Halcombe School

Halcombe School
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Halcombe, Manawatu

"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 website: http://www.halcombecommunity.co.nz/

The War Memorials in Halcombe: find out more


Some History
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 Te Papa.

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 Jubilee Booklet 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.


Visit Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand for more information about Halcombe, its settlement & history and key figures in its development, including Arthur William Follett Halcombe. We highly recommend the excellent resource Feilding 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's Halcombe

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 Halcombe Community Development Group is working hard, alongside the Manawatu District Council, to promote Halcombe and improve its environment & facilities to benefit all residents.

Family History

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: http://www.feilding.co.nz/

Manawatu - Visitor Information:

Palmerston North City: http://www.pncc.govt.nz/

Rangitikei District Council: http://www.rangitikei.govt.nz/

Managed by Miss Kirsten Main
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