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Woodville is a small town in the southern North Island of New Zealand, 75 km north of Masterton and 25 km east of Palmerston North. In the 2006 census 1,398 people are usually resident in Woodville, a decrease of 81 people, or 5.5%, since the 2001 Census.Early history and local governmentIt appears that Woodville was a traveller's rest spot in Maori history. It was also a place to rest for hunters as they walked from one side of the Manawatu Gorge to the other. The local iwi were Rangitane, and maintained strong and positive relations with other tribes for the most part.They arrived at Wharetiti from Bare Island, Waimarama and continued northwards to Tongariro. Local Maori would construct temporary housing when the Titi began to arrive and harvest the birds from their burrows, preserving them inside pouches made from bull kelp which they carried up from the coast. It is some years since muttonbirds were last seen on this part of the Ruahine Mountains.One interesting local landmark is Whariti, one of the main peaks in the Ruahine Ranges near Woodville. The name appears to be a corruption of the original name Wharetiti (Whare – house, titi – muttonbird (the Sooty Shearwater)). According to an interview on Radio Woodville in 2009, the peak of 920 m (2950 ft) gained its name when migrating muttonbird nested on top of the ridges of the Ruahine mountain range.The town is in the Tararua District and the Manawatu-Wanganui region, although it has strong ties with the Hawke's Bay region, of which it was once a part, but is often considered to be the northern boundary of Wairarapa. It is within the catchment area of the Manawatu River.
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