meeting house.[6]

Education

Rodney College is a secondary (years 9-13) school with a socio-economic decile rating of 4 and a roll of 321.[7] Wellsford School is a full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 4 and a roll of 343.[8][9] Rodney College's Board of Trustees was dismissed in August 2008 and a ministry of education commissioner appointed.[10]

Living Way Christian School is a composite (years 1-13) school with a decile rating of 6 and a roll of 34.[11] It is a private school which provides an education based on a "God-centred, Biblical perspective".[12]

Tapora School is a full primary (Years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 6 with a roll of 45.[13] The roll is split into three classrooms, Room 3 (Years 1-3), Room 2 (Years 4-5), Room 1 (Years 6-8) each with one teacher supervising. It is a public school located west of Wellsford.

Wellsford, Tauhoa, Pakiri and Mangawhai Primary Schools all cater for students from year 1-8, and collectively contribute to the annual in take of roughly 80 year 9 students at Rodney College.

All these schools are coeducational.

Sport

Being a rural town, sport plays a big part in Wellsford's day-to-day life with rugby, soccer, netball, cricket, tennis and athletics being amongst the more popular sports played. The Wellsford Golf Club is popular among the locals and also houses squash courts. Rollerskating, archery and bowling, (indoors and outdoors) are also available, while equestrian is also popular in the area.[14]

References

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