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Encyclopedia > Otematata

Otematata is a village in the Waitaki District of North Otago in New Zealand's South Island. It is defined as a "populated area less than a town"[1] and the 2001 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings identified the "usually resident population count" for Otematata as 243.[2] However, this was considerably higher in the 1960s during the construction of the Benmore Dam. The Waitaki district straddles the border of the Canterbury and Otago regions of New Zealand, the traditional border of which is the Waitaki River. ... Typical North Otago landscape, looking north from near Herbert The town of Oamaru, North Otagos principal settlement The district of North Otago in New Zealand covers the area of Otago between Shag Point and the Waitaki River, and extends inland to the west as far as the village of... The South Island The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. ... The New Zealand government Department Statistics New Zealand conducts a census of population and dwellings every five years. ... Benmore Benmore Dam is the largest dam within the Waitaki power scheme on the borders of Otago and Canterbury regions in New Zealands South Island. ...

Surrounded by rugged peaks and beautiful lakes of the Waitaki Valley, this area echoes with tales of long ago. The earliest inhabitants were Māoris on hunting expeditions or traveling through the valley to reach the inland areas and mountain passes. The Māori name Otematata means "place of good flint".

Otematata township was built in 1958 as a base for the construction of the Aviemore and Benmore Dams. ECNZ (Electricity Corporation of New Zealand) used it as a base until the early 1990s.

ECNZ's presence is now minimal, and Otematata is becoming a village of holiday homes. It is a popular holiday village with a hotel, restaurant, camping ground and basic services.


  1. ^ Land Information New Zealand, New Zealand Geographic Placenames Database: Place Name Detail - Otematata, accessed 29 May 2007.
  2. ^ Statistics New Zealand, Otematata Community Profile, accessed 29 May 2007.

Coordinates: 44°37′S, 170°16′E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...



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