About Naseby

The Naseby area is located on the South Island of New Zealand, 10 minutes north of Ranfurly, 60 minutes north east of Alexandra and is off State Highway 85 on the Ranfurly Naseby Road. The Village lies at the foot of the Mount Ida Range and is on the edge of the Naseby forest.

It is renowned for its heritage aspects including gold mining relics, heritage buildings, recreational opportunities and winter sports facilities including an international curling rink. Farming and forestry are important industries in the area.


Naseby was originally known as Parkers, named for the party of gold prospectors who first discovered gold in the area. Its name was changed to Naseby, either after Naseby in England, or after the battle of Naseby in the England of Cromwellian times.

In 1857 John T Thompson explored the area on an official survey and triggered a "run rush" by pastoralists. The first gold rush came to Naseby in 1863. Other rich fields were found nearby at Mount Buster and south across the Taieri River at Hamiltons. The 112 kilometre Mount Ida water race and sludge channel from Naseby to the Taieri River was constructed in 1877. Sluicing to recover gold was followed by dredging from 1890 with reasonable returns, but all dredging had finished by 1920 and Naseby, a major mining town, became a service centre for the Maniototo. By 1880 it had a courthouse, warden's office, district hospital, several churches, a primary school, a Catholic school and several large hotels.

The railway from Dunedin to Ranfurly opened in 1898 and bypassed Naseby despite a strong fight from the Naseby people. A coach service was required from Naseby to connect with the trains at Ranfurly and the town gave way to Ranfurly as the administrative centre. The county office and hospital shifted to Ranfurly in the 1930s and a district high school at Ranfurly replaced the one at Naseby. The primary school at Naseby, which was opened in 1865, was closed in 1994 and children travel by bus the 14 kilometres to Maniototo Area School in Ranfurly.

In more recent times Naseby has become an important forestry centre with the initial forest being planted as early as 1900. Numbers of workers involved in the forestry industry have declined over time and this has adversely affected the permanent population of Naseby. The forest has had several owners or administrators over the last few years but current owners Ernslaw 1 take an active role in the area.

Naseby's small permanent population numbers approximately 125 and is boosted at holiday time when the population can reach 4-6,000. Many of the original houses and cottages remain and many are popular as cribs for people from all over Otago and Southland.

(The Cyclopaedia of Otago and Southland, Vol. 1, Edited by Paul Sorrell, Published 1999).

About Naseby Vision

Naseby Vision Incorporated is a community development group which was formed in 2005. Membership has grown steadily since its inception and it now represents 306 Naseby residents, holiday-home owners, farmers and businesspeople.

Since its establishment it has worked closely with the Central Otago District Council, the Maniototo Community Board and numerous local and national groups and companies to improve services and facilities in the town and to promote the interests of its many members and the town in general. One of Naseby Vision's first major activities was to provide substantial input into the CODC's Naseby Community Plan which is now reviewed and updated annually.

Naseby Vision's Committee meets monthly to address a wide range of issues and its annual general meeting is held on Labour Day each year.


We value:
  • The Special character of our area
    • Its history
    • The ambience - the peace and quiet
  • Our Landscape
    • The forest
    • The scenic landscape and mountains
    • The climate
  • Our History and Heritage
    • Our buildings
    • Our goldfield remnants
  • Our Community
    • A place where a relaxed lifestyle can be enjoyed
    • The safe environment for families
Should all or any of these values be lost or degraded, the area will no longer be a 'special place'.


The objects of the Naseby Vision Incorporated Society are:
  • To nurture and promote the interests of the Township of Naseby and its residents both permanent and casual.
  • To represent and when necessary advocate on behalf of Naseby.
  • To inform the Community of all matters which come to the attention of the Society, which are of communal interest.
  • To encourage controlled development of Naseby and to co-operate with and when appropriate, co-ordinate the activities of community groups and local organisations.
  • To encourage and assist with the preservation and enhancement of public amenities and services.
  • To apply for, receive, manage and distribute monies on behalf of the Naseby Community.
  • To do all such actions as shall further the Objectives of the Society.

Community Plan

The Community Plan will be revised later this year but if you like to Download a copy of the 2010 plan please click here 2010 Naseby Community Plan (PDF, 1.1MB).
(Please be patient; this is a large file and may take some time to download.)