Waitati, originally known as Waitete,[2][3] is a small seaside settlement in Otago, New Zealand, within the city limits of Dunedin. It is located close to the tidal mudflats of Blueskin Bay, 19 kilometres north of the Dunedin city centre. The small Waitati River flows through the bay to the sea.


Location of Waitati in New Zealand
CountryNew Zealand
IslandSouth Island
RegionEast Otago
 • Regional councilOtago Regional Council
 • Territorial authorityDunedin City Council
 (2013 census)[1]
 • Total513
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Area code03
Local iwiNgāi Tahu

According to the 2013 New Zealand census, Waitati has a population of 513, an increase of 12 people since the 2006 census.[1]

The Dunedin-Waitati Highway section of State Highway 1, formerly and colloquially called Dunedin Northern Motorway, ends at Waitati; the highway continues north from here at a slightly lower grade of construction with more frequent intersections and accesses. Three km to the north, the highway ascends the notorious Kilmog hill. The Main South Line railway curves from east to north through Waitati. The old station yard remains as a train crossing loop and parts of the old station building are used by rail maintenance workers.

Waitati is home to a branch of the Dunedin Public Libraries, Blueskin Nurseries, a local school , a cafe and general store, and several holiday homes.

Alternative lifestylers and activism

Waitati war memorial commemorating fallen World War I soldiers

For many years Waitati has been known for its appeal to those who pursue an alternative lifestyle. The Waitati Militia, a mock combat group, was founded here,[4][5] and the village featured in the history of the Values Party, Mushroom magazine and anti Vietnam war and Aramoana aluminium smelter protests,[6] as well as the development in New Zealand of environmental education.[7]

Waitati has no sewerage system, and has become a centre in New Zealand for the development of composting toilets and other alternative sewage disposal systems.[7] Some villagers are edible garden and alternative energy enthusiasts.[7]

Waitati has become an arrival point for German immigrants to New Zealand and has a high proportion of Germans and German-New Zealanders.[citation needed]

The Orokonui Ecosanctuary wildlife sanctuary is set in an area of native bush here. Doctors Point Beach is a sandy southern beach that is home to a breed of blue penguins and other wildlife.

Waitati Film Society screens films every second Tuesday night during most of the year (every Tuesday night in the middle of winter).

Waitati is part of New Zealand's "Transition Towns initiatives",[8] initiative, using some Transition Towns techniques and patterns for energy descent.

Notable residents

Former Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei lives in Waitati.[9]


  1. ^ a b 2013 Census QuickStats about a place  : Waitati
  2. ^ "Doctors Point Beach" . Hidden Otago. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Waitati" . Edinburgh Realty. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  4. ^ Lawson, Kirsten. "Waitati – Still crazy after all these years?" . New Zealand Geographic.
  5. ^ Gibb, John (8 January 2018). "Close By in the Country" . Otago Daily Times.
  6. ^ Ian Church Blueskin Days Waitati 2007
  7. ^ a b c 'Sustainable Waitati' in The Star , Dunedin, 27 September 2007
  8. ^ "Transition Towns" . Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  9. ^ "Metiria opens the doors to her castle - and THAT wardrobe" . New Zealand Herald. 2 February 2014.


Information as of: 13.08.2021 07:35:39 CEST

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