"Township 13 km
north-west of Feilding, with a 2013 population of 534. Halcombe
was established in 1876, and has thrived as a rural centre.
Nearby Stanway is named for the family of Edith Halcombe. The
recently established Ngati Manomano marae, Taumata-o-te-ra, is
in the township, and the Tokorangi and Te Hiiri marae are both
near it. All three have links to Ngati Raukawa. " Te Ara -
The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Halcombe Community & Districts
The War Memorials in
Halcombe township was established in 1876 and named after Arthur
William Follett Halcombe, who was Resident Agent to the
Colonists and Emigrants Aid Corporation. Surveyor John Stewart
planned the layout of Halcombe – the township was to be a mile
square. The Corporation had purchased the “Manchester Block”
from local Maori in 1871, which was over 100,000 acres between
Rangitikei River and the Ruahine Ranges, and this land was being
settled, primarily, by German & Scandinavian immigrants.
The first immigrants to settle in Halcombe
arrived on April 8th 1876. These settlers were provided with
free passage to New Zealand, an acre of land and a 2-room shack
in which to live. Work offered included road construction and
bush felling. Arthur Halcombe's wife, Edith Stanway Halcombe, was a talented
artist who captured many images of Halcombe and the wider Manawatu-Rangitikei
region. You can view her work at the
National Library website and
The railway was completed
in 1877 and the Halcombe Station became an important
place. At least 35 trains passed through every day.
Halcombe’s population rose steadily to a peak of around
2,500 in the late 1880’s. At that time local businesses
were flourishing, with numerous sawmills, a bank, Post
Office, a brick kiln, rendering plant and creamery.
Halcombe had its own midwife, undertaker, town crier,
sale-yards and Town Board. A flax mill operated at
Kakariki (later to become a freezing works, then Feltex
Wools, now a processing plant). There were four schools in the area - Halcombe,
Stanway, Tokorangi and Kakariki – and five churches.
Into the new century, as land-clearance & timber-milling
gave way to farming, and nearby towns of Feilding and
Marton grew, the population of the local area dwindled.
The Halcombe Town Board ceased in 1917. Schools at
Kakariki, Tokorangi and Stanway closed over time and
local students then came to Halcombe School. Businesses
closed or moved to the bigger centres. Halcombe School
moved to its current site on Monteith Street in 1941.
Halcombe School celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (60 years)
in 1937. The
is available for you to download. Halcombe
School celebrated its Centennial in 1977. The
Centennial Booklet is available for you to download. The
reunion booklets give comprehensive and entertaining histories
of the school and the community.
Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of
New Zealand for more information about
Halcombe, its settlement & history and key figures in its
William Follett Halcombe. We highly recommend the excellent
Archive for local history and records, including for
Halcombe and the surrounding districts. The
Feilding Library holds
wonderful photo archives for Halcombe and the area.
Today, although the majority of businesses may have gone,
the Halcombe community is still strong, with a thriving school,
busy tavern, sports clubs, active marae at Taumata o te Ra, Te
Hiiri, Tokorangi & Poupatate, and plenty of local families who
love living here! Farming continues to be the key industry in
the region. There are many lifestyle blocks and residents are
renovating the old buildings and factory sites to create
charming homes in the village. It is an easy commute to
Feilding, Palmerston North and Marton. Residents are drawn to
the rural lifestyle and the “village atmosphere” of Halcombe and
enjoy living in this caring, motivated community. The
Community Development Group is working hard, alongside the
Manawatu District Council, to promote Halcombe and improve its
environment & facilities to benefit all residents.
We get many requests for
information about family members that may have attended Halcombe
School in the past. Our student registers date from 1907
(earlier records have been lost). Registers provide us with
student names, dates of birth and the period of their enrolment
at the school. We are happy to provide what information we can
for family history research - please contact the school (e-mail
is preferred). For anecdotal information and stories about
families, we highly recommend reading the reunion booklets
(above). Privacy rules prevent us from giving out any
information about recent pupils or staff members of the school.
"Friendly Feilding" website:
Manawatu - Visitor Information:
Palmerston North City:
Rangitikei District Council: