Feilding (Māori: Aorangi) is a town in the Manawatu District of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located on State Highway 54, 20 kilometres north of Palmerston North. The town is the seat of the Manawatu District Council.
Feilding has won the annual New Zealand's Most Beautiful Town award 14 times. It is an Edwardian themed town. The town is currently extending its CBD beautification featuring paving and planter boxes on the footpaths on the main streets in the CBD, including the realignment and beautification of Fergusson Street to the South Street entrance of Manfeild Park.
The town is a service town for the surrounding farming district. The Feilding Saleyards have been a vital part of the wider Manawatu community for over 125 years. As transport systems improved and farming practices changed, the need for small, local saleyards all but disappeared, leaving few major selling complexes in New Zealand. Manawatu is a diverse and fertile farming area with high production, high stock-carrying capacity and a stable climate. These factors make Feilding Saleyards a popular medium for many farmers. A unique aspect of Feilding Saleyards is their location in the centre of town.
The Manawatu Plains, on which the town is sited, are very fertile land, and as such it is a prosperous agricultural area. Being located on the floodplain of a major river has its problems, however, and in February 2004 the town suffered extensive flooding. In 2009 the Horizons Regional Council commissioned a new flood protection scheme to prevent extensive flooding in the future.
The town was named after Colonel William H.A. Feilding, a director of the Emigrants and Colonists Aid Corporation Ltd. who negotiated the purchase of a 100,000 acre (400 km²) block of land from the Wellington provincial government in 1871. The first settlers arrived from Great Britain on 22 January 1874.
The Feilding Edwardian Project Inc. was established in September 1993 by local businesses with the aim of revitalising the central business area of Feilding. Many of the commercial buildings were built in the 1900s (Edwardian era) and have been restored and preserved over time.
Feilding is home to a number of historic collections, buildings, monuments and museums, including:The Coach House Museum
St Johns Church
The Feilding Club
Feilding & Districts Steam Rail Society
In recent years there has been a steady increase in military families from the Royal New Zealand Air Force buying property and living in Feilding. This is mainly due to the close proximity of RNZAF Base Ohakea. In 2017 it was announced that the Republic of Singapore Air Force is looking at establishing a permanent F-15 fighter jet training base at Ohakea with an estimated presence of 500 Singaporian personnel. This would see a steady influx of Singaporian military families living in Feilding.One of New Zealand's main motor racing circuits, Manfeild, is located at the southern edge of the town
There is an active light aircraft airfield at the eastern edge of the town
The depot of the Feilding and District Steam Rail Society is located in the town and it runs railway excursions from this base.
Feilding's stock saleyards were once one of the largest in the southern hemisphere and are right in the central business area.
The Coach House Museum
Focal Point Cinema Feilding
There are no traffic lights and no parking meters
Employing about 30 people with a payroll of $1.5m in 2015, Proliant, an Iowa based firm privately held by the father and son team of Wally and Nix Lauridsen, constructed a $24m factory on the outskirts of Feilding for the production of a byproduct from cattle blood plasma, bovine serum albumin (BSA), which is used in pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical research. Proliant produces about half of the world's BSA.
In the Manawatu District of the people aged 15 years or over:40% earn $20,000 or less (NZ 38.8%)
14% earn more than $50,000 (NZ 16.2%)
the unemployment rate is 3.8% (NZ 7.3%)
73.4% of permanent private dwellings are owned with or without a mortgage by the occupant(s) (NZ 66.9%)
The town was served by the Foxton Branch to the Feilding Railway Station, both of which are now closed.Feilding High School
Feilding Intermediate School is a state, coeducational intermediate (years 7-8) school with a decile rating of 5 and a roll of 312. It was established in 1964.
Lytton Street School is a state, coeducational contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a decile rating of 4 and a roll of 498.
Manchester Street School is a state, coeducational contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a decile rating of 6 and a roll of 288.
North Street School is a state, coeducational full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 4 and a roll of 481.
St Joseph's School is an integrated coeducational full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 6 and a roll of 124.
Famous people from Feilding include:Murray Ball, kiwiana cartoonist who drew Footrot Flats
Jed Brophy, actor, Dwarf Nori in The Hobbit trilogy
Eddie Durie, was born in Feilding
Mason Durie, was born in Feilding
Keith Elliott, recipient of the Victoria Cross medal, attended high school in Feilding
Michael Houstoun, concert pianist
Glen Jackson (rugby player), was born in Feilding
Sam McNicol, was born in Feilding
W. H. Oliver, was born in Feilding
Tom Scott, also a New Zealand cartoonist
Jesse Sergent, cyclist
Aaron Smith, All Black
Glenn Standring, film director, was born in Feilding
Barbara Stewart politician
George Whitelock, All Black, attended FAHS
Luke Whitelock, All Black, attended FAHS
Sam Whitelock, All Black, attended FAHS
Evermore popular musical group