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Taumarunui

Taumarunui is a small town in the King Country of the central North Island of New Zealand. It is on State Highway 4 and the North Island Main Trunk railway. It is under the jurisdiction of Ruapehu District, Manawatu-Wanganui Region.It is on an alluvial plain set within rugged terrain on the upper reaches of the Whanganui River, 65 km south of Te Kuiti and 55 km west of Turangi. Its population is 4,500 (2013 census, this is down 14% from the 2001 census), still making it the largest centre for a considerable distance in any direction.The name Taumarunui is reported to be the dying words of the Māori chief Pehi Turoa - taumaru meaning screen and nui big, literally translated as Big Screen, being built to shelter him from the sun, or more commonly known to mean - "The place of big shelter". There are also references to Taumarunui being known as large sheltered location for growing kumara.In the 1980s publication Roll Back the Years there are some details on how Taumarunui got its name. Extract: "According to Frank T Brown, who wrote in the Taumarunui Press in 1926, the name Taumarunui is closely connected with the arrival of and conquering of that portion of the King Country by the Whanganui River natives during the 18th century... The war party that succeeded in capturing the principal pa and taking prisoner the chief of the district was headed by "Ki Maru". His warriors, to show their appreciation of his prowess and the honour of the victory, acclaimed him "Tau-maru-nui", which means "Maru the Great", or "Maru the Conqueror", that name was taken for the district and has been used ever since."
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