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Inaugural Wood Fest!

March 7, 2015

Come and visit Wood Fest, celebrating Woodville’s history, culture and society.

In Maori history, the local iwi of Rangitane used the Woodville area as a traveller and hunter’s rest place. The name appears to be a corruption of the original name Wharetiti (Whare – house, titi – muttonbird) although it was originally to be the third of the Scandinavian Road Labourers Villages, referred to as the “village in the woods” and colloquially known as “The Junction” as well.

Woodville town lots were officially offered for sale from 1874. The first sections were mostly sold to railway or farm workers. The town also fell within the “Seventy Mile Bush” area.  By vogel-street-lrg1880, there were eleven houses in the town, a hotel and stables, clothing store, butchery, bakery and boarding house and a boot-maker. A school building had been erected and served for many community group meetings. In 1885 the Town Board under the chairmanship of Joseph Sowry was formed and in 1887 Woodville was constituted as a Borough with Joseph Sowry elected as the first mayor.  (source: ThisisWoodville website)

Tararua District Library has a few digital historical images on the Tararua Kete.  Our collection also has plenty of interesting Woodville history, including the fascinating “This is Woodville : a chronicle of 81 town sections auctioned at Napier 16 January 1875, a business history” (2013) by Joan McIntyre.

Wood Fest is community family day, with free entertainment:

  • Luscious Lunch (tickets on sale see
  • Local bands
  • Market Fair
  • Competition grade axe menchainsaw sculpture
  • Chainsaw and crosscut saw demo
  • Chainsaw sculptors
  • Watch a mural being painted
  • Line and Circle dancing
  • Free kids bouncy castle and obstacle course
  • Hot rod rides, pony rides, milk train rides

Woodville video



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