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Te Poi

Te Poi is a small village based at the bottom of the Kaimai ranges in Waikato, New Zealand. It was established in 1912 and is located 10 minutes from Matamata, which is where the closest Intermediate and College are. Te Poi has a big part to play when it comes to dairy farming, having over 35 farms in the district.

Central to most destinations, Te Poi is only a short trip away from Tauranga, Rotorua, and Hamilton, and is only two hours away from Mount Ruapehu or Auckland.

There are lots of little companies that exist within Te Poi today such as the Te Poi Cafe, Sunny Park Storage, Te Poi Garage, Te Poi Salts and the Te Poi Tavern. But it was a much busier place to be in 1930-1960 when there was a butcher shop, a butter factory, a dairy and also a car wash.
Te Poi has a little country school that has around fifty students and three classrooms. In 2012 Te Poi community gathered to celebrate 100 years. This was a huge success, even Lindsay Tisch, the local electorate MP was there to participate in the celebration. Te Poi Pub, or, as it is more commonly known, the Big Cow is a local hot spot and meeting place for bikers, clubs and families and is well known for it’s great, friendly atmosphere. The pub was established in 1980 but it wasn’t until 1994-95 that the committee built the 6m cow, painted black and white friesian colours that the pub has come to be known for. The cow was later given giant eyes that light up at night and it was also fitted with speakers. The cow became a popular attraction and people from around NZ started to visit the big cow.

The Te Poi Service Station was built on the corner of State Highway 29. The garage part of the operation still runs today, servicing a variety of cars, motorbikes, tractors and providing general repairs. However they decided to take out the fuel pumps in 2007, a decision they later regretted. The Te Poi Service Station serviced the neighbouring dairy factory and a lot of other small businesses. Over the years there have been a lot of little business come and go within Te Poi.

There is little known about the early Māori settlements but at the bottom of the Kaimai Range there are Maori tribal boundaries.The Te Poi Māori people had more than one tribe. There were three and these tribes are called the Ngati Haua, Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Kirihika. The Ukaipo Marae on the Lower Kaimai Road was built around 1921. This was a meeting place for the local Māori. In 1937 the Te Omeka Marae was opened but 5 years later it broke down and was abandoned. In 1980 Te Poi Māori began raising funds to rebuild the Te Omeka and in 2000 the money had been raised and the build completed. Now, once again, this is the meeting place for local Māori.

Te Poi Community has been around for over 100 years. With many changes throughout this time and many businesses coming and going over the years it still has a great sense of community.

Photo credit:

By Kaimai (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ATe_Poi_Memorial_Hall_NZ_2009.jpg

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