Methven, New Zealand

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Piwakawaka (Māori)
Methven town centre
Methven town centre
Methven is located in New Zealand
Coordinates: 43°38′S 171°39′E / 43.633°S 171.650°E / -43.633; 171.650Coordinates: 43°38′S 171°39′E / 43.633°S 171.650°E / -43.633; 171.650
Country New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Territorial authority Ashburton District
Population (June 2017)[1]
 • Total 1,870
Postcode 7730
Area code 03

Methven (Māori: Piwakawaka [2]) is a small town in the Canterbury region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is located near the western edge of the Canterbury Plains, 35 kilometres north of Ashburton. It was originally the railhead of a short branch railway off the Main South Line. Branching off from Rakaia, the Methven Branch travelled through Lauriston and Lyndhurst to Methven and operated from 1880 until 1976.

It is a rural service town throughout the year, but undergoes a stark transformation in winter. Mount Hutt skifield is around half an hour away from Methven, the closest town. As such, a number of cafes, bars, and restaurants lie relatively dormant over the summer months. Similarly, the town's accommodation providers have a strongly seasonal trade. In addition to skiing, another popular attraction is hot air ballooning, the annual Mountain Thunder motorcycle street-races and the annual rodeo. Mount Hutt college is Methven's main school and has a very popular Outdoor Pursuits class available which attracts students from all over the country.

The population was 1326 in the 2006 Census, an increase of 192 from 2001.[3]

Methven is home to Rajah, New Zealand's first police dog.[4]

Methven also served as a base to cast and crew for the filming of Edoras (located further inland), for The Lord of the Rings.


Methven has three schools.

  • Methven Primary School is a state contributing primary (Year 1 to 6) school. It has 267 students as of February 2018.[5]
  • Mount Hutt College is a state Year 7 to 13 secondary school. It has 487 students as of February 2018.[5]
  • Our Lady of Snow School is a state-integrated Catholic full primary (Year 1 to 8) school. It has 32 students as of February 2018.[5]


  1. ^ "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. ^ Methven
  3. ^ Quickstats about Methven
  4. ^ Duffy, Barbara. "RAJAH - the wonder dog from Methven". Ashburton Online. Archived from the original on 21 August 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c "Directory of Schools - as at 14 March 2018". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 20 March 2018. 

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