Levin, New Zealand

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Taitoko (Māori)
Secondary urban area
Intersection of Queen and Oxford Streets
Intersection of Queen and Oxford Streets
Levin is located in New Zealand
Coordinates: 40°37′19″S 175°17′12″E / 40.62194°S 175.28667°E / -40.62194; 175.28667Coordinates: 40°37′19″S 175°17′12″E / 40.62194°S 175.28667°E / -40.62194; 175.28667
Country New Zealand
Region Manawatu-Wanganui
Territorial authority Horowhenua District
Ward Levin Ward
Named for William Hort Levin
 • Urban 109.02 km2 (42.09 sq mi)
Population (June 2017)[1]
 • Urban 20,900
 • Urban density 190/km2 (500/sq mi)
Postcode 5510
Area code(s) 06

Levin (Māori: Taitoko) is the largest town and seat of the Horowhenua District, in the Manawatu-Wanganui region of New Zealand's North Island. It is located east of Lake Horowhenua, around 95 km north of Wellington and 50 km southwest of Palmerston North. The town has a population of 20,900 (June 2017),[1] making it the 22nd largest urban area in New Zealand, and third largest in Manawatu-Wanganui behind Palmerston North and Whanganui.

Levin is a service centre for the surrounding rural area, and a centre for light manufacturing.


According to June 2017 figures, the estimated resident population was 20,900.[2] Over 20% of inhabitants were listed as over the age of 65, a considerably higher percentage than the national average.[3] The town celebrated its centenary in 2006 and the bowls club celebrated theirs in 2007.

Origin of name[edit]

The town was named after William Hort Levin, a director of the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company. The name is a variation of the Jewish clan Levi. It is a shibboleth – unlike the usual pronunciation of the surname, stress is placed on the second syllable of the word. The name thus rhymes with the word 'begin' (the same pronunciation is used by the US conservative author and talk-show host Mark Levin). However his great grandson, Peter Levin, says that Levin would have pronounced his name as in Levene and this pronunciation was in common use for many years and always used by the family.[4][5] The town's Maori name is Taitoko.


Levin lies on State Highway 1, which forms the town's main street, Oxford Street. State Highway 57 forms the eastern boundary of the town, and meets State Highway 1 between Levin and Ohau.

Levin is on the North Island Main Trunk with a station used by the Capital Connection long distance commuter train between Wellington and Palmerston North and the Northern Explorer long distance train between Wellington and Auckland.

Lake Horowhenua[edit]

To the west of the main town lies lake Horowhenua. A large lake, covering some 3.9 sq/km. It is currently undergoing cleaning and regeneration.


Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2017 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.  For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006-16 (2017 boundary)". Statistics New Zealand. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  2. ^ Statistics New Zealand Subnational Population Estimates
  3. ^ "Levin age profile, NZ Stats"
  4. ^ Levin, Peter. (Who was born in Wellington in 1932 and is the great-grandson of W.H. Levin)
  5. ^ Wall, Arnold. "Certainly the correct pronunciation of [the] name is Leveen, not as is now generally heard, Levinn. I arrived in New Zealand in 1899 and at that time both Levin and the firm of Levin & Co of Wellington were always so pronounced". (Private letter, 1960's).

Official Tourism website for Levin