Okato

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Quick Summary

Location
39°12'00"S
173°52'59"E
Country
 New Zealand
Categories
  • Uncathegorised
Rating
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Description

Ōkato is a small town in rural Taranaki, New Zealand. The population was 561 in the 2013 census, an increase of 30 from 2006. It is situated about 25 minutes drive around the coast from New Plymouth on State Highway 45. Oakura is 12 km to the north-east, and Warea is 9 km to the south-west. The place offers popular rocky surfing spots around coastal beaches. The town was established as a military settlement in the 1860s.The New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage gives a translation of "place of Kato" for Ōkato. While "Kato" was probably a personal name, an alternative translation is "place of full tide/tsunami". In July 2020, the name of the locality was officially gazetted as Ōkato by the New Zealand Geographic Board.Ōkato has all the elements of a New Zealand rural community with sporting facilities (rugby grounds, bowling club, squash courts, tennis courts and swimming pool), Coastal Taranaki School, a police station, and a volunteer fire brigade. Ōkato was also notable as the home of Okato Cheese which was manufactured by the Okato Co-operative Dairy Company. This manufacturing site closed some years after merging with Egmont Co-operative Dairy. Activities in the Ōkato area include the Stony River walkway, which has a number of locations for photographing Mt Taranaki. The rural community of Puniho is located just south of Ōkato.

Education

Coastal Taranaki School is a coeducational composite (years 1-13) school with a roll of 280 as of March 2020. The school was formed in 2005 from the merger of Newall School, Okato Primary School, Okato College and Warea School. It was initially called Okato Area School but changed its name.

Notable people

Dale Copeland, artist
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