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Putaruru

Putāruru is a small town in the Waikato region of New Zealand's North Island. It is on the Oraka River 65 kilometres south-east of Hamilton. The correct form of the name is thought to be the Māori word Putaaruru – "To come forth like a ruru (morepork)"; sometimes given as 'Home of the Owl'.DescriptionThe town's population at the 2013 census was 3777 . Its economy is based on farming, forestry and timber production.State Highway 1 and the Kinleith Branch railway run through the town.The nearby Blue Spring is the current source of about 60% of New Zealand's bottled water.GeographyPutāruru lies on the western side of the Mamaku Ranges. It is situated in the upper basin of the Waihou River. The Oraka River forms at the Blue Springs, situated south-east of the town, and flows around the edges of town before feeding into the Waihou River downstream.HistoryPre-ColonialThere were several Māori settlements in the Putāruru district in pre-colonial times. Ngāti Raukawa is the main tribe or iwi in the area and Ngāti Mahana is the hapū (subtribe) within Putāruru. During Te Rauparaha's migration to the Cook Strait area in the 1820s, many Ngāti Raukawa people moved from these settlements to Rangitikei and Manawatu localities, and others followed after the Siege of Ōrākau in 1864. Te Kooti and his followers were pursued through the district early in 1870 by a force under Lt-Col. Thomas McDonnell.
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