Marton with its bustling centre, a five minute drive from State Highway 1 &3, and a population of over 4500 is the largest town and the heart of the Rangitikei.
The fertile soil and temperate climate has firmly established Marton as an agricultural centre noted for its cropping and sheep/beef farming.
With its ideal central location, and close proximity to both Palmerston North and Wanganui Marton has established itself firmly as an ultimate locale for large business. Corporates such as Gallagher's, Nestle, ANZCO, Speirs, Collagen Solutions, Alf Downs Group and Malteurop, New Zealands largest malting plant have chosen to base their businesses in Marton.
Established in 1866, Marton is an historic rural New Zealand town with a significant agricultural and industry-based history. Marton's strong and proud identity is reflected in the wide range of character homes and historic buildings.
Originally called Tutaenui, Marton was established in 1866 then renamed in 1869 to be called Marton, after the birth place of James Cook. Wikipedia cites "it is not known if this change of name was influenced by the mistranslation of 'tutae' (meaning 'dung') and 'nui' (meaning 'large').(Actual translation: 'tu' -stand, 'tae' -arrive, 'nui' big; i.e., a 'big gathering')".
The towns industry’s grew significantly with the development of the main trunk line. The opening of the railway line joining Wanganui to Palmerston North in 1878, now part of the north island main trunk line railway (towards Palmerston North and Auckland) and the Marton-New Plymouth line (towards Wanganui), turned Marton into a thriving railway junction for the next 100 years.