Development Board

Free Phone: 0800 12 2665    Phone: +64 7 873 8951

The Otorohanga District Development Board


Otorohanga District Council funds an autonomous business development board that promotes the Otorohanga district as a great place to live and work.


A council-funded Economic Development Agency that:

  • Promotes and supports activities or services that will stimulate the economy of the Otorohanga District
  • Markets the Otorohanga District as a great place in which to live, invest, do business or visit
  • Operates the Otorohanga i-SITE and Kawhia Information Centre
  • Helps facilitate projects for the benefit of the District.


We can help you with:

  • Business establishment and advice
  • District information
  • Tourism promotion
  • A subsidy to advertise your new business in the Otorohanga District.


Click here to download an Advertising Subsidy application form


Board members are local business people actively promoting the Otorohanga District as a wonderful lifestyle choice.


A significant Board project has been the establishment of the Trade Training Centre. 


The Trade Training Centre has achieved New Zealand-wide recognition in improving youth achievement and employment in the community.


The Board has:

  • Assisted with the funding and set up of the Trade Training Centre
  • Hired an Apprentice Coordinator to help apprentices achieve at higher levels and find employment
  • Purchased and holds in trust all tools and equipment used by Wintec, the principal trainer


PO Box 152, Otorohanga 3940

Phone: 07 873 8951


The Board members are:



Duncan Coull

Dairy Farmer

07 8731583

Deputy Chair

Kara Thomas

Business Owner


Council Rep

Katrina Christison




Bob Strawbridge

Chartered Accountant

07 873 7049

Board Member

Marain Hurley

Business Owner and Dairy Farmer


Board Member

Carolyn Christian

Transport Company Director

07 873 7937

Board Member

Derek Wooster

Maori Land Administrator

07 873 8713

 Board Member Liz Cowan  Tourism Operator 07 873 0849





 > Contact the Otorohanga District Development Board here or Phone: 07 873 8951


Constitution and Rules of the ODDB.PDF


ODDB nomination form for member of Society.docx



The Otorohanga District Council

17 Maniapoto Street, PO Box 11, Otorohanga 3900


Otorohanga District Council
Otorohanga District Council

Phone: 07 873 4000 or Free Phone: 0800 734 000 


A proactive, progressive, well-managed rural council committed to the highest level of service for residents, ratepayers and visitors.


We are open: Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm


The Otorohanga District Council operates three separate financial divisions. There are also two Community Boards representing the Otorohanga and Kawhia/Aotea communities.


For comprehensive information about the Otorohanga District Council and its services visit

These people have chosen to live in the Otorohanga District – read their stories...

The Friendliest Place in New Zealand


Have you ever had one of those "paradigm shifts" hit you out of nowhere? Mine was, Otorohanga would be a great place to live!


I worked with people from Otorohanga for some seven years and during that time got to know many wonderful, warm and friendly locals, who really enjoy the town and all it has to offer. 


What’s more, they are also highly competent business owners who run professional and profitable companies. The District Development Board are awesome; they strive to keep Otorohanga vibrant and alive and go out of their way to invite newcomers into their networks and business community. "Co-opertition" is rife.


I had been self-employed for close to twenty years and the second huge shift in thinking was to get a “real job” and I was fortunate enough to do this with the Otorohanga District Council. 


I am now part of a team of helpful and dedicated people, who certainly do care about making sure everything looks good and runs as smoothly as possible.

Without exception, everyone has welcomed me to Otorohanga. People come up to you in the street and introduce themselves and are genuinely interested in getting to know you. This has never happened to me anywhere before.

Otorohanga is the friendliest place in New Zealand; if you don’t believe me come and see for yourself!"


Roger Brady

Engineering Manager
Otorohanga District Council

It doesn't get more Kiwi than this!


"Our move to New Zealand was driven by a desire for a better lifestyle.


When we were looking at where in NZ we might like to live, there were a few important challenges that needed to be addressed by our eventual new home town. These encompassed several aspects of life including work, play, cost and location.


We wanted to live, work and play in a rural community, preferably a laid-back but thriving small town, but mostly a place that was typically Kiwi. No point in moving 12,000 miles to congregate with other ex-pats?


Encouraged by the possibility of employment opportunities, we found Otorohanga an extremely friendly small town, with a welcoming and hospitable atmosphere. Everyone was very outgoing and it made us feel like we had been enveloped by an honest community, a place where we felt very comfortable and wanted to be part of.


Location was important to us - proximity to an International Airport as well as a good road / rail link to the rest of the country. In addition, Otorohanga has the added advantage of being a short drive to the 4th largest town in New Zealand (Hamilton).


We thoroughly recommend Otorohanga as a place to set down roots, but keep it quiet, as we don't want the whole world to move here!"


Duncan & Amanda Roobottom


The friendly Kiwiana town



"Lesleigh and I spent an afternoon here in Otorohanga soon after I had been appointed as the new principal of the town's College. We walked the streets that day, chatted with people and drank coffee at a local shop.


We noted the laughter, the friendliness and the wonderful blend of heartland Aotearoa New Zealand walking by. After coffee, we were called by the two magnificent carved pou pou which stand tall and proud outside the library and read some of the history of this place. 


We noted the flowers hanging in baskets on both sides of the road from one end of the street to the other, the 'Kiwiana' hanging from the street light posts and the clean green image this place has. Later that day, we drove round the town.


The large number of sporting and community facilities which dot this town became evident. Our first impressions were that it was an awesome community and town and so, within a few days we had made the decision to shift here to live. 


We are in no doubt that coming to live in Otorohanga with its friendly, caring and inclusive people was the best decision we could have made.


"We love it here."


Timoti Harris

Former Principal
Otorohanga College