Marton has a strong similarity with Waimate in the Sth Island; and just like Waimate Marton is a town that is being challenged by two major progressive centres, but larger. Matron’s reason for being goes back to a time of vast distances and rural centre’s providing essential services. Fielding as an example, competed and beat the ‘big’ centre. But the Martons and Ashursts have struggled to hold ground or prosper.
That said the town of Marton is the largest in the Rangitikei district, and began life as a private township in 1866, when shop and housing sections were sold at auction by local land owners.
For three years the small village was known as Tutaenui, named after the stream running through its centre. In 1869 local citizens changed the name to Marton to honour the home village of Captain James Cook in Yorkshire, marking his landing in New Zealand exactly 100 years earlier. A monument to ratify this act is on display in the main street.
Marton, as is the situation with many small communities is being recognized for the quality of life it can offer to the busier urban communities. This scenario is being played out over NZ and other countries.
Marton is off the main routes, but as an investigative traveler the town is too big not to visit.