Okato is located in Taranaki Region
Coordinates: 39°11′21″S 173°52′39″E / 39.18917°S 173.8775°E / -39.18917; 173.8775
Country New Zealand
Region Taranaki
District New Plymouth District
Population (2006)
 - Total 531

Okato is a small township in rural Taranaki, New Zealand. The population was 531 in the 2006 Census, an increase of 12 from 2001.[1] It is situated about 25 minutes drive around the coast from New Plymouth on State Highway 45. Oakura is 12 km to the north-east, and Warea is 9 km to the south-west.[2][3] The place offers popular rocky surfing spots around coastal beaches. Okato has a rich art community, with names like Dale Copeland, Alby Carter, Graham Kirk, Peter Lambert, Waldo, Paul Hutchinson and many others being from there.

Okato has all the elements of a New Zealand rural community with sporting facilities (rugby grounds, bowling club, squash courts, tennis courts and swimming pool), Coastal Taranaki School, a police station, and a volunteer fire brigade.

Okato was also notable as the home of Okato Cheese which was manufactured by the Okato Co-operative Dairy Company. This manufacturing site closed some years after merging with Egmont Co-operative Dairy.

Activities in the Okato area include the Stony River walkway which affords a number of locations from which to take photos of Mt Taranaki.



Coastal Taranaki School is a coeducational composite (years 1-15) school with a decile rating of 5 and a roll of 311.[4] The school was formed in 2005 from the merger of Newall School, Okato Primary School, Okato College and Warea School. It was initially called Okato Area School but changed its name.[5]


  1. ^ Quickstats about Okato
  2. ^ Peter Dowling (editor) (2004), Reed New Zealand Atlas, Reed Books, map 34, ISBN 0-7900-0952-8 
  3. ^ Roger Smith, GeographX (2005), The Geographic Atlas of New Zealand, Robbie Burton, map 84, ISBN 1-877333-20-4 
  4. ^ "Te Kete Ipurangi - Coastal Taranaki School". Ministry of Education. http://www.tki.org.nz/e/schools/display_school_info.php?school_id=551. 
  5. ^ "Mergers, Closures and New Schools, January 2005 - December 2005" (XLS). Education Counts. http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/statistics/schooling/directories/?a=7772. 

Further reading

General historical works

  • History and reminiscences of Okato: Okato 100, 1865-1965, Okato, [N.Z.] ; New Plymouth, [N.Z.]: Okato Centennial Committee ; Taranaki Newspapers, 1965 
  • Kahui-Newall School and districts, 75th jubilee, n.p.: Newall-Kahui Jubilee Committee, 1982 
  • Hickford, Lawrence D. (1978), The land I have lived in and Okato as I knew it: reflections and recollections, New Plymouth, [N.Z.]: Taranaki County Council ; Taranaki Newspapers 
  • Rye, K.J. (1990), Okato jubilee: 125 years, 1865-1990, Okato, [N.Z.]: Okato 125th Jubilee Committee 
  • Skinner, W. H. (1935), History and reminiscences of the Okato district written by W.H. Skinner, W.K. Howitt and residents of the district and republished from the "Taranaki Herald" on the occasion of the septuagenary celebrations and re-union, 1865-1935, New Plymouth, [N.Z.]: Taranaki Herald 

Arts and literature

  • Virtual TART: art from Taranaki, New Zealand (CD-ROM), Okato, [N.Z.]: Puniho Art Press, 2000 

Business history

  • Okato and Puniho Co-operative Dairy Factory Company (1955), Golden jubilee, 1905-1955, New Plymouth, [N.Z.]: McLeod and Slade 



  • The centenary of St Paul's Church, Okato, 1897-1997 and Okato Methodist Church (St Luke's), 1898-1998, Okato, [N.Z.]: Okato Co-operating Parish, 1997, ISBN 0-473-04613-X 
  • Clemance, H.J. (1972), Saint Paul's, Okato: seventy-fifth jubilee of the parochial district, Okato, [N.Z.]: St. Paul's Anglican Parish 


  • The centenary of St Paul's Church, Okato, 1897-1997 and Okato Methodist Church (St Luke's), 1898-1998, Okato, [N.Z.]: Okato Co-operating Parish, 1997, ISBN 0-473-04613-X 


  • Prickett, Nigel (1983), Maori fortifications of the Okato District, Taranaki, Auckland, [N.Z.]: Auckland Institute and Museum 
  • Smith, Lee; Benton, Richard (1982), The Maori language in New Plymouth and Okato / Purongorongo whakamohio ma nga kaiuru ki te toronga tuatahi, 1973-1978 [Information bulletin (Survey of Language Use in Maori Households and Communities) ; 7], Wellington, [N.Z.]: New Zealand Council for Educational Research 

New Zealand wars



  • Kahui-Newall School and districts, 75th jubilee, n.p.: Newall-Kahui Jubilee Committee, 1982 
  • Okato District High School and College, 1950-2000: 50th anniversary, Christchurch, [N.Z.]: Legacy Books, 2000 

Coordinates: 39°12′S 173°53′E / 39.2°S 173.883°E / -39.2; 173.883

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